Once again, today’s post comes courtesy of the prompts at http://bekindrewrite.com/ My mind is whirring with the idea of what would happen if Robin Hood and Red Riding Hood got together and decided to make the forest a happier place. Maybe I should have written that story, but instead, I wrote this one.
Feedback is always welcome.
The Meeting of Legends
My mother taught me that our family was descended from Alexander the Great, that his name had passed down the generations; that I should strive to be a great and powerful leader just as he had been. I’m ashamed to admit how old I was when I realised that if my genes had come from such a legendary man, Mum’s hadn’t. Before she was married, Mum was not an Alexander but a Donaldson.
Which would have been a disappointment, had it not been for her mother’s story. She, before she was married, had been a MacDonald: a member of the great clan, whose epic massacre at Glen Coe, at the hands of the dastardly Campbells, runs through the annals of Scottish history.
And so, here I am. The meeting point of two legends. One, a great and heroic leader from Ancient Greece, the champion military general after whom great cities were named; the other, a powerful and resilient Scottish tribe whose influence persisted in spite of a terrible massacre by their honoured and trusted guests upon the orders of an English King. I am both tyrant and rebel, oppressor and oppressed. It is in my blood.
I know, of course, that there is little truth in either claim to lineage. The use of surnames post-dates Ancient Greece by centuries; the massacred MacIans were just a tiny part of the MacDonald clan, and even of them, only 38 were killed. But if genetics didn’t make me who I am today, I will still claim that the stories did.
As a child in a playground, I stood up to the unfairly tall Campbell Whittaker when I offered him a sweet and he tried to take the bag, because it was time the MacDonalds got their own back. And I conquered my own Persia the day I accidentally went out to wet play in my indoor shoes. Mrs Bellamy told me to work out a way to get indoors without dirtying them, and I did, because my great-great-great-etc- Grandaddy was Alexander The Great.
I am the place where two legends meet. I am just a man, but one day, I will be a legend in my own right.