Scarborough Fair: A Short Story - Part 3

Updated on September 21, 2019

From Part 2

We last left Katherin and Godfrey searching for a way to comply with Reginald's three impossible tasks: The task of creating a shirt with no seam nor needlework; the task of finding an acre of land between the salt water and the sea strand and the task of reaping the land with a sickle of leather. Godfrey seeks out help from his friend, John as Katherine goes to the shop of fabrics to purchase cambric, enough to make a shirt. Here's where we left off.

She studied the words closely. Then she read aloud,

"If she tells me she can't, then I'll reply
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Let me know, that at least she will try.
Then she'll be a true love of mine."

Godfrey was deep in thought. Scratching his head, he exhorted, "My dear Lady, all he asks is that you try. We will do this! Quickly go back to the shop of fabrics. Bring me two good lengths of cambric. I must go to my fellow John. I shall return soon. I'll explain then."

Godfrey was off - running up and down the streets inquiring for John. He finally met him as he was examining goats at the livestock pavilion.

"John! John! My good fellow. Lady Katherin is in need of your assistance. You must come with me!"

"Godfrey, my old friend, what is so urgent?"

"Reginald has asked for Katherine's hand in marriage. He also has asked her to perform some very difficult tasks to prove her devotion. She needs our help. I will explain as we head back to the shop of fabrics. Please, we must hurry!" The two traveled back to the shop to meet Katherine, who was waiting patiently for their return.


Katherine didn't know what Godfrey was planning, but she was excited. As Godfrey approached, she hurried to meet him and presented him with the material - two rather large pieces of cambric.

"My Lady, this will do fine," Godfrey said as he inspected the cloth. Turning to John, he continued, "Quickly John, go gather the men. Tell them to meet me at the village green at half past the hour. You must hurry!"

"My Lady, come to this table quickly and bring the cambric." Godfrey hurried to a nearby table and bench motioning for Katherine to follow. Once there, he spread the material on the table matching each piece to each piece, end to end. He measured perfectly the center and cut out a large circular opening. He then turned the top piece forming a cross. He cut smaller circles on each side of the top piece. Carefully lifting the piece from the table, he put his head through the large center hole and his arms through the smaller side holes. Facing the bottom piece the opposite direction, he placed it over his head front to back. The bottom piece lay left to right as he was now covered in cambric.

In his pride, he boasted, "There, my Lady. A complete covering from head to waist, No seams, No needlework. I am sure Reginald will approve." Now, we must hurry off to the village green. Come quickly."

By the time Katherine and Godfrey arrived at the green, a large group of men had already assembled. Godfrey motioned for the men to draw near as he spoke.

"Men of Scarborough, Lady Katherine is in need of our services. We must erect an acre of land in the midst of the sea." The crowd began to buzz. Whatever was Godfrey saying? How could this be possible?

Godfrey continued. "My good Clive, take 15 men and gather as many containers as you can from whomever you can. Bring them here - quickly. Go! Go! Go!

"My good Henry, take 15 men more. Supply us with shovels and meet us over at the empty field beyond the hill.

"John and the rest of you men, come with me."

Godfrey, John, and the others ran to the field to await the shovels and containers. Sooner than later, the containers began to arrive - some large, some small. it mattered not. Godfrey and his men began to fill them with the dirt of the field as quickly as they arrived. As the containers were filled, the men who brought the shovels carried the various containers to the sea to await further instruction while the first group gathered more containers.

In time all the containers were filled. The men met at the sea, ready for whatever Godfrey commanded. Godfrey spoke. "Men, carefully place the containers on Henry's boat, as many as it will hold."

It wasn't long until the small boat set out to sea carrying the containers along with Godfrey, John, and Henry. Traveling a mile in the cold waters, Godfrey motioned for Henry to drop anchor. One by one, the three men began to dump the dirt from the containers into the sea. At last, a small mound of earth began to lift its head above the sea's water. They continued as they watched their new island take form.

Godfrey ordered, "Hurry, men. We must get back to shore. There's more work to do."

The men on the shore were cheering as the small boat returned from its successful journey. Godfrey shouted from the boat, "Men, gather me as many plants of heather as you can. Bring them back to shore quickly."

Within hours, the tiny boat was filled with heather, and Godfrey, John, and Henry were heading back to the new island. The transplanted heather filled the new land. It was only a matter of time until it could be reaped.

Upon the men returning to shore, a shout of victory was lifted from all who were waiting. Katherine stepped through the gathering and approached Godfrey. "Godfrey, you have done a wonderful thing, but the heather still must be harvested. We will never be successful with a sickle of leather. It will never work. How shall we gather the bunches without a proper sickle? Godfrey, I fear all is lost."

Modern Day Heather Harvest

"No, my good lady. I have the answer. Go back to the shop of fabrics and bring me a fine piece of leather, the softest you can find."

Godfrey, I fear something else."

"And what is that, my lady?"

"The heather, although it is mostly grown, it won't be ready for harvest for two months more. Even if your idea is successful, I fear Reginald will not wait. He will be expecting you to return from the fair before that."

"My dear Katherine, Reginald will wait. He would wait an eternity. He would not have requested these tasks if he did not know it would take time - and it will take time but only a few weeks. Compared to a lifetime, that's not long at all. He shall wait, and you shall be happy forevermore. Now, please get you to the shop of fabrics. We must begin work on your sickle of leather."

"And you, where shall you be?"

"I shall wait right here with John. We must make a plan to produce for you this sickle of leather. I will send John on a mission to get some other materials, but you, my Lady, must bring us the leather. Bring a good piece, perhaps sheepskin. It must be strong, yet pliable. You will have the finest sickle this town has ever known. Now, you go. We must put our plan into action. Hurry. The sun will be setting soon. We cannot wait until tomorrow!"

© 2018 William Kovacic


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    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      8 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I think Godfrey will figure it out, Denise. I apologize for not responding earlier. I just saw this.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      9 months ago from Fresno CA

      I can't think how he will make a sickle out of leather. Now I simply must read the rest!



    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      11 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      One more chapter, Ann. Glad you're still with us!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      11 months ago from SW England

      Can't wait to dash on to the conclusion! I am apprehensive though....


    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      23 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I do have to say, Aaron, true love is hard to find. I suppose the greatest example of true love is Jesus, and I'm sure you agree.

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      24 months ago from USA- Florida

      In my humble opinion. Asking a human of either gender to be a true love is in its self asking the impossible. I suspect that "trying" is all that we can really expect that one we love. Loving a person despite their shortcomings requires the metaphorical Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Tyme. Three characteristics that are all about "trying" I suspect you already knew this making you the intuitive genius you are.


    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Lawrence. According to various interpretations, it could go either way. By Reginald requesting the tasks, he protects himself if she shuns him. If she completes them, then there is true love. That's my interpretation. Thanks, as always, for stopping by and commenting. See you next time.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Interesting, I would have thought that it would be Reginald who had the tasks to perform.

      Wanting to see how it ends though.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I guess we'll see, Jackie.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      2 years ago from the beautiful south

      Who wouldn't love to have a Godfrey? I have no doubt the job will be done!

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm glad you picked up on that, Tammy. No doubt, Katherine would have given up long ago if not for Godfrey.

    • Tamarajo profile image


      2 years ago

      Godfrey seems more interested in completing the challenges than she does.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      I'm glad you're enjoying it, Rasma. The conclusion isn't far away.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      So far, Dora.Who knows what will happen next! Thanks for coming by for a visit.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Really enjoying this looking forward to the next.

    • CaribTales profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Seems that Katherine and Gordon must relate to each other in complete trust. It's working for them so far, and with help from others.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Bill, for coming by. You're always welcome here. Thanks as well for your positive comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori said it perfectly...this story is unique and full of charm. A pleasure to read something a bit different from the norm.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      This was only supposed to be a two-part story, Nikki. But I see we're into extra innings here. Part four will be up soon, and hopefully, that will wrap it up. Thanks for coming by to visit.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Eric. They are a bunch of good guys, aren't they? I'm always glad to see you on this side of HP.

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi, Lori. I'm glad you're enjoying it. I must admit. I'm struggling with it and not really happy with it. But it is what it is, and as long as I have your approval - well I guess I'll keep going.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      2 years ago from London

      Another wonderful part of story, Godfrey is really an amazing and supportive character and I loved as all people of the village worked together to help lady Katherine.Good old days, I guess.

      I’m loving this story William, waiting for the next chapter anxiously.

      Bless you!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I could feel the jubilation from the men. And they did this all for another's love. Pretty cool.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I dearly love this story. It's fresh and unique and full of charm. You are so good at telling tales (not of the tall variety). (:

    • lifegate profile imageAUTHOR

      William Kovacic 

      2 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Thanks, Louise. I'm glad you were able to stop by.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      That's really interesting, I enjoyed reading this part of the story. Thankyou. =)


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