My father told me a story about a story he wrote. It was story about a statue, a famous one, that has stood for hundreds of years in the marketplace of his boyhood home. Roland was a paladin of Charlemagne, a knight brave and true, worthy of Arthur's round table. My father saw this statue every day, it was a fixture in his life that inspired games and daydreams; when he was a teenager it inspired a great story. Deep in the night, Roland awoke; he raised his sword, stepped off his pedestal, and went off to observe the sleeping town of Bremen as it had observed him for centuries. He patrolled the circumference and moved through the inner streets, peeping through windows, marveling at the changes. He radiated strength and honor, so much that when a passing thief crossed his path in a hasty getaway, the mere sight of Roland dropped him to his knees in a dead faint, and when he woke he was a changed man. A boy watching from a window saw everything. He knew everyone would say he'd been dreaming, so he never said a word. The night dwindled toward dawn and Roland went back to keep watch in the square. My father was proud of his story. His teacher liked it so much that he asked if he could borrow it to show to some colleagues. My father agreed. The Nazis came, his teacher disappeared, and his story was never seen again. We used to have a little bronze replica of the statue of Roland when I was a child. My father told me this story one day when I asked him about it. My father never forgot the story or his home, even though he left not long after, never to set foot on German soil again. I sometimes wonder if Roland remembers my father and that nighttime stroll as he continues his watch over Bremen.
~Elise Skidmore ©2022