Monday, July 5, 2010


Because I have trust in my fellow man, I am completely disarmed except for an old rusty pocket knife that I carry at times out of nostalgia. However there are those in the world who are and were not. And today I would like to tell a story of Tell - a story of marksmanship and tyranny. Tyranny is one of those things that rears its ugly head whenever the government gets too big and the citizen becomes too small.

William Tell was an expert marksman with a crossbow who originally hailed from a tiny town called Burglen, in what is now part of Switzerland. When he was a man, the 14th century Hapsburg emperors of Austria were seeking to dominate this part of Switzerland that Tell called home.

One day, the newly appointed Hapsburg chief of the region raised a pole in Burglen's central square and hung his hat on top of it. He demanded that all the local townsfolk bow before the hat. When Tell passed by the hat without bowing to it, he was immediately arrested.

As punishment, Tell was forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter, or else both would be executed. Tell had been promised freedom if he successfully shot the apple.

On November 18th, 1307, Tell drew a single arrow from his quiver and split the apple with his crossbow, without harming his son. The town was amazed and the chief was aghast.

When the chief asked Tell about the purpose of the remaining second arrow in his quiver, Tell answered that if he had killed his son, he would have turned the crossbow on the chief himself. The chief became enraged at Tell's defiant response.

As a result, the chief had Tell bound and brought to the chief's ship to be taken to his castle at Kussnacht, the capital, which was several days travel away.

During Tell's journey on the ship, a storm broke out on Lake Lucerne and the ship was capsized. At this moment, Tell managed to escape.

Now a fugitive from the chief, Tell went to Kussnacht himself and waited for the chief to arrive. Upon the chief's arrival, Tell shot and killed him with his crossbow.

Tell's defiance of the chief sparked a rebellion in which Tell himself acted out a leading part. This rebellion eventually drove out the ruling Hapsburgs and lead to the formation of the country we now know as Switzerland.

Why do I post this story on my blog? Because men don't have to stand for tyranny. And because the skill necessary to put ordnance on target is a good skill to have.


Opus #6 said...

Funny. I never knew the story. I remember hearing the name "William Tell" and knew it had something to do with an apple on somebody's head. Thanks for posting thisl

WoFat said...

I guess this means I should take my hat down before I get in trouble.

Coffeypot said...

There are many who have the ability to deliver the ordinance to a selected target or targets, but very few with the courage to put it where it needs to go.

darlin said...

Interesting story, I too had never head the tale of William Tell until now. Thanks for educating me LL, and here I'm going to pay the University to do that... what was I thinking?

LL said...

Coffeypot, the difference between a warrior and the ordinary men is that ordinary men look at difficulties and shrink back because of the situation. Warriors simply view difficulties as challenges. William Tell was a warrior.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin