In the spring of his twenty-first year, Spike the Ridiculous set out on the back of a donkey to kill a pack a butterflies. This was during his time among the Amish, in the village in which he’d settled to study their ways, for he had fallen in love with the people and meant to become one of them. (He was, however, not at all Amish of blood, but Roman).
This pack of butterflies had taken a liking to the Amish village as well. They would fly in as a flock in the morning, flutter about the village and surrounding fields throughout the day, then return to their home in the forest by night. And the good people of the village had no quarrels with the tiny creatures, for they were, after all, only butterflies.
Spike the Misinterpreter of All Things, however, thought the butterflies an affront to the Amish way of life. He had learned of the Amish belief that to decorate oneself with color, such as with cosmetics or fancy clothing (or brightly colored wings) was ostentatious and sinful, and he had determined to punish them for their impudence.
So resolved, he rummaged through his armory and found three flintlock guns and an excellent flintlock rifle. The guns he belted to his toga and the rifle he strapped over his shoulder. He also took his old musket, slung over the other shoulder, and his father’s sword as well, which he sheathed at his side. And when he stumbled upon a horde of ancient weapons (having tripped over the sword) which had been in his family since the crusades, he selected from these a very large mace and a good-sized flail. These he had nowhere to sling and was forced to carry awkwardly in his arms.
Encumbered in this manner, he set off on the back of his donkey, Claudius, down the main road of the village. And the Amish folk, dressed in their simple garments of simple earthen colors, their simple farming tools by their sides, lined the way not to send him off to war, but simply to witness his idiocy, and to be glad together that they were not him.
“Fear not, mine beloved Amish kinsfolk!” he cried, mistakenly reading the looks of pity in their faces as concern for his safety. “I, Spike the Magnificent, shall end this blasphemous reign of tiny winged creatures! No more shall they flaunt their brilliant colors amidst our kind, amidst we who know such bravado to be directly opposed to the will of God!”
And as he cried out in this way, spike the lowercase clumsily transferred the burden of his weapons to one arm, and with the other he managed to unsheath his father’s sword and thrust it to the sky, intending to let the townspeople cheer him, the great warrior going to battle.
But this they did not do.
They simply blinked and stared and scratched their beards and were grateful that they were not such an idiot as he.
“It is to the forest,” Spike continued, undaunted, “to the secret black and midnight lair from within which these devil’s children arise, that I ride! They shall not come with sin into our village today! I, their Death, shall meet them and strike them down with War! By the grace of God, under whose shield I fight, I shall return unscathed!”
Spike stood tall in his saddle and thrust his sword to the sky anew and let the wind ruffle his hair and his toga and awaited the cheers which he knew now must surely come.
And they did not.
Confused, he held his pose, standing in the stirrups, blade high in the air, his body bouncing awkwardly as the donkey, the mighty Claudius, slowly clomped past the townsfolk and out of town.