Christmas at Camelot
Snow fell on the towers of Camelot, fluttering to its terraces and paths. All the fields were flattened like a white dining cloth spread out on a table. The woodland paths were a wonder of whiteness, blank as an unwritten page waiting for a pen to push its nib across it, trailing black. Crows gathered on roofs, while blackbirds and thrushes and smaller birds came out for grain from the kitchen stores. The sun was bright in the morning and shone sparklingly on the still water of puddles in the lanes around the castle. it was a chill and frosty season that at first brought joy to the people. Children slid on paths, skilfully slipping, or shivered while they warmed themselves by a fire, clapping their hands to drive the chill from the chapped fingers. There was a winter tournament that season at Camelot. Bonfires burned in the corners of the courtyard, and ladies wrapped themselves in furs and heavy wool. On the balcony round the courtyard they could see the battles, knight fighting against knight with sword and shield, in hauberk and helmet, each striving for mastery. Lancelot was then a young man at Arthur's court, so youthful that all the things we know about that happened to him afterward had not yet happened.
Extract from Sir Gawain and the Green Maiden by S. D. Evans
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