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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2251555-The-Strength-to-Rule
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2251555
True strength will rule.
         Siegfried the Barbarian was the strongest man in his tribe. At 6 foot five and 250 pounds of pure muscle this blonde beast of a man was in a class of his own when it came to combat. There had been many challenges to his position over the two decades that he had been chief but all the challengers had been killed. Indeed many of the best fighters in his tribe had been wasted in these useless attempts at supremacy. Today having successfully led his men in combat against another tribe he had been mortally wounded. Now he lay in a bier in his tribal village listening to the tears of the one person whose advice he had truly trusted throughout his life, his wife Matilda. Matilda was the tribal healer and a wise woman. She had advised her husband on everything, being the brains behind his brawn. Her wisdom had saved him and the tribe many times and most of the warriors in the attacking party today had reasons to be grateful to her. But there was nothing she could do to save her man today and she wept by his side holding on to his hand with gentle and deep affection.

         Matilda was only of average height and had a slim build, but even now that she was about 30 remained one of the most beautiful women in the tribe. She was blonde with beautiful blue eyes, eyes that saw everything. As her man gave his last breath and went still she let out a final wail, her three daughters also clung to the body of their dead father the tears flowing freely. Finally, after some time the tears ceased and the tribe went silent wondering at what came next. The tribe turned to her as the person who could best chart the way forward and who could show them how to fill the vacuum left by the loss of her husband as chief. The two largest men in the group, Siegfried's lieutenants, eyed each other, each evenly matched and each wondering if they could beat the man they saw in combat and then wondering how many more of their friends and brothers they would have to kill to keep the position.

         Matilda suggested two ways forward. The one where the strongest ruled as before or another where they elected someone who was not a warrior but who could lead them with wisdom. She had in mind one of the men in the warrior group, never for a moment considering the women in the tribe as potential chiefs. But all eyes remained on her and with a nod, the two lieutenants approached her dead husband both putting hands on his spear at the same time and in a coordinated movement presented it to Matilda. She was their chosen leader, a woman who would lead them with wisdom and whom they could both accept direction from, No one else needed to die to secure the leadership. The people cheered understanding and accepting immediately the decision and Matilda's daughters hugged her leg beaming up at their mother who was surrounded by the tall strong warriors of her tribe. The warrior's circle was united in love and service of their new queen and delighted that a new and better power now ruled their lives.


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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2251555-The-Strength-to-Rule