The Effects of a Siege

So my son used to have impressive obsessions–presidents, geography, the solar system–but now it is largely battles. Fights and weapons and warriors. Although at least it’s medieval battles that interest him. You could argue that it’s about history, not violence and mayhem.

You could, you know, argue it unsuccessfully.

So we build siege weapons and attack castles, trying to starve out the occupants. Sometimes people get thrown into dungeons and there are rats, which sometimes carry “THE BLACK DEATH,” which is always spoken in capital letters. (“Oh,” my son will yell in the voice of a captured knight, “the flea on that rat bit me. Oh, it had THE BLACK DEATH. IT IS A TERRIBLE SICKNESS THAT WE CALL A PLAGUE.”)

Most of that line was plagiarized from our favorite book these days–Why Did Castles Have Moats? (On another note, a history professor friend informs us that new research shows THE BLACK DEATH was carried not by rats but by Mongolian hamsters. Who knew there were wild hamsters? That apparently backpacked to Europe all the way from Mongolia?)

Anyway, sieges. We built a fine battering ram the other day, which is covered with a roof lined with bark to protect the men from arrows.

Battering ram (materials mostly collected from Avondale Park)

Battering ram (materials mostly collected from Avondale Park)
























Cardboard Catapult launching styrofoam peanut

We also made this cardboard catapult….

















All advancing on this castle….

And this was the end result.

And this was the end result.


  1. Cities in slovakia on December 9, 2022 at 2:06 pm

    Yes! Finally something about Cities in slovakia.

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