Josefine Ottesen (English site)

CMSimple plugin: Slider for Gallery
© simpleSolutions

The Little Knight

Høst & Søn, 1998

Extract from The Little Knight
Author's comments

Once upon a time, there was a country were it was totally forbidden to argue or fight.
All competitions and wars were cancelled and people in the kingdom had to be nice and friendly every minute of every day and, preferably, also when they slept.
This had been decided by the Royal Magician and no-one dared to contradict him. The little kitchen boy couldn't have cared less. He wanted to be a knight and fight dragons, even if the magician said that dragons didn't even exist.




Back to the top


Extract from The Little Knight :

Once upon a time - and it wasn't actually all that long ago - there was a country where people were not allowed to be surly and grumpy. Yes, it was absolutely forbidden to be angry and to quarrel, shout and scream. That was something the King could not tolerate, his new magician had decided.
The King was happy that the magician had come up with this. You see, he didn't like taking decisions because when one decided something, there was always someone who got sulky.
The magician had therefore issued orders that all tournaments, duels and other forms of competition were cancelled. He had sent the King's guard home and all the knights had been transferred to other work.
The King's Master of Weapons had become the Royal Chef with the right to carry spits, his Commander-in-Chief had become the Royal Newspaper Carrier and the officer commanding the Royal Guard was no longer ordering shiny-clad knights on great chargers around, but contented himself with going around with cloth and bucket. He had, namely, become the Royal Master of Cleaners. The magician had seen to it that everyone was friendly all the time, every minute of every hour throughout the day, and many also were when they slept!



Even the newspaper was checked to make sure it only contained good news. Everyone in the kingdom did as the magician had decided and the princess, who had always previously enjoyed a good quarrel, was now gentle and smiling.
The only person who didn't obey the magician was the little kitchen boy who only had one desire: to be a knight and fight dangerous dragons. But of course he was not allowed to do that, when fighting was forbidden and, in addition, the magician had decreed that dragons didn't even exist - dragons were far too grouchy and furious for the king to hear about them.
But the boy kept on about the dragons. He even claimed that everyone else in the palace could hear the dragon that lived in the forest beyond the palace walls.



Back to the top


Author's comments:

It's been a really exciting experience for me to have a son and, through him, to have the opportunity to peep through the keyhole into a boy's world. Even from very little, he has been interested in weapons and war, and it was from a starting point of conversations with him that I wrote the picture book The Little Knight. It's not always easy, you know, to be ready for battle, when the rest of the world says that one mustn't be angry, wild and violent, but soft, gentle and flexible! Mai-Britt Schultz's funny and imaginative pictures are good enough to go exploring in, and the story has even been made into a puppet film by the film company Zentropa.


nach oben