Judge for yourselves. I’m a Christian and a pilgrim…yet it seems unfair.

I can only tell the story, just as it is written on a tourist hoarding near the town of Alesón.

Along the pilgrimage trail through the wine-rich Rioja, there is a shrine built in the shape of a Frankish helmet. It commemorates a great Christian victory which occurred nearby, in the time of heroes, of Charlemagne and Roland.

You see, Charlemagne and his paladins were in the neighbourhood when word got out that a Syrian giant was hanging about the town of Alesón. A muslim Syrian giant!

One after the other, the paladins challenged Ferragut the Giant to single combat. All Ferragut had to do was pick up his opponents and carry them into the local jail. (Ransom value of any paladin was about the same as a Leo Messi contract in today’s money.)

Finally it was Roland’s turn to face Ferragut, and, through various brutal turns, involving deception, prayers and cruelty to horses, the fight was stalemated. A truce was called for the night, then, after a big day’s combat, there was another truce for the second night. Roland chivalrously placed a stone pillow under the giant’s head while he slept.

When the giant had rested enough, Roland engaged him in ecumenical discussion, doing his best to explain such things as the Trinity and Immaculate Conception. Ferragut did his best to understand, and, in return, volunteered the information that he could only be killed by a stab to the navel.

It was decided that whoever won the next fight had the best god…or maybe the best group of gods, since Ferragut just couldn’t get with the Trinity thing.

Of course, the outcome was a victory for Roland, by a stab to the navel, and…

…and I don’t know what else to say!

About mosomoso

Growing moso bamboo on the mid-coast of NSW, Australia.
This entry was posted in HISTORICAL, ON THE COMICAL SIDE. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Beth Cooper says:

    Thx fer a good laugh. I reeelly enjoyed this. I’m about ter read it again.

  2. Beth Cooper says:

    Yer last line is an unusual ending to a tale, but it works.

  3. mosomoso says:

    If steroids had been around back then, Roland would’ve taken ’em.

  4. Beth Cooper says:

    A good and trusty knight, ter thine own self be true, win by all, and any, means.

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