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The Beast And Prince Meet
Drawing - Color Pencils, Markers, Pen And Ink
This is one of 195 illustrations contained in the first book of the adventure/fantasy series titled "The Vine Of Hours". I am the author/illustrator. These two have been running into each other all day. Earlier this morning, Prince Aaron was saved from being eaten by a giant ogre who had invaded his camp by the surprise intervention of a very strange creature, a lionman. Not long after that, the Prince and Asil, his talking pony, came upon the very same lion man in the deep forest. This time it was he who was in trouble. The strange creature was encircled and trapped by Sir Bols, The Black Knight's squad of a dozen knights. They had him surrounded at lance point and looked to be about to attack him. They understandably considered him a dangerous looking monster. They had been sent out by the castle to find beings such as he on a seek and destroy assignment. That was the moment Aaron realized he could return what he owed this lionman for helping him earlier. The Prince created a diversion that allowed the lionman to escape the rapidly closing circle of lances, thus evening the score between himself and this strange, fearsome creature. That was several hours ago. The Prince's first day out of the castle on his first solo adventure is certainly turning out to be all that he could have hoped. Aaron makes camp. He leads Asil to some grass which he immediately lowers his snout to and starts eating. Then Aaron sets up his collapsible metal cooking tripod, makes a fire under it, and heaps in some ingredients for a stew into a little cauldron. He had thought ahead and planned well for this excursion, remembering to bring all this with him in his gear. Suddenly a large creature leaps out of the forest and lands in the clearing right across his campfire from him. Aaron quickly stoops down and grabs his crossbow from the ground which he had lain down near him. He quickly stands again, armed and ready, crossbow aimed out at chest height, right at this unknown intruder who turns out to be... the lionman? The two stare at each other for long moments, neither moving. After playing tag with each other's situations all day they finally meet. Now what? They continue to stare silently at each other. Then the lion man growls, "I smelled your soup." Staring down at it as he speaks. The Prince is pleasantly surprised when he remembers that this creature can communicate with spoken language and seizes upon the opportunity. He asks tentatively, " Are you hungry? You may join me if you wish. I was just about to sup. There is enough for two." The lion man's attention is abruptly pulled away from staring at the stew and he returns his gaze back to the boy aiming the crossbow at him. Then the creature ever so slightly and slowly nods his head up and down in affirmation, still staring unbrokenly into the boy's eyes as he says, " Sure. I'm hungry. That sounds good." The Prince nods back and smiles nervously saying, " Fine. We'll do that then." With hesitation and doubt the boy decides to gamble and slowly lowers his crossbow to the ground, the lion man watching his every move. This done, Aaron walks over to the fire, bends over and lifts the hot lid of the little cauldron with a gloved hand as he slowly brings his dagger out of its scabbord and moves it to the cauldron. Steam and bouquets rush out of the top of the thick bubbling liquid as he stirs it with the blade. "Hmmm. It smells good." The Beast growls.
" Yes, it is ready, and it will taste good too. I know my stews. Have a seat. I'll get a couple of bowls from my saddlebags." The Beast grunts and abruptly plops himself down onto on the ground. The Prince returns to the fire carrying two bowls, trenchers and a large wooden spoon. The boy begins to fill the bowls with stew and they break bread together.
July 26th, 2011
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