Hercules and the Seven Knights
by Sam Shemitz, age 4
Table of Contents
One day Hercules was sitting in the house of strong on his favorite chair. It was a rocking chair, and he rocked very comfortably. Just then there was a knock at the door. It was a bee. The bee came in and dropped a piece of paper in his lap, and then flew out the door. He picked it up and read it. "Strong Hercules, tonight a knight is going to come to you." He read this very loud so he understood it right. The night was dark. He turned on the light. There was another knocking. In came the knight. Or, to be more exact, in came a hero on horseback.
The hero on horseback had a bag. He had some dried bread, two pieces of cheese, a jug of hero milk, and some weapons. When Hercules saw him he said, "What is your name?" "My name," said the knight, "is Bee-Deliverer, and it's me who sent that bee who put that note on your lap. Come outside, strong Hercules." When they came outside, the hero who had the horse said, "Do you see that beast coming towards us?" He took out his bow and shot the beast on the stomach. Then, another bee came. It had two notes. One on each of its antennas. He dropped one note to Hercules, and the other to the hero on horseback. When Bee-Deliverer's horse opened his mouth, he said "This says that another knight will be coming to Hercules' house, the next day when you go away!"
Hercules saw that his note said, "Next knight is named 'Big'." When Hercules read this he said, "Why is that guy named Big?" "Do you know?" he said to the horse? The horse said, "I don't know either."
The talking horse and the one who rode the talking horse -- when they had gone away, Hercules went back to his favorite rocking chair, and sat down in it and rocked more. The next day there was another knock. When he opened the door, a sheep came in. There was another man on the sheep's back. The person had a piece of paper in his hand. It had a picture of a pirate flag. Hercules read it.
"Dear Hercules, I am a prisoner on this land of the pirates. You must come there to help me." It was signed "Good Guy"
Then the knight left. Hercules was about to go when he noticed his horse -- usually standing by the wall outside -- wasn't there. Then he remembered: it was in the stable! He went to the stable and got his horse. When he got on its back, he said, "Giddy-up, Brave!" When they reached the forest by the water, he set to work making a big boat made out of trees. He put also a big room for the horse. He put on a black jacket, a hat that has X's [Editor's note -- in this story Sam uses "X's" as a shorthand for skull-and-crossbones symbols.] on it, and black boots. Then he made the gangplank on the other side of the boat, put rooms in it for himself, made a cooking stove, put a little box to put food in to cook. How he had got the food was from the first knight. He gave him some cold meat, a hamburger, five buns, six tofu dogs. Then when the boat was all finished, he got on, put the horse into his room, and sailed away.
When he landed on the beach, he saw many flags with X's. People had caps with X's, jackets with X's, and the children had the same way, except they had tennis shoes with X's instead of boots with X's. Sooner or later he saw a jail. He thought to himself, "That must be where the prisoner is." Just then, he heard a loud buzzing. It was a bee. Rather, a whole flock of them. Each one was flapping with one wing. Except the leader, who had a message on one of her antennas. The other girl ones had messages curled in one of their wings, so they were flapping with one wing.
These people looked not good at all. When he walked up to the jail, he put his head through to look in. He saw a man that was 19 years old. He was crying for help. There was a padlock on the jail that was locked. "I bet I can't bend these bars to get him out -- I better find the key." Just then, he looked left. He saw a path that he didn't see before. It went straight as far as he could see, but to his dismay the middle of the path had a big pit. It was 19 inches wide, and behind it was a big wall that went across the island. He figured out how he would get over this giant wall and the pit. The sides of the pit were small -- he jumped over the small part of the pit. And he took out his bow and shot the wall. He shot a big hole in it. He went through. The next side had good people. They also had a jail. When he walked up to the jail and peeped in, he saw a golden key, but the jail was not golden, so he thought that key wasn't the right one. It was gray. He thought to himself, "I'd better find a gray key." There was a whole wall of jails there. He saw at the top, there was a small room, fit only for one jail. He thought that that must be where the gray key was. Inside that jail inside that room. But he said to himself, "How am I going to get it, though? All these jails are too hard to climb, and besides, I might fall into one of them and be locked in with the key. That would be terrible!"
There was a loud buzzing. Buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz! It was a bee. There were a lot of bees in this country. She had a note on her back. The note said, "The gray key that opens the jail is not in the room you see, but behind all that stuff there's another jail that's bigger than the others, that has the gray key." When he had read it, he said, "Oh no, how am I going to get over it. And besides, there might be lots of serpents. Or perhaps there might be fire-breathing dragons." (He saw fire coming over the wall.) Every time it hit a cloud, it burned the cloud up! The wall was not too high. It was too scary for him to believe.
The wall was higher than his head. But his head was very tall, so the wall was pretty tall. And because the wall was higher than his head, he probably couldn't get to the other side right away. Then he remembered the gun. So he shot a hole in the wall of the jails, and walked right through where it used to be. Then he saw a little jail, and one a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, and a huge one! In the big jail there were many gray keys, so he said "that will be hard, to find out which key is the right one." And he saw that the jail where the human was was five feet tall. And he said, "that makes it easier to find out which key is it, because all the keys have different numbers, from one to nine."
He thought: "The key that has the number 5 must be the key that will unlock the jail that has the human in jail, so the human can get out of the jail." And he was right. The jail had no padlocks, 'cause it was open. He took the key that had the number 5. And he went back to the jail with the human in it called "Good Guy." And he freed the human by the key that had the number 5. And they went to Hercules' giant giant ship. And Hercules again mounted his horse, and rode onto the ship. And they sailed for two days and two nights. And then they reached the forest where Hercules first set sail. And then they anchored the boat, and then Brave, Good Guy and Hercules all went to Hercules' house for a hearty meal.
When all this was done, of Hercules freeing Good Guy, Hercules was very tired, so he lay down and took a nap. And when it was daytime again, he woke up, and fed the horse hay and oats. And then he went and looked at the sea. He knew it was high tide, because he always woke up when the waves had woke up. Or to be more exact, I mean when the waves were going up. And he saw one black and white spot to show where the pirate land was. So he went back into the house and made a chart of all the stuff he had seen. He marked "Pirate Island" as a little pirate flag, and it was in the blue place where he meant to be the water.
Where he had set sail he marked as two trees leaning together. He marked the ship as a little box that had a handle on it. Of course the handle was to carry it around. This story is of Hercules going to the land of Akoopoo. That's another island. But now let's get to the story. When all those other stories were finished, Hercules was very tired after the pirate adventure. Now it was time for him to do the adventure of Akoopoo. 'Cause he looked at the clock and said, "Just in half an hour it will be time to go." In half an hour he heard a knock. He knew it was going to be the person who had the note that said, "Now it is time for the adventure of Akoopoo."
But he was wrong. What the note really said was that the island of Akoopoo was even farther from the island where he was, than the pirate island where the pirates were, and the jails. But it didn't say where the island of Akoopoo is. There was a wall in the middle of Akoopoo just like the pirate island, and on the other side of Akoopoo were the Keepies. Then he remembered it couldn't be too far from pirate island, because to get from one side of the water near his house to the other was only five days and five nights. He said, "It might be just four days and four nights to the land of Akoopoo." And the same to the Keepies. Because they're both on the same island with just a wall to separate them.
But then he said, "We can't do it now, we can't do it this day." Because of the clouds he knew there was going to be a thunderstorm that day. Just then Hercules said, "Silly! Did I forget my gun? Did I forget those serpents, how their fire burned up clouds? If that's the case, I bet one of my guns could shoot the clouds to stop the thunderstorm." So he went out and got a gun, shot one, when it burned up it burned up another, that burned up another, that burned up another, that burned up another.
"Buzz buzz buzz buzz!" "Bang bang knock knock!" "Buzz buzz!" It was a bee. It had a note on its back. It said "The island of Akoopoo: to get to it you must travel for ten nights and ten days. And what you seek is at the peak of the Keepies' mountain. But beware, 'cause there are serpents. But never fear a flame. Love, Mrs. Tonno. P.S. Please rescue Mr. Tonno. Thanks!"
When Hercules had read this, he said, "Here are two things it doesn't say: it doesn't say where the island of Akoopoo is, neither where the mountain of the Keepies is. But I suppose I have to find out." So, he got his horse, said "Giddy-up, Brave!" And off they rode through the trees, up to the boat, got aboard and sailed off.
After ten nights and ten days, Hercules shouted, "Land ho!" He shouted it so loud, that all the pirates, his horse, all the Keepies and all the Akoopoos -- that his horse reared, and that the pirates, the Keepies and the Akoopoos shuddered. Then from the one teeny little cloud left up in the sky came a voice. It said, "What you seek is not where you hear, it is almost there, it is inside the peak of the mountain. Have good luck, dear Hercules!" He looked up to the cloud, and looking back down at him he saw himself!
When he had landed, he saw a paper tied to a tree. It said, "There are many other notes like this. p.s.," then a picture of a mountain, on white paper. He said, "Since the white side of this island is on that note, because it is white paper, so the Northern side of this island must belong to the Keepies, because they do have the whiter part." So once he found the mountain where they are imprisoning Mr. Tonno on the Northern side of this island, and I'm on the Southern side, again I shall have to make it across a wall.
After he had traveled for three days and three nights, before he reached the wall he wondered how hard it would be to get through this wall. It looked liked a bunch of circles filled with glass, stuck together to form a wall. So he decided to shoot a passage. But when the bullet hit one of the things that had looked like glass, it bounced back, and only dodging very swiftly made him miss the bullet flying right back into his head. So it was not glass but a bunch of reflectors, he thought.
"Well now," he thinks, "How am I going to get across this wall which is made of a bunch of reflectors which reflect bullets? But then again, "
Copyright © 1993 Samuel Dashiell Shemitz
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