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The Trial of the Golden Egg

DaddyBear the Minivandian stood at the edge of a field of competition.  His heir, the Young Prince, stood before him, kitted out in his finest sweater and running shoes.  His mate, The Lady of Eyre, along with his daughter, Listens to Stories, stood to his side.  The Lady of Eyre was making preparations to use her magical box of images, while Listens to Stories was rapidly telling harrowing tales of rushing mobs and hand to hand combat to her brother.

As the family of Minivandians waited, the highest of the local holy men walked to the front of the crowd.  The cleric raised his hands, asking for silence from the multitude gathered around him.

“Silence!  Silence, please!” he said in his quiet, but authoritative, voice.

The crowd slowly gave their attention to the wizened holy man.  The mass of townsfolk was made up primarily of children and their parents, with a healthy leavening of gray-headed grandparents.

“My friends, we come together during the Festival of the Risen God.  I am delighted to see so many young children here today.  We mark this holiday with sacred green plastic grass and chocolate.  We revere the symbol of this season: the white rabbit wearing a colorful vest and top-hat.  And finally, we mark this most holy time of year with a quintessentially holy rite:  The Trial of the Golden Egg!”

At his words, the assembled children whooped in glee.  The shook their brightly colored baskets and hooted their excitement.

“Across this mighty field of sport are scattered thousands of colored eggs.” the priest continued, gesturing at the expanse of green grass behind him.  “All the children will be released to gather as many as they can, and the one who finds the Golden Egg shall be remembered as the champion of this holy competition for an entire year.  But beware, young adventurers, this competition is difficult.  There is only one Golden Egg in this field of thousands of eggs, and every child here is going to be fighting and clawing to find it.  This trial is only for the pure of heart and thick of skin.”

“Now, if everyone is ready” he said, as the noise from the assembled children rose to a war cry that made the Minivandian wistfully remember barbarian hordes set to sack a monastery and other wonderful parts of his youth, “We shall begin!”

At his words, the crowd of children broke into a dead run.  As the line of children spread across the field, they snarfled up the colorful eggs like a plague of locusts.  The young and timid were happy to pick up the normal eggs in order to savor the sweet treats they contained, but the truly adventurous and ambitious eschewed such easy pickings in search of The Golden Egg.

The Young Prince broke from the pack, along with several larger boys, as they scanned the grass for a glint of gold.  Clasping his father’s bag of holding, he ran past clutches of red, blue, green, and yellow eggs in search of the elusive prize that would bring him fame.

A larger boy, hoping to cut down on the competition, attempted to knock the Young Prince down and out of the running.  Seeing him coming, the Young Prince dipped his shoulder, caught the knave in the breadbasket, and flipped him over onto the grass.

Continuing his quest, the Young Prince noticed a metallic glint coming from the corner of the field.  Picking up speed, he ran toward it.  Other children noticed his change of direction, and the three closest moved to intercept him.

The first attempted to trip the Young Prince, but the young warrior anticipated his attack and dodged it.  As his opponent overextended his feet, the Young Prince landed a well-placed kick to the knee, knocking the bigger child to the ground with a howl of pain.

Within feet of the Golden Egg, the Young Prince was knocked sprawling by a tackle from the largest child on the field.  Scrambling forward on his elbows and knees, the Young Prince mumbled a curse and flung a handful of grass and dirt into the boy’s face.  Bellowing in pain and rage, the young orc tried to lash out, but the young Minivandian was able to scramble to his feet and dive for the prize.

As his hand closed around the most prized of all eggs, he felt another hand closing around his.  Muttering the beginnings of one of his most heinous combat spells, the Young Prince looked up into a pair of beautiful blue eyes.  The young girl who gazed back at him was barely two years of age, but had been able to both keep up with the Young Prince and fend off the hordes of older, larger children who tried to impede her quest.  Her clothing showed the grass stains she had gained in her struggles, and her golden curls of hair were coated in dirt.

As she realized that the Young Prince had bested her, though by the smallest of margins, the glee on her face melted to sorrow.  A single small tear crossed her cherubic cheek, and her smile turned quickly to a quivering chin.  As only a two-year-old girl can, she began to cry.

The Young Prince considered the young girl and looked at the Golden Egg. It’s cool metal suddenly felt very heavy, as did his heart.  Where was the glory in being the hero of the hour if he must harm one so small and beautiful to do it?  Could he face his ancestors in the Hall of Heroes when his first conquest had been a girl not yet old enough to walk across the street without holding onto her mother’s hand?

Muttering under his breath, the Young Prince released his grip on the egg, dropping it into the still outstretched hands of the little girl.  Her quivering chin returned to a wide grin as a look of surprise and happiness crossed her face.  Wiping the tear from her cheek, she grasped the egg and wrapped her arms around the Young Prince in a hug of thanksgiving.

Hurrying up to the Young Prince, My Lord DaddyBear saw this tableau and knew that his son was truly a noble young man.  Taking him by the hand, the Minivandian helped him select several of the other eggs that were strewn on the ground as the Lady of Eyre captured images of the adventure for later reflection.

Thus did the adventures of the Young Prince begin with a noble twist.  As he matured, he had many other moments of glory, but this was the one his father would look back on most fondly.

Now, pass me those jelly beans so that I may tell you tales of high adventure….

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4 Comments

  1. Great story! 🙂 And a ‘good’ learning experience!

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  2. Reality wasn’t quite as dramatic, but he did participate in an Easter Egg Scrum and I watched him give up a whole bunch of eggs to smaller kids. He’s learning, praise be.

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  3. What a wonderful story. Enjoy your Sunday with your family!

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  4. Aw sweet

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