Imagine you are a generous but now impoverished old knight who needs a boon from the High King, but you’re too embarrassed to see your old friend without even a small gift to bring. It’s been forty years since you saved the king’s life. He hasn’t seen you since.
And then, a miracle. The dead cherry tree in your courtyard blooms and grows cherries in a dark snowstorm. It’s three days before Christmas Eve. With the miraculous cherries in a basket, you set off on foot for Cardiff Castle. Essentially, you are carrying a gift from God.
English law of the time states that anyone, even peasants, can beg a boon from the king on Christmas Eve. And so, disguised as a farmer, you bang on the castle’s guardhouse door. The rough guard inside thinks you’re just another peasant and so tells you you’re too late to get in, that is, until you show him what you’ve brought: glowing, fresh cherries. An impossibility in winter. The guard knows the king will love them and give an you extraordinary boon.
He agrees to let you in, but demands one third of whatever gold, silver, gems or furs the king may give you. It’s frank extortion, but to get into the castle, you agree. You promise him a third of your boon and you enter the castle.
But there are two more doors you must pass before you enter the feasting hall. And there are two more gatekeepers who see the cherries, too, and have the same idea.
MID-WINTER MIRACLES: MUSICAL TALES FOR CHRISTMAS AND CHANUKAH
DEC. 1, 2019 at 3 pm at The Burren Backroom in Somerville MA. Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at the door.