I remember reading a short story in first grade (around 20 years ago). I don't have all the details, but from what I remember, it involved the following:

  • it was in a medieval setting
  • some guy (knight?) tried to impress a lady
  • said lady throws something (handkerchief?) at something dangerous (bull? dragon?) and tells the knight to prove his "love" to her by retrieving it
  • said knight retrieves the handkerchief
  • lady was happy and was about to reward the knight, but the knight throws the handkerchief in her face for playing with his life, and leaves
  • there was a crowd that witnessed it, which of course made the lady feel even more embarrassed

Anyone remember the title to that short story?

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    This sounds like an interesting story, but it doesn't quite seem like Science Fiction or Fantasy. You may have better luck over on Literature though, where we accept story-IDs about stories that aren't SFF ;) – Mithical Feb 15 '18 at 10:58
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    Well we normally do give benefit of the doubt – Edlothiad Feb 15 '18 at 11:08
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    @Randal'Thor - Yes, but medieval-style does not immediately indicate fantasy. – Mithical Feb 15 '18 at 11:43
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    @Mithrandir Of course, but it's still entirely possible that this is fantasy. I haven't voted on this in the review queue, but I'm leaning towards giving it the benefit of the doubt; if it's answered with a non-SFF work, we can migrate it to Lit then. – Rand al'Thor Feb 15 '18 at 11:46
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    Robert Browning wrote a poem with that plot: "The Glove." The story was much older than his poem; Browning was retelling it to try to defend the lady by suggesting her motivations were more than just "I'll amuse myself by making this guy risk death to show his love." You might have seen that, or some other treatment of the same plot, by some other writer. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Handschuh and en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Glove can give more details. The versions I have seen don't have "unrealistic" Fantasy/SF elements, but there could be another version that does. – Lorendiac Feb 15 '18 at 11:48

It's The Glove and the Lions, by Leigh Hunt, and it ends as follows

"By God!" said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat: "No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."

  • That seems to be it. Looks like I really asked in the wrong place, though. :( So... um... could anyone migrate this question to the right place, please? Thanks... – noClue Feb 15 '18 at 18:41
  • What a letdown. I'd be bored too, sitting among a bunch of posh gents watching lions maul each other from above. What kind of sick entertainment is that, anyway? – user68762 Feb 15 '18 at 19:15

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