Once upon a time in a far away distant village in Artois, ruled by the noble King Jean Marie there lived a poor fisherman, Shaun. He had two sons, Shane and Sheen. Their mother had died during childbirth. Shaun’s wife was a very loving and caring person, without whom he was finding it very tough to move ahead in life. Shane and Sheen were twins who were barely able to speak and move around. Shaun, despite working the whole day was not able to earn much.
The beautiful river “Sonne” flowed across the vast kingdom. Throughout the year the river would be brimming with cool water from the mountains, full of fish. No one in the kingdom was without food. There was plenty of fish in the river. People believed that Sonne was a gift from the Almighty which would fulfill all their needs apart from quenching their thirst.
Shaun would catch plenty of fish which were partly consumed by the family and partly sold at the local market.
As time passed Shane and Sheen grew in age but there was something peculiar about the two children. They were different from the other children of their age.
Shaun decided to send them to the nearby monastery so that they would learn to read and write.
Shaun would set out early in the morning to catch fish. He would return with the day’s catch and ready his sons for the monastery and would himself head to the local market. While coming back he would bring the children from the monastery.
The learned friar of the monastery was quick to realize that the children were not like the other children. They were at pains to recognize the simple alphabets distinctly. As a result they were totally unable to read or write the same easily. The friar communicated this to Shaun with great caution and advised him to take the children to the Bishop of Calais. The Bishop spent most part of the year in a monastery located on the Alps.
It was decided that Shaun along with Shane and Sheen would travel to the mountains to meet the Bishop. It was a tiresome journey of several days on a horse back.
The three travelled for a week to meet the Bishop. When they met the Bishop, he was in meditation. He slowly opened his eyes. He was quick to realize the reason of Shaun and his sons’ visit.
The Bishop did not enquire anything but asked Shaun to be his guest for sometime. Shaun politely agreed.
They stayed in the beautiful, cool monastery amidst the snow clad mountains for a few days.
The two children were quick to acclimatize with the scenic surroundings. They seemed happier at the monastery than they were back home.
Shane made himself comfortable at the stable. He loved the company of tamed animals and found it very exciting to play with the young mares and calves. He even garnered enough courage to ride upon a young mare whom he befriended in no time.
Sheen was interested in the work of the craftsmen. He would spend hours gazing them giving shape to the earthenware of different shapes and sizes. In no time he learned the knack of giving shape to wet clay.
The Bishop was well aware of what was going on at the monastery. In no time the two children had gained in confidence as they had learned a new thing. Both had grown in self esteem.
Then one day the Bishop called Shaun and very softly told him that his children were the Almighty’s gift for Artois. He even prophesized that in the near future the two would do wonders for their fellowmen and the society.
The Bishop went on to say, “the talents of Shane and Sheen were not in learning to read and write but in other areas.”
“Shane is a brave child and should be encouraged to be a warrior. He should be taught swordsmanship. Sheen on the other hand had a flair for art and craft. He should be trained to be a painter and later he can learn to read and write through calligraphy.”
The Bishop gave Shaun a scroll meant for the King of Artois wherein he had mentioned about the hidden talents of the two boys and his advice for the King to arrange for the further training of the two under Royal Patronage.
On their return from the mountains Shaun spent no time in approaching the King with the scroll.
King Jean Marie and Queen Sofia had two grandsons. The old king had acceded his administrative powers to his elder grandson Prince Jerome.
The king personally called Prince Jerome and asked him to take care of all the needs of Shane and Sheen. The king further ordered that Shane and Sheen were the responsibility of the state and it would bear all their training expenses.
On hearing this Shaun was very pleased and thanked the Almighty for taking care of his sons.
To be continued…..