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Sketched Worldsa variety of

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by Fabrice Schomberg

  In a small town lived a brave knight who protected the townsfolk.

  He could only do this during the day, because this knight was merely a man, and, as brave as he was, he slept after the evening until the morning.

  Robbers, thieves and trouble-makers knew of this knight's sleep and it was when he slept that they conducted their wrong-doings within the town. At daybreak, however, the knight would awaken, patrol the streets and make it safe again.

  For the townsfolk it was not enough having their safes safe for just half the day - they wanted the knight to patrol the town when they were asleep too. So they gave him cakes and tea with dates to persuade him to give up his sleep, and he did.

  For weeks and weeks the knight did not sleep. He ate and drank all they gave him, and the town was secure once more - no robber, thief or wrong-doer approached.

  Times were good until, one day, as he was patrolling the outskirts of the town, the knight suddenly collapsed from lack of sleep, fell and rolled under a tree.

  He slept and slept and slept, for a long time while the evil men came to the town and ravaged it, leaving its folk poor. They even ate the cakes and dates and drank all the tea.

  After a good while the knight awoke and came back into the town.

  The townsfolk were very glad he was back. They hadn't seen him since that day he'd fallen asleep and they feared he had left them, never to return

  "Hurray to the knight who came to save us all day again," they said. But the knight did not rejoice. He realised that he could not carry on protecting them all day without having any sleep and there were no more dates and cakes or tea to keep him going, so he said,

  "From now on I will protect you when you sleep, but understand, that I must sleep too. Therefore I will shift my sleep to the daytime. This means that you will have to protect my sleep, for without it I collapse. Then, when you sleep, I will protect you."

  And so it was, they agreed. The knight slept by day, and the villagers guarded his sleep while they worked and, by doing this, they learned to protect themselves.

  After dark, when they too slept, the knight would wake up and protect their sleep by making sure it was all quiet in the village.

  And since then, in honour of the brave knight who slept by day and defended it till dawn, this dark time of the day

  has been known as the night.

edited by Janet Cartlidge, copyright © 2011 Fabrice Schomberg

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