I don't like the carol Good King Wenceslas. It has too many inaccuracies. Let’s begin at the beginning. Good King Wenceslas wouldn’t have been a king, at least not in Bohemia in 900AD. The most likely title a ruler would have had would have been “Duke”. And what did he look out of? Not windows, that’s for sure. Being a Duke, his castle stronghold would have been lined with embrasures for firing arrows through. At night, in order to try and keep warmth in and arrows out, these apertures were blocked with bits of wood. So why did Wenny pull the wood away from the openings? In the middle of winter, (on the feast of Stephen) he would have been looking out into the pitch black of an unlit landscape. But he did, and looked out onto the deep crisp and even snow. And then, what a coincidence, a poor man “came in sight”. Well, frankly, that has to be a set up! First of all Wenny unplugs the embrasures, and THEN the man appears! Wenny didn’t respond to sounds outside, he was already looking out! SO, suspending belief on all of the above, we then get to the man bending down picking up sticks for fuel. But hang on, the snow was deep and crisp and even, so any twigs would have been buried! Even more bizarrely, the Page of Wenny recognises the man, who is not even local! He comes from miles away, from near the forest fence. Hmmm. Near the forest fence. On the edge of the forest! Why not pick up sticks for fuel at the edge of the forest? Bizarrely, he has walked about 5km away from a source of something that he covets, to find himself near the castle of his leader who he knows will be feasting sumptuiously whilst he, and probably his family are having a rough time in a severe winter. Seems like a setup to me! Perhaps the page was related to the poor man, and knew that the soft old fool of a leader would invite the man in and feed him. But Wenny goes one step farther than that – he makes the poor man drop his twigs and traipse the full 5km back to his humble abode by St Agnes fountain. What a shock for the poor man’s wife. Her humble abode would not be fit for a Duke! And she wouldn’t have been happy with the state of the house, have enough goblets for all to sup from, nor enough beds for the night for Wenny and his page… He was indeed a gullible man… If the Wenceslas who was canonised is the same one referred to in the carol, then he was certainly a pious man, and was murdered by his brother, (the future Bad King Borislav). But he was never a King. Still, never mind. Good Duke Wenceslas just doesn’t have the same ring, does it? My Uncle Denis Butler was a genius – this piece is liberally pilfered from one of his many brilliant articles in the Newcastle Herald. To read some terrific articles, try and get hold of “Offcuts with Denis Butler” and “More Offcuts with Denis Butler” - if you pay $50 for each, you’ll have a bargain on your hands. Your legend lives on, Denis.