Writing Greenwood Tree – and more

Save a Word Saturday 4

save  a word Saturday image

The rules run thusly:

1. Create a lovely blog post that links back to this one. The easiest way to do that would be to grab the code under our pretty Save-a-Word Saturday button. Just copy and paste it into the HTML part of your blog.

2. Pick an old word you want to save from extinction to feature in your blog post. It really must be an old word, not just a big one. We are trying to save lovely archaisms, not ugly giants (for example, “Dihydrogen Monoxide” is not an acceptable choice). Luciferous Logolepsy is a great database of lovely words if you’re having trouble coming up with something on your own.

3. Provide a definition of your word. Use your word in a sentence (or even a short paragraph) vaguely related to the theme we have chosen this week. You may also add visual or musical interpretations of your word or your sentence. In fact, add anything that moves your creative spirit.

4. Add your post to the linky list below (it’s down there somewhere). Then hop to as many other blogs as you can in search of as many wonderful words as possible!

5. Use as many of the words as you can on the people in your life. Do leave us a note or add something to your own post to let us all know what wonderful old word you whipped out to befuddle your friends and relations.

At last – I am nearly ahead of myself !

This week’s chosen words:

rabiator
n. – a violent man
obambulate
v. – to walk about, wander

and the theme was

 Lace Socks ….

The guide flung open the great, heavy, wooden doors and creaked across the threshold in his well-polished leather pumps. It was the fashion in those days for gentlemen to show off their calves in stockings and britches, and Mr Momentous was well-equipped in that department. Some of the ladies in the group were quite in awe of them, so much so that they would forget to observe the magnificent surroundings, the opulent furniture, the excellent wooden panelling and carved balustrades, and stared instead at his bipedal prowess, and giggled quietly behind their fans.

The Calves of Mr Momentous

‘As you will note,’ boomed Mr Momentous, stopping in the centre of the great chamber, ‘ this is no ordinary castle. Once home to a king, it passed into the hands of a court jester, in the most unorthodox manner – the jester soon turned into a rabiator –‘

One of the ladies waved her fan in peremptory fashion and demanded to know what word that was.

Mr Momentous drew himself up to his full height of barely five feet, and proceeded to explain:

‘A rabiator,madam, one no longer in full possession of his temper; added to which , the same personage had taken to obambulating at night, putting his household, and ministers and advisers in something of a quandary …’

‘Obambulating,sir? What manner of offensive word might that be?’ asked the same lady again, her ire visibly raised by the semantical loquacity of the guide.

Mr Momentous bowed, a condescending smile playing about his lips.

‘Why, it is little more than a variation on ambulatory, or walking – ‘

‘In that case why not say so and be done with it ?’ expostulated the lady, now clearly irritated.

‘In that case why not say so and be done with it ?’ expostulated the lady, now clearly irritated.

‘Because, madam, while similar to ambulating or walking, it signifies in a vague uncertain manner, or to wander, – as befitted one who was, by all accounts, under some form of a curse, driven made by it in fact – to such a degree, that he took to wearing the most unsuitable clothes, eating bizarre and unwholesome food, and singing nonsensical songs.’

‘Unsuitable clothes?’

‘What say you to half a red jacket, slit down the sleeve, on one side, and a green waistcoat, slit across, on the other ? coupled with britches made of goat hair, and slippers made of oak leaves – what say you to purple hose, tied up with red laces ?’

‘I care not for the combination of colour – I think it most lacking in taste, and quite unfashionable!’ declared one of the ladies, amidst titters. The irascible one sniffed.

‘But let me show you, rather than attempt to describe…’ and Mr Momentous crossed over to the opposite wall to fling back a tapestry. He was suitably gratified by the gasp that ran through his little audience.

The portrait was of the poor jester king, in all his lunatic glory; a mass of indigestible colour, from his bright yellow hat, to his pink shirt, green and red slit jacket as described by Mr Momentous, down to his oak leaf slippers – and lace socks, red on purple. Quite fetching, for some perhaps. A murmur of pity instead ran through the fashion-conscious group.

‘The poor soul, mad indeed.

‘Quite lost his senses.’’And smiling away at it all.’

‘Indeed, when the likeness was taken he was already nigh the end,’ commented Mr Momentous, with a fine touch of dramatic melancholy.

‘And what was the end, then?’ asked one of the younger gentlemen of the party.

‘One night, it is said, his perambulations took him up those very steps, leading to the tower, where he threw himself – or fell – from its ramparts and so met his sorry end.’

A mild shriek or too at this from some of the ladies. The irascible female folded her arms and went merely ‘Harrumph!’

‘What say you he might not have been pushed?‘ asked one of the gentlemen of the party.

‘There, legend leaves us to mystify, – however, there was a rumour that he had been driven mad by a fortune-teller, who had the ability to change into an owl, and who persecuted him, drove him from chamber to chamber, from floor to floor, until at last, in despair of ever being free of this torment – he took the only escape left open to him, as presented to his sorry state of mind and so left this life precipitately…’ here, Mr Momentous paused, as if listening. The others fell quiet too, listening hard.

‘Whoooooooo…hooooooo….’ came the sound again.

As one, they all cried out, and rushed from the chamber, in terror of sighting the unlucky bird.

All save Mr Momentous, who stood, shaking his head sorrowfully after them.

A few minutes later, there was a movement behind one of the tapestries, and an elegant gentleman in pale blue issued forth from it.

‘Well, Mr Momentous? How were the takings today, sir?’

A quiet clinking sound, as coins exchanged hands.

‘Indeed, were it not for the profit, how very depressed would one’s spirits be at the gullibility of the human mind,’  commented Mr Momentous, straightening his waistcoat.

‘Indeed so, sir,’ replied the other.

They sauntered off downstairs at a leisurely pace, scarcely bothering to look back.

An owl swept across the chamber and flew through one of the windows.

‘…the gullibility of the human mind,…’

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Previously: Footsteps, Laughter & Castles

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4 responses

  1. Nice characterizations. You really give us a good look into them and their lives. Quite long, but enjoyable. Writer’s Mark

    April 21, 2013 at 3:27 am

    • 😀 😀 Thank you – very kind ! (I got quite carried away, as it has become something of a running thread….. 😉 )

      April 21, 2013 at 9:46 am

  2. Your stories are always so amusing. I find your jester king quite intriguing. Thanks for saving words 😉

    April 23, 2013 at 1:05 am

    • Oh good, I am glad they entertain – yes, I am quite intrigued myself … the jester king has become a running theme…now for the wedding … :O 😀

      April 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

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