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    Posted on September 24th, 2014 rudrarup No comments

    DON QUIXOTE de la MANCHA Don Quixote liked to read. He liked to read a lot. He liked to read so much that he pretty much stopped doing everything else. This is not a good idea unless you are very rich, and he was not. He lived on a farm that had once been fairly prosperous and large, but in addition to ignoring his daily chores, he had begun to sell off pieces of his property in order to buy more books. But the real problem seemed to be his choice of books. He read every book about knights and knight-errantry he could get his paws on.

    So these books about knights were very popular, but Don Quixote took the craze one step further and decided that he should become a knight himself and devote his life to the knight’s code of chivalry. And that’s just what he did. for Don Quixote, this was overcome by a very active and stubborn imagination. His skinny and old plow-horse became a great knight’s stallion as soon as he changed the horse’s name to Rozinante. Fortunately He renamed a poor local farm girl and she became the great Lady Dulcinea del Toboso who he performed his great deeds for and remained endlessly devoted to even though he apparently had never spoken to her and she was entirely unaware of his existence.

    And then there were the windmills. Any great knight with Don Quixote’s imagination could easily see that these were really giants. Equipped with his imagination, an ancient suit of armor, a rusty old lance and shield, and a helmet he partly made out of cardboard, Don Quixote set out.

    Poor country inns became castles. Flocks of sheep became armies. Merchants became knights and wizards. Barber’s basins became famous golden helmets. And just about every lady became a damsel in distress who needed to be rescued. Not surprisingly, his adventures usually turned out badly. What is surprising is how many people end up playing along with Don Quixote and his fantasies.

    He convinces a neighbor named Sancho Panza to become his squire and join his crazy adventures by making the unlikely promise of giving Sancho an island. Sancho goes through an incredible amount of trouble but remains faithful to the end. Don Quixote’s friends, a local barber and a priest, end up creating a story about a princess in a faraway land who needs Don Quixote’s help in order to lure him back home. They eventually tie him up and put him in a cage, convincing him that he has actually been enchanted by wizards in an effort to prevent him from resisting.

    Don Quixote is brought back home and returned to the care of his niece and housekeeper. His books have been removed and destroyed, and even the closet where his books were kept has been walled over. What happens next is the best part. While Don Quixote recovers, Sancho informs him that there has been a book written about them and their many misadventures. Suddenly everyone knows who they are and Don Quixote has, in fact, somehow managed to become a famous knight.

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