This was written just for fun, for a dear friend who liked the expression 'lo and behold'. The exercise was to use flowery, purple prose. And anon. We don't use enough anon in modern parlance.
The Story of Carly
Once, there lived a lovely lass. Carly of the Tree, folk called her, for Carly was her name. She was often to be found under a tree in the glen reading books, composing poems or dreaming of adventures in faraway lands. Ere the age of seven, she had taught herself the ways of letters and words, and ever thence her mother knew Carly could be found under the old oak twixt brook and pine, lost in a story of damsels and dragons, having forgotten to bring in the washing which fell off the line in the wind and now needed boiling up again.
Anon, Carly passed beyond tender years and grew into a comely maid. She tended well her mother and her duties of the house. When troubled with difficulties of neighbourly conflict or cows not giving milk, townsfolk from near and far would hie to Carly of the Tree, beseeching her wisdom. She mastered the arts of sewing needle and cooking pot, was versed in herb lore and had the way of tending gardens and livestock to fruitfulness.
Brave swains pitched their woo, ever hopeful of taking such a woman to wife. But She would have none of them; in despite of all their pleadings and lamentations, she championed the cause of no man for the honour of her hand. When her mother despaired of her choosiness, Carly would reply that ere she gave her hand to a man she did not love with the whole of her heart, she would live in a cave in the woods with naught but Farmer Becket’s sow to bear her company. For, she said, a man constantly under her roof who was not at the same time in her heart was little better than a pig underfoot. Which conclusion caused her mother to throw her apron over her head in despair and run out of the room.
Lo, and behold, a man new come to town spied the proud red head of Carly as she left the church one Sunday. An indifferent day grew bright for him, as he set his mind at once to have her for his own. He went thence and with haste to think on how best to secure happiness with this woman of his choosing.
Very canny, Geoffrey was, and he plotted his course with care. He first made sure to be often seen by her, as to assure her of his standing among the respected men of town. And indeed she saw and was assured. When he judged the time was right, he approached her as a supplicant for her wisdom which she was sure to give more freely than her hand. Geoffrey’s desire of her was to know the best plot of land on which to build a house and plant a garden. And when the land was bought, how many rooms ought it to have, and in what arrangement?
As weeks and months passed, they grew deep in love, one with the other. And so it was with no surprise that one day her mother received a note from the hopeful suitor, in which he bade her remember that beloved oak tree of yore, and send her daughter thither on some pretext. And so she bade, and thence Carly presently went.
Upon approaching the place of childhood dreaming, her eyes fell on the person of her beloved. Being wise as she was, Carly knew she was soon to be betrothed, and that the years to come would offer richness of life.
And indeed, soon she was. And indeed, life was rich. And they lived happily ever after.