I could probably come up with an unconvincing excuse for every single day I've missed abusing legacy strips this week,* but instead, I figure I'll just jump straight in and abuse a legacy strip. It is a very medieval legacy strip, mind. I am eminently pleased with its medievalness.***
Today, you see, we finally receive proof positive that PJ, the Littlest Keane, is destined to be a hero. He already meets at least one folkloric criterion: he is the youngest of three sons. As any ardent admirer of fairy tales will tell you, it's always the third son who gets the booty; the other two are generally rude to little old ladies in the forest and end up inadvertently chopping off their own limbs.**** As a third son, PJ is probably inclined to sit on top of the oven all day, eating his own lice and pretending to be an idiot.*****
However, Dolly, in pointing out that he possesses paws instead of feet, is also identifying him with a folkloric motif that was quite popular in the Middle Ages: that of the hero with only one human parent. PJ is clearly descended from some sort of beast or demon, and he has a half-bestial form. The little tyke may seem sweet when he squinches his eyes shut and beams a sunny smile at the world, but believe me: hidden beneath PJ's PJs are hairy, deformed feet and the beginnings of a tail. It is probably only a matter of time before the kid starts breaking magical swords, riding untamed man-eating horses, and storming the Holy Land for fun.****** Eventually, someone will betray him; the traitor will be hanged by the neck until he is almost dead, then forced to watch himself be disemboweled and castrated and his entrails and genitalia burned in front of his eyes before he is beheaded and carved into four pieces that will be displayed in public.******* It's not easy being a half-human hero; it's even less easy being the person who stabs him in the back.
This latest revelation should give us new insight into the Keane family. We really need to stop mocking PJ. He's going to have a hard enough life, poor thing.
*For instance, my unconvincing excuse for yesterday is that I spent the evening in pain because while I was returning from the grocery story with my dinner, I slipped on the new-fallen snow in the middle of an intersection and smashed my knees on the pavement so hard that I first nearly threw up and then nearly fainted. The excuse is a stupid one, since my knees are not connected to my brain,** but I foolishly stand by it.
**Except that they clearly kind of are, since there's no other reason sore knees should make me want to throw up and faint.
****I am absolutely not making any of this up. I like fairy tales, so I know.
*****I'm not making this up either.
******We are talking about the Keanes here. Richard the Lionheart has nothing on the Keanes.
*******This punishment for high treason was on the books in England until 1814. After 1814, the punishment remained the same, but the traitor was dead for most of it. Everything but the hanging was abolished by 1870. Incidentally, the punishment was for men only; women were burned at the stake. I Am Not Making This Up.