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PROOF    8' A knight must prove himself to marry the princess

Once upon a time a long time ago in a land far, far away, a
princess and a knight were in love with each other. But when the
knight went to the king to ask for his daughter's hand in
marriage, the king refused, because the king wanted the princess
to marry a prince.

Both the knight and the princess begged the king to change his
mind. So, finally, the king said to the knight, "You may marry
my daughter if you pass the test."

"I'll do it!" replied the knight, "What is the test?"

The king explained, "It's a test of love. If you really love my
daughter, you will sail the high seas to Africa to bring back a
symbol of your love for the princess."

"What symbol?" asked the knight.

The king replied, "You must travel across Africa to the diamond
mines, where you will dig in the mines until you find a
twenty-karat diamond and bring it back here."

The knight knew that sailing across the ocean was dangerous and
that working in the diamond mines is very dangerous work. But he
loved the princess with all his heart. So, he set sail for
Africa.

Six months later, he was still not back from Africa. Everyone,
including the princess, thought he had drowned at sea or that he
died when the diamond mine collapsed on his head. But a week
after everyone had lost hope that he would ever get back, the
knight walked into the king's throne room and knelt before the
king.

"You made it!?" exclaimed the king, "You made it all the way to
Africa and back?!"

"Yes, Your Majesty," replied the knight.

"And the diamond?" asked the king, "You brought the diamond?!"

The knight held out his hand and opened it. There in the palm of
his hand was a diamond the size of the king's nose.

"Now, may I marry the princess?" asked the knight.

The king thought for a moment, then replied, "Yes, you may marry
my daughter... IF you pass the next test"

"Another test?!" exclaimed both the knight and the princess.

"Yes," replied the king, "If you marry my daughter, I must know
that you will never leave her. Your test is to bring me a symbol
that you will stay attached to her for life."

"What kind of symbol?" asked the knight.

"You must sneak into the prison and steal a set of shackles and,
if you can escape from the prison with the shackles and bring
them to me, you will prove that you will stay attached to my
daughter."

"I'll do it!" replied the knight and he left for the prison
immediately.

Two months later, he had still not returned. Everyone including
the princess thought he had been caught or killed trying to
escape from the prison.

But the knight knew at the start that his skills as a knight
could not help him sneak into the prison or escape from the
prison. So, he spent the next two months training to break into
and out of prison.

First, he trained with mountain climbers learning to climb and
descend from ropes and how to climb the stone walls using just
his fingers and toes.

The knight also found a burglar who had just been released from
jail. The burglar taught the knight how the prison was layed out
and where to find a set of shackles. He also helped the knight
to practice burglar skills like sneaking around in the darkness
and opening locked locks.

The knight then spent the next month watching the guards at the
prison, noticing when and where they patrolled the walls and the
gates.

About a week after everyone in the kingdom had lost all hope
that the knight would ever get out of prison, the knight walked
into the king's throne room and knelt before the king.

"You made it!?" exclaimed the king, "You made it into the prison
AND you escaped from prison?!"

Then the knight opened a cloth bag and dumped a set of leg
shackles onto the floor.

"Here is a symbol of my commitment to your daughter." Said the
knight, "I will stay with her for a lifetime as if shackled to
her with these shackles. Now, may I marry the princess?"

The king thought for a moment, then replied, "Yes, you may marry
my daughter... IF you pass the last test."

"Another test?!" exclaimed both the knight and the princess.

"Yes," replied the king, "My daughter is a princess. A princess
must marry the bravest person in the kingdom. So, you must prove
that you are the bravest person in the kingdom. And I need you
to bring me a symbol of your bravery"

"What kind of symbol?" asked the knight.

The king replied, "You must make your own bow an arrow. But the
feathers on the arrow must be made with the tail feathers of a
living eagle. You may not kill the eagle to get the feathers."

"I'll do it!" replied the knight and he left immediately for the
mountains where the eagles lived.

This was a particularly dangerous time of year to go near
eagles, because the eagles were protecting their newly hatched
eaglets fiercely.

Two months later, everyone, including the princess, thought the
knight had been killed by the eagles or had fallen to his death
from the steep mountains.

But, the knight had learned the skills of mountain climbing in
order to climb over the walls of the prison. But he knew nothing
about how to sneak up on the world's most dangerous bird. He
also lacked the skills for building a bow and arrow or even
choosing the best kind of wood for a bow and arrow.

So, before he climbed the mountains, he found carpenters and bow
makers, who helped him to choose the best woods and to build the
best bow and arrow.

Then he found the local nature expert about the behavior of
eagles, where to find them and how to sneak up on them during
the nesting season.

Then the knight decided to climb part way up the mountain during
the day, then wait until after dark to sneak up on the nesting
eagles and pluck two feathers from a sleeping eagle's tail.

About a week after everyone in the kingdom had lost all hope
that the knight would ever return alive, he walked into the
king's throne room with a bow and arrow in hand and knelt before
the king.

"You made it!?" exclaimed the king, "You made that arrow with
the tail feathers of an eagle without killing the eagle?!"

"Yes, Your Majesty." replied the knight, "I have in my hands the
symbol of my bravery that you asked for. And you said that this
was the last test. Now, may I marry the princess?"

The king thought for a moment, then, explained, "I must admit
now that I never intended to let you marry my daughter, that she
will marry a prince or even a king. When I sent you to Africa, I
thought sure you would be drowned at sea or be killed in the
diamond mine. And when I sent you to the prison, I was sure
that, even if you could somehow sneak in, you could never
escape. And when I sent you to get the tail feathers of an
eagle, I thought sure you would fall to your death from the
mountain or be killed by the eagles. But you survived all of
those perils. But I'm sorry to tell you that, I am still going
to insist that my daughter marries a prince. So, I still can't
let you marry my daughter, because you're not a prince!"

Then everyone in the throne room screamed when they saw the
knight draw back his bow and aim his arrow at the king's head.
They thought the knight was going to murder the king. But
instead, the arrow whizzed over the king's shoulder and pierced
the arm of an assassin who had sneaked into the throne room to
murder the king. The assassin was arrested immediately and
hauled off to prison.

Then the king turned back to the knight and exclaimed "You saved
my life! How can I refuse you now?! You may certainly marry my
daughter!"

And they all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
Do not sell any part of this script, even if you rewrite it.
Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
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