[For a time last year I decided to tie my hair back a little differently at work. I’d have three bunches, one top centre high and two at the back, high on the left, low on the right. Bold choice but I genuinely liked it. The people around me would soon come to question why I did this. The simple answer is attention seeking, problem is I never answer questions simply. After a while I concocted a story to use as my official answer and I recently found it in one of my notepads. The following is that very story.]
Once Upon A Time…
…in a land most have forgotten a noble band of heroes would travel far and wide to free a subjugated populous from the tyranny and evil. A sinister Regent set out on a wicked campaign plaguing all that was good about life and as a result birthed the brave paladins of light.
Such was their infamy, many a brace soul would seek out the daring knights to pledge their allegiance and fight alongside them as saviours to those in need. One such man was a weak timid poet who could barely raise a blade. His intent was pure and his desire was greater than anyone before. Physically unimposing and mocked by friend and foe alike, this man held a secret weapon of bewitching wonder. No talent to swing or stab with a sword, but with a thrust and a slash from a quill onto paper this idealist adventurer could influence the land. With great passion in his purpose and the finesse in his strokes, grand tales and legends would be shared, bringing hope to all living in fear. With each passing victory over the terrors of evil, a new story would from to be chronicled and preached by the man who would be known bravest of them all.
With the identities of the band of heroes shrouded in secrets and mystery, the least likely of them would rise as their voice and inspiration. He would lead the march forward without fear, pushing the evil Regents presence back and liberating all those who fell under its cloud. A figure of hope said only to carry a shield for protection and his quill for devastation. He was always recognisable from his compatriots by the three pony tails tying back a mane of long unkempt hair and the pouches of parchment on the bandolier over his chest. The rest of the wandering warriors conformed to short hair, yet here was this scruffy spirit standing out from the crowd. The face and inspiring voice of an uprising craved by all those oppressed across the land.
With recognition comes the ability to do great things. The power to unite all those in strife and lead a revolution, but sadly this also paints a deadly target. A valiant figure that is known to evil faces the threat of being silenced quashed or broken. If such a unifying figure could fall, the evil could reign once more. It was with that thought that a bounty was placed on the heroic poets’ head, a fiendish plot that could herald the fall of hope. As the band of heroes quested forward, treachery hid behind every corner. Though they fought to bring peace their lives wouldn’t have that luxury, yet all heroes must sacrifice for the greater good. Their quest would see no greater sacrifice and none more impactful than the loss of the beloved crusading wordsmith.
On a day like any other the heroes ran into danger, swords drawn ready to conquer evil. Alas the unthinkable would happen as the people they sought to protect would betray them and lead them into a trap of terrors. Seduced by the Regents silver tongue a small village would feign peril to attract the freedom fighting paladins. They battled bravely with no hint of fear, as weapons clashed and blood was spilled. The tide was turning as their ferocity and commitment to liberty made light work of the ambush, yet from a hilltop on high an assassin would wait. With bow in hand and string drawn back, the moment would soon come for release. An arrow laced with poison ready to fly, patience till crosshairs fell on the voice of hope. With great and terrible speed a shot was struck and the fighting suddenly stopped. As silent as the arrow flew, a mournful quiet would soon fall over all those left on the battlefield.
In an unimaginable frenzy the valiant crusaders gave over to rage and tore down all the ambushing aggressors. The last clashes of metal were the swords that fell to the ground in grief, the battle may have been won, yet the cost to the heroes meant they had truly lost. A solemn crowd gathered around the body of the scruffy scribe. In the history of the land no figure had inspired such hope and now he was gone. Evil had won. The voice of hope was quelled, obliterating the resolve of anyone who would oppose the tyrannical Regent. Or had they?
Yes, the plot to end the life of the paladins poet worked but it created such a surge of positive inspiration, even in death the wandering writers voice would lead those oppressed to rise and vanquish evil. A martyr to freedom. A guiding light for any shrouded in darkness. No longer would the courageous crusaders be the only heroes in the quest for liberty. Every man woman and child would rise up, inspired to battle evil cravenly. No more could the Regent seduce his subjects, no longer could he chain them in fear. The poet may be dead by his words would always live on. The words and songs would bring people together, stronger than any force that could keep them down. Hope would be the greatest weapon against the tyranny destroying the land.
It’s for that reason and because of this very epic that meek men without the physical strength to contest evil choose to adorn their hair in three bunches like the poet of legend. Known as the ‘tails of the heroic poet’, to wear your hair in this style is a sign that you wish compose and tell your own tales to keep hope alive. To this very day the new generation of crusading writers can still be seen fighting for justice through their words and paying homage to mythic scribe. To the followers of this fashion, the goal is to inspire those around them to greatness, no matter the sacrifice.
[I agree, it’s an odd and dramatic way to answer a simple question. No-one believed it of course, but sometimes a ridiculous piece of fiction is more fun. Oh and if you’re interested the bunches look something like this…]