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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Medieval Tale: Of Moats and Castles

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko
Tanner Stands at his Invisible Fence
Line, Awaiting a Passerby
Once upon a time there was a royal family who wanted another member. The King summoned his court's most wise advisers, and they bade the King adopt a homeless animal to round out their family. And so it was that the Queen and the Princess rescued a furry little, 8 pound Retriever mix from the Land of Pets--Petsmart. The King's second son named her Xena, Warrior Princess.

Soon Princess Xena began to escape from her castle to play War Games with the natives. Otherwise known as squirrels, these natives were too wily for Xena, yet she continued to make chase.

Finally, the Queen implored the King to allow her to build a mote around the castle to keep Princess Xena from becoming lost in the Kingdom. For outside these boundaries lies a busy area where the Princess might fall into harm. The King at last, allowed the Queen to hire the work to be done, and an Invisible Fence was installed around the castle. This action was viewed as neighborly by the King's subjects and soon proved to bring peace to the King's castle and the subjects who lived outside the castle boundaries.

No longer did the Princess escape into danger. She now played happily within the King's land and enjoyed her new outdoor playground. Passersby often stopped to visit and pet her, and were not impeded by the Invisible Fence, which would have caused difficulty for the Princess to socialize with her admirers.

As the Princess grew older, she took a housemate--young Tanner, a Prince. Xena and Tanner became fast friends and enjoyed playing tag and wrestling in the grass around the castle.

This youngster learned his new territory quickly and also enjoyed his outdoor play place. However, the King and Queen became distressed by his irritating habit of notifying the kingdom each time a passerby did not stop to greet him. Being a friendly fellow, he felt hurt whenever a potential friend walked past without a proper hello.

© photo copyright Carrie Boyko
Tanner Stays Within his Fence Well

The Queen ordered that trainers be consulted to assist with this loud and enthusiastic adolescent behavior. The trainers gave this behavior a long name and suggested positive rewards for appropriate behavior, coupled with correction of boisterous, loud announcements of passersby. Practicing this with the lad worked well when the Queen was able to invite the passersby to greet the Prince. When potential friends for the lad ignored his imploring requests for a visit, he simply implored more vigorously. Alas, the Queen was ready to give up.

She purchased ear plugs for the King and enrolled the Prince in Agility classes, to help him focus on his athletic prowess. The trainers at Agility classes were skilled at their craft. These trainers took time to help young Tanner, and his classmates assisted, as well.

Tanner found the athletic talents of Baron and Jackson to be inspiring and he began imploring these lads to join him in games. Finally, after an opportunity to greet masters Baron and Jackson, Prince Tanner was satisfied and settled into his training more like a gentleman.

His enthusiasm on the castle grounds continues to abound, if not supervised by the King's servants (ahem, the Queen). Training continues, yet the Queen is confident that her young charge will eventually understand that not every passerby will be able to stop to visit him. He still needs to learn that a slightly less enthusiastic announcement would make Prince Tanner appear less like the Court Jester and more like a Prince. And so the Queen persists in her supervision of his outdoor play in the kingdom.

Moral of the story: Prince Tanner believes himself to be the Town Cryer; therefore the Queen's work may never be done. His Highness, the King, may have been right that three dogs was too many for the castle. Yet, who dost though think the King's favored pup is? You guessed it! Tisk!


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