The Hogshead of Homburg Tale
((or, The Gastronomical Duel, at Homburg Castle)(of Medieval Germany))
The August moon came out bright over the castle, of the Duke of Homburg, it was a medieval year, and by legend, it was the year upon which a large amount of mischief would transverse the German countryside of the Homburg Castle. So the rays of the fable had fallen upon the land. Summer was at its peak, and summer fever soon followed, with festivities. The meadows were yellow and green with life, and trade in the villages nearby the castle had its buyers and sellers. The air was warm and mild, fountains were plentiful with water.
The windows of the castle were open, the castle inhabitants, and soldiers, and royal family alike, were seated on a high stoop in the center on flat mats, in the castle grounds.
In one of the windows on the second-floor, front windows was the Duchess of Homburg, the wife of the Duke, the heat of the late afternoon went into the Duchesses room.
At perhaps 9:00 p.m., she came out to join the lectures and festivities, in the keep’s main area. A servant carried her scarf, on his arm and as he walked by several people, bumping into them, he apologized for disturbing them, as he tried to select each step as he walked.
The Duchess was surprised the August Moon was out, a gibbous moon at that, the night had softened her breast for her servant, a young man of twenty-three, she was all of forty or more.
“I heard ye heart beat,” came the oral words from the Duchess. As they went around into the long corridors on the other side of the rotunda, she spoke again, “Kiss me foot,” and he did, feeling it was as cold as ice.
“Duchess,” he said, “ye are cold as ice.”
“Oh, but this is surely an insult to my appetite, when I ask for a kiss I get a slur.”
“I am sorry,” said the servant who had only been a servant a short while.
“Ye run down politeness, is like taking the mortar out of the castle bricks, which is your livelihood, is it not?” she commented.
“Tis no more than exercising a truth, my lady!” said the young servant boy.
“Ye have brought the pig’s face out into the open into the warm windy night, have you not? —who cares for truth, when pretense is the christened with wine a pleasures for the night—”
The young lad arose heavily to his feet, there was something in his manner that warned him, he was not as he was before. The corners of his mouth had changed, his nostrils had widened, his feet had turned into hooves like, and he snorted when he tired to talk, crockery and tin ware like. He felt his face, it was a Pig’s face “It is,” he said, what he was thinking it was.
He knew now, the Duchess was no novice with black magic, with repartee, and then she pulled out some bacon, from where only she knew, and dangled it as if it was a magic wand.
He knew not what would follow next, but he feared it would be him being an entrée.
Triumphantly he ran turning over a washbasin, and a loud wailing scream followed him, it was a 700-pound sow; she searched high and low for him. The hopes of the Duchess were that the sow would bring the gastronomical duel to a close.
At the castle doors, leading out to the mote that circled the castle, were a standing guard, listening to the crash of the carts and utensils and so forth of the two hogs chasing one another.
“I wonder, shall I go up and stop the ruckus?” he asked the Duchess, as now she had stepped to the side of the guard.
“You will not.” She replied, “Let the folks have their fun, they get but a few pleasures in life. ‘Twill not last long. We’ll just have to buy more dishes tomorrow.” And just then a loud scream came from below a stairway, betokening some dreadful fear, or awful end.
The guard walked hastily in the direction of the noise, as the Duchess, in the other direction. And the guard shortly afterward, returned with the news that, her servant was dead, that the sow had eaten him—“…pound by pound and limb by limb” (among other things). “He was, howling like a pig, in tears and hysterics, clutching the air in the sky,” said the guard, “a most hideous sight indeed!”
No: 652 (12-28-2010); During the early 1970s, the author was stationed nearby Homburg, while in the Military, and visited the castle one weekend afternoon, the great walls of the castle were very impressive . The story the author writes has no bearing on the castle, it is a work of fiction.