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King Arthur and the Question of Women
compliments of Cathy Stone -
archived 1999-11-01 15:08:10 CST (Nov Mon) 941490490

Young King Arthur was ambushed and imprisoned by the monarch of a
neighbouring kingdom.  The monarch could have killed him, but was moved by
Arthur's youthful happiness. So he offered him freedom, as long as he could
answer a very difficult question. Arthur would have a year to figure out
the answer; if, after a year, he still had no answer, he would be killed.
The question was: What do women really want?

Such a question would perplex even the most knowledgeable man, and, to
young Arthur, it seemed an impossible query.  Well, since it was better
than death, he accepted the monarch's proposition to have an answer by
year's end. He returned to his kingdom and began to poll everybody: the
princess, the prostitutes, the priests, the wise men, the court jester. In
all, he spoke with everyone but no one could give him a satisfactory
answer.  What most people did tell him was to consult the old witch, as
only she would know the answer. The price would be high, since the witch
was famous throughout the kingdom for the exorbitant prices she charged.

The last day of the year arrived and Arthur had no alternative but to talk
to the witch. She agreed to answer his question, but he'd have to accept
her price first: The old witch wanted to marry Gawain, the most noble of
the Knights of the Round Table and Arthur's closest friend!  Young Arthur
was horrified: she was hunchbacked and awfully hideous, had only one tooth,
smelled like sewage water, often made obscene noises...  He had never run
across such a repugnant creature.  He refused to force his friend to marry
her and have to endure such a burden.  Gawain, upon learning of the
proposal, spoke with Arthur. He told him that nothing was too big a
sacrifice compared to Arthur's life and the preservation of the Round
Table.  Hence, their wedding was proclaimed, and the witch answered
Arthur's question: What a woman really wants is to be able to be in charge
of her own life.

Everyone instantly knew that the witch had uttered a great truth and that
Arthur's life would be spared. And so it went. The neighbouring monarch
spared Arthur's life and granted him total freedom.  What a wedding Gawain
and the witch had! Arthur was torn between relief and anguish. Gawain was
proper as always, gentle and courteous. The old witch put her worst manners
on display. She ate with her hands, belched and farted, and made everyone

The wedding night approached: Gawain, steeling himself for a horrific
night, entered the bedroom. What a sight awaited! The most beautiful woman
he'd ever seen lay before him! Gawain was astounded and asked what had
happened.  The beauty replied that since he had been so kind to her (when
she'd been a witch), half the time she would be her horrible, deformed
self, and the other half, she would be her beautiful maiden self.  Which
would he want her to be during the day and which during the night?  What a
cruel question? Gawain began to think of his predicament: During the day a
beautiful woman to show off to his friends, but at night, in the privacy of
his home, an old spooky witch?  Or would he prefer having by day a hideous
witch, but by night a beautiful woman to enjoy many intimate moments?  What
would you do?  What Gawain chose follows below, but don't read until you've
made your own choice.

Noble Gawain replied that he would let her choose for herself.  Upon
hearing this, she announced that she would be beautiful all the time,
because he had respected her and had let her be in charge of her own life.
 What is the moral of this story?  THE MORAL IS THAT IT DOESN'T MATTER IF 
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