My fool, Sir Tragor, is a crock.

Sir Tragor was undoubtedly the finest warrior in my kingdom. Seven feet tall, minus an eye and networked with scar tissue, his countenance is intimidating enough, but a demonstration of his fighting skill sends most foes running for the hills waving their arms and screaming. If I knew who Mozart is, I would say that Sir Tragor is to the axe what Mozart was to the piano, but since Mozart hasn't been born yet, I won't.

If you haven't seen Sir Tragor running around a battlefield screaming, waving his axe around like a flag he's particularly enthusiastic about, you haven't lived. He's always a pleasure to watch, as long as it's from a distance. Sure, he sometimes needs assistance to work out which side he's supposed to be fighting against. Sure, he frequently dribbles all down his front. Sure, it's impossible to urinate when he's standing next to you in the castle toilets. But he's still the finest knight I've ever had in my service. Which is why, when an opening came up for a court jester, I put his name forward immediately.

It honestly made sense at the time. After all, I frequently find myself roaring with laughter whenever he runs around with his axe screaming, sometimes for up to two hours after the battle finishes. It seemed a logical step to promote him to the position of Fool.

I was concerned at first that he would consider the job beneath him, but as it turned out he threw himself into it with infinite enthusiasm. I still remember the day he made his debut, when I was entertaining the delegates from Latveria, the kingdom next door. No sooner had the phrase 'send in the fool' passed my lips when he charged into the room, squeezed into his colourful costume, holding his enormous axe aloft and screaming. He had decapitated three Latverian delegates before he could be restrained, and I thought the King was going to be terribly angry and declare war against us, but fortunately the shock put him into a deep catatonic state from which he has never emerged.

I'd probably be more hesitant to say this if I didn't know Sir Tragor has difficulty understanding sentences that don't contain the words "attack" or "aaaargh", but I don't think he's quite cut out for the noble profession of jestery. I arranged for him to take some lute-playing lessons under the kingdom's finest minstrel, but his habit of roughly smashing his lute against the floor with every chord caused his teacher's patience to last only slightly longer than the instrument.

Things came to a head last week during the midsummer celebrations when I asked him to come on and tell a few jolly yarns to my visiting cousin Lorien and his small army. Sir Tragor attempted to recite the joke the wisemen had spent nine hours patiently teaching him, but he accidentally said the punchline at the beginning and spoiled it for everyone. Also, when Lorien forgot to laugh, Sir Tragor ripped off his head and attempted to juggle with it. I quite didn't know where to look. If it hadn't been for the highly amusing balloon animal routine with Lorien's intestines, the afternoon might not have been salvaged.

He obviously loves the job, so it'll probably break his little heart to tell him I have to let him go. He doesn't take rejection very well, I'm afraid. No, seriously, I'm afraid. Have you seen that axe? You tell him. I'll hold the door open so you can make a quick run for it.

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