• Keith Mathison

The Tiny Knights of the Round Table

Most students of history and literature are familiar with King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. The tales of Bedivere, Gawain, Kay, Lancelot, Percival, Tristan, Galahad, and others are well-known. They sought the Holy Grail. They fought dragons, giants, and sometimes each other.

Not as familiar to most people is the fact that Arthur also had his Tiny Knights who sat at a Tiny Table. This table was also round. These knights were no more than an inch tall. They were charged with protecting the realms of the little people who lived in a garden-like valley near the borders of Arthur’s realm. They rarely fought dragons. They mostly fought snails.

Most of these battles occurred during their lengthy war with an army of sinister snails created by the evil sorcerer who lived across the northern border. Only fragments remain of the written records of the many battles between King Arthur’s Tiny Knights and the sorcerer’s savage snails. Most of our information comes from the numerous medieval drawings that depict these gallant knights in action.

Because their deeds should never be forgotten, I have collected a few of these pieces of medieval art to remind us of their exemplary courage and valor. When we are attacked by the evil snails in our lives, we can look back at the derring-do of Bedwyr or the cunning of Cynyr and be encouraged.

Here is a depiction of three of the little people attempting to defend their lands when the snails first invaded. I will not share the depiction of what immediately followed because it is rather gory, but suffice it to say not one of the three little people survived when the snail counter-attacked.

When the little people called for help, King Arthur sent his Tiny Knights of the Round Table on a Quest for the Lowly Snails. When they arrived, the land was already overrun. Slime trails were everywhere.

Before entering battle the knights always prayed, but the devious evil snails took advantage of this and attacked them during their prayers.

The tiny knights mounted their tiny horses and attacked.

Eventually, the knights had to dismount and fight the snails in "hand-to-hand" combat. The snails were ready. They would climb into trees and then drop on top of the knights with a frightful snail shriek.

The knights fought back valiantly. Here is a painting of one un-named knight bravely facing a sinister snail.

Not all of the paintings depict unknown tiny knights. We do have paintings of some of the most famous ones in their epic battles.

Here is the tiny knight Sir Bedwyr facing down a snail that is leaping at him from the top of a grassy mound.

Next is the chivalrous tiny knight Sir Gwalchmei defending one of the little women from a ferocious red-faced snail.

The tiny knight Sir Cynyr fought the snails on the land, in the water, in the air, and in the trees.

Sir Vinoviloth is depicted here attacking a snail with a sword he has disguised by wrapping it in a tiny snake. This clever battle-technique is not as common today as it was in the medieval era.

When the tiny knight Sir Peredur was seriously injured in battle, his donkey grabbed Peredur's armor and weapons and defended his master.

One of the reasons the tiny knights fought so valiantly and so desperately is because they knew what happened to tiny knights who were captured and taken back to the sorcerer's dark realm. These captive tiny knights would be stripped of their clothing and forced to joust each other while riding snails - all for the entertainment of the sorcerer.

Thankfully, the Tiny Knights of the Round Table prevailed in battle and their quest was a success.

Today their descendants continue to guard the borders of the garden valley long after the reign of King Arthur has ended.

Image by 4317940 fromPixabay