Week 5 story: Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow

Image result for cartoon archer
 Percy, greatest marksman in all the land,
 he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow 
Al, Ray, and Percy, three farm hands, were chucking rocks at the field mice. Percy grabs the closest rock to him and takes real careful aim. He closes one eye and raises his thumb to be in line with his target, then he closed his other eye, adjusted his aim a bit, and then hurled the rock with full force through the air. Percy, with both eyes still shut, asks “did I hit em”. Both Al and Ray were in bewilderment, for not only did Percy hit a mouse, he managed to strike down two with a single blow. Al and Ray cheered at the site of the two mice struck down by Percy’s rock. Al said to Percy “you are the champion of rock throwing, the greatest marksman in all the land”. Ray laughed as soon as he heard that and chimed in himself “Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”. Both Al and Ray were cracking up at this point, having a time giving praise and fake titles to Percy. Percy, however, did not hear these as jokes, but as the begging of his story, as the beginnings of a legend. Percy proudly proclaimed to his two friends “you are right. I am Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two beasts with a single blow”. The two were completely overtaken by laughter at this point, doubled over not even able to speak a word. Percy was completely oblivious to this, for he was too focused on the beginnings his legend. 

Percy promptly went to the head farmer and quit his job as a farm hand, for he was going to become a hunter. He told the old farmer “I am Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”, and with that, he took his leave. The farmer was befuddled by the boy’s words, “marksman” he thought, “why the boy hasn’t held a bow a day in his life”. This though of course did not cross Percy’s mind, for he was headed into town ready to spend all of his money on the nicest bow and arrows he could find. He even had the smith engrave the bow with the words “Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”. With bow in hand and unwavering confidence in head, he left town in order to find some beasts to hunt. 

Not long after leaving town, Percy decided to take a nap. He carefully places his bow on a nearby tree and lays down within the shade of the tree to rest for a while. While Percy is asleep, a solider happens upon Percy and takes a gander at his bow. Upon the bow, the soldier reads “Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”. The soldier is taken aback by these words and must know if these words speak the truth. He waits for Percy to wake up, and as soon as his eyes open the soldier asks if the words on the bow are true. Percy rises to his feet, grabs hold of his bow, and proudly proclaims “I am Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”. The soldier was in aww and insisted that Percy come meet the king.

Percy met with the king. The king asked Percy if what the soldier had said was true, if he really is that great of an archer. Percy, over brimming with confidence, exclaimed “I am Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”. The king was delighted to hear this and promptly made him one of his soldiers. For a long time, all Percy had to do was lounge around, eat food, and drink ale, for there was no war for him to take part in. War did however soon break out and it was time for him to show them his skills with the bow. Percy was outfitted with armor and a horse, but he had never ridden one before. Worried that he may fall off, he asked two servants to tie his legs around the horse. The servants knew that this was Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow, so they gladly obliged. Once Percy was tied down, he tried to get the horse to move slowly forward, but instead it broke into a full galop. Percy began to frantically wave his arms and scream as the horse ran at full speed. As they passed underneath a tree, Percy grabbed onto a branch in hopes that it would pull him from the horse, however, he pulled the tree from the ground. Now, Percy was on a horse galloping at full speed towards the enemy, waiving a tree high above his head, and screaming “stop, surrender to me, for I am Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”. He was of course talking to the horse, trying to get it to yield, but the enemy did not know this. They just saw a man waiving around a tree, atop a horse galloping full force towards them, and demanding their surrender. The enemy leader knew that they could not win against this man, against “Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow”, so they did in fact surrender. The rest of Percy’s army finally caught up to him, only to see that the enemy had already surrendered, and Percy’s horse had yielded. All of the men cheered and shouted, “all hail Percy, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow!”. They dealt with the enemy and went back to tell the king of their overwhelming victory. The king praised Percy and made him commander-in-chief because of how he won the battle with great ease. The king raised a glass and said, “to Percy, commander-in-chief, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow!”. All of the men cheered to this. Percy got to live out the remainder of his days as commander-in-chief, and live a life of luxury, for he was Percy, commander-in-chief, greatest marksman in all the land, he who can strike down two great beasts with a single blow!



Story source: Persian Talestranslated by D.L.R. Lorimer and E.O. Lorimer and illustrated by Hilda Roberts (1919).
Author’s note: This story was based on Muhammad Tirandaz, The Archer. In that story, the main character follows the same general path. He manages to hit two mice, and then gets proclaimed as an archer who can slay two lions with one blow. A soldier finds him, takes him to the king and the king makes him a soldier. All of the same things happened with the horse, tree, and the enemies. I found it to be really interesting how the main character just decides that he is this great archer. He has complete confidence in his own ability, that no one else dare even doubt him. One of my favorite things that I have learned from psychology is that perception is greater than reality. The perception of someone being a great archer carries more weight then the reality of being a great archer. The main character and everyone around him fully perceived him to be this amazing archer, that the reality of whether or not he could shoot a bow really did not matter. It also makes me think of a phrase I heard a lot growing up, “it is better to be lucky then good”, and I do agree.

Comments

  1. Hi Charley,

    Great story! I liked the amount of detail at the beginning.

    I am curious about a few things. Why were Al and Ray surprised when Percy was able to hit two mice with one rock but think it was funny to mock him? Also, why did the king assume Percy was telling the truth and allow him to join his army without proving his claim? How did Percy have such great strength that he could grab onto a tree and pull it from the ground?

    It would be nice to know what happened afterward when Percy is given the title of commander-in-chief. Was that his strategy every time, to find a tree and grab it from the ground and swing it around until the enemy army surrenders? Also, it would be good to know how Percy got his superhuman strength. It's quite a feat to be able to lift a tree out of the ground and swing it around over one's head.

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  2. Hello again, Charley! I liked reading your story about Percy, though I wondered what happened to his friends Al and Ray after he left. Did they join Percy on his quest as a marksman? Did they celebrate his victory at the end of the story? This might be a fun idea to flesh out. Also, I might suggest using an non-stock photo image and breaking down the longer sections into paragraphs. Overall, I’m excited to read your other stories!

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  3. Hi Charley! Good job with this story. I think you did a nice job of making this telling your own, while still sticking to the basics of the original stories. I would have also liked to see a little more back and forth dialogue between the characters in order to make the story a little bit more relatable. Good job overall with this retelling!

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  4. Hello Charley!
    I loved this story! the way you described detail very intricately really made me dive into this tale. It made me feel as if I could imagine every aspect just as you had tried to tell it! one thing that I felt could use a little more telling is the two friends Al and Ray. Those two were built up in the beginning to have very important roles and then they kind of disappeared later in the story. That being said the character development with Percy was very interesting! overall great story!

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  5. Charley,
    I enjoyed what you did with this story! From the beginning of the story I was hooked on what Percy would do next! I laughed so hard when he quit his job to be a marksman simply because his friends jokingly called him the greatest marksmen. I also love how his confidence in all situations, plus his catch phrase, ended up making him out to be a real hero. I guess the moral of the story is believe in yourself? Keep up the good work on stories!

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