A Fox's Trouble
Adom sighed exasperatedly. He rubbed a tawny paw over his eyes, his tail twitching in agitation. He swore the young prince would one day be the death of him. He remembered coming to the palace after learning etiquette, court procedure, and all the laws of the land. He had been told that his position would be as tutor to the prince. It would be his job to ensure that the prince learn all he must know in order to one day rule the Kingdom of the Light. Adom had anticipated an easy job. He had pictured the prince to be a quiet, well-behaved young man. Or at least that was how he had appeared when he had first met his charge. Now he understood that to have been an act. The prince was truly a hooligan. It took all Adom's energy and patience to keep the boy in line. There was nothing he could do to make him listen. At only ten years of age, the raven haired prince was nothing but trouble. He seemed to contain endless reserves of energy and mischievousness. He was always going missing, never where he should be.
That day, Adom had been trying to teach the prince all about how to behave at a ball. On their way to the palace's ballroom, the prince had escaped Adom's sight and was now missing. He had searched everywhere. The boy was nowhere to be found. He was not in the stables, the gardens, his bedroom, the fencing room, he had simply vanished. Adom sighed once more. He knew the prince had a good heart. He had seen examples of his kindness. He was always asking after his tutor's well-being, bringing him little tokens from his adventures, treating him as a member of his small family. Yet, this wild streak had to be curbed if he were to become a king worthy of his subjects. Adom did not know how this was to be achieved. He walked through the palace corridors once more looking for his wayward charge. He crept down towards the servants' quarters and the kitchen and heard the noise of two soft child-like voices speaking.
"You must do as I say!" came the whine of a young boy. "I am to be king!"
"Yes," replied his companion. "However, you are not king yet."
Adom peered around the corner and saw the prince speaking to a young girl. She looked to be around nine years of age. Her silver hair was pulled into two braids and her amethyst eyes flashed with amusement at the prince's pout.
"What do you know?" the prince said angrily. "You are nothing but the cook's daughter."
"I know a lot more than you," the girl replied. "I bet I could run the whole land better than you ever could!"
"Could not!" the prince shouted, stamping his foot indignantly. "I am studying to be king."
"Really? Than why am I always hearing of you running away from Adom? I bet you have not paid a bit of attention to any of your lessons."
The prince crossed his arms across his chest and snorted in annoyance. "Etiquette is stupid. What does using the right fork have to do with ruling Hadariah anyway?"
"It has to do with not offending the dinner guests who wish to trade with you," Adom answered, choosing that moment to enter the room.
The prince jumped in fear. He flushed red at being caught and looked down at his tutor. "Sorry for running off again," he murmured.
Adom nodded. "Try not to let it happen again," he chided his young charge.
The prince nodded. "Okay," he said.
The girl smiled at the prince. "Here," she said, handing him a cinnamon biscuit. "If you listen to your tutor, I'll give you more."
The prince broke out into a large grin. "Okay!" he said. "I'll come back and visit again. Maybe, if your mom lets you, I can take you to see my horse!"
"I'd like that," the girl answered with a smile. She turned and ran off, eager to tell her mother.
The prince and Adom walk back to the library together, the prince in thoughtful silence.
"What is on your mind?" Adom asked him.
"Am I really going to be a bad king?" the prince asked.
"Not if you pay attention to your lessons," Adom answered with a smile.
"Then I will," the prince answered. He paused again before continuing, "must I marry a princess?"
"There is no official law about it," Adom answered.
The prince nodded. "Good," he said.
"You are only ten years old. You still have much time before you need to worry about such things. Why do you ask?" Adom asked him.
"Because I have decided, I will marry the cook's daughter!" the prince proclaimed. "She seems smart and I like her."
Adom shook his head in consternation. "You like her because she gave you a treat," he said. He rolled his eyes. He knew he should not worry too much about this. The prince would probably change his mind several times before he even went to bed.
For the first time, Adom was wrong about the prince. He studied hard, doing everyone proud, and ten years later, he was present and filled with pride for his charge as he made the cook's daughter his queen.