The Sword in the StoneBook
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THE SWORD IN THE STONE is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed "Wart," the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on his education. Merlin turns him into a fish, a bird, and a squirrel to teach him lessons like the importance of brains over brawn. He gets to see this in action when Madame Mim, Merlin's enemy, challenges Merlin to a duel by magic, and, though she cheats, Merlin is able to defeat her. Wart still has his duties as a squire, and, having forgotten the sword for a jousting match, he runs to get it. He sees a sword stuck in a stone and pulls it out, not knowing the legend that whoever will pull the sword out of the stone will be the rightful king. He becomes King Arthur, and listens when Merlin reminds him that knowledge is the real power.
Young Arthur is trained by the magician Merlin in the knightly pursuits of falconry, jousting, hunting and sword play. He is even transformed by his tutor into various animals, so that he may experience life from all points of view. All this is in preparation for the day he is destined to draw a magical sword from a stone and thereby claim the throne of England.
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