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The Wisdom of Fools

Joyce W.

There was once a little prince named Heero. His mother was a little slip of a woman with sandy blonde hair and big purple eyes that were full of love and innocence. She was a kind woman whose hobby was collecting flowers. In fact, his strongest memory he had of her was her looking down at him serenely with her arms full of flowers and a sun bonnet on her head. Her last words before she died from a horrible fever was "I hope that he doesn't become lost in this cruel world without me." The one thing she had given him, the teddy bear she'd sown him with her own hands, had to be burnt lest he catch her fever.

He was only three. By the time he was five; he was a wild, fierce child who never cried. While he was unusually intelligent and quite strong, there seemed to be something quite wrong with him. Even when he got hurt, he wouldn't open his mouth to ask for help. His blue eyes were cold and cautious. He never asked for anything. He had asked for his mother back repeatedly, but she never came back and there was nothing else he wanted.

His caretakers noted he did not play well with others. The other little princes from the neighboring Kingdoms, Quatre and Wufei, refused to play with him because he insisted on doing things his way and hated to talk. He had gotten such a bad reputation that King Odin, afraid his son was turning into an unfeeling wretch, asked for the court jester.

"Fool," the king said.

"I'm a jester, not a fool," reproached the jester mildly.

"Whatever," said the king. "I was wondering if you wouldn't mind having your son play with Heero."

The court jester's son's name was Duo, the same age as Heero. He was quite a cute, good-natured child with a braid on the back of his head. He had round violet eyes and a big smile. The first time he met the prince, he glomped onto him and kissed his cheek, saying, "I'm so happy to meet you."

The little prince said, "Get away from me or I'll kill you." He pushed the little boy away. "I don't play with girls, anyway."

"I'm not a girl, idiot!" They immediately got into a fight where they were on the ground, punching each other. The King raised an eyebrow and stared at the court jester, who bowed his head and sighed in deep embarrassment.

"Just because you lost your mother doesn't mean you have to be so mean," said the King. "Little Duo lost his mother, too."

"Then he's stupid to be happy." With that, the prince left the room.

"He hates me! Wah!" But the court jester told him something funny and Duo ended up giggling. The court jester was a wise man who had once run an orphanage and knew what existed in the hearts of children. He turned to the king, "I'll be patient. One must be patient with children. Besides, the best thing for children are other children."

So, Duo ended up being Heero's playmate. As he was being raised to be a court jester himself, he liked to joke around and make faces. He was always waking Heero up from his nap with silly announcements from hand puppets. He had quite a few toys and offered to play with Heero with them, but Heero refused to pay any attention to him until Duo pulled a teddy bear out of his bag.

It was so like the one his mother had sewn that he could only stare at it. Then he snatched it away from Duo and held it tightly to him. "It's mine," he said.

"No, it's mine. You're supposed to share."

They fought until Duo said, "It's the only thing I have of my mom."

Heero stopped fighting, then handed it back to him, saying, "Oh," then walked back to his room. After a little while, Duo came in, dragging the bear and his bag of many toys, and saw Heero sitting in the middle of the room with his knees to chest with an unhappy expression.

"You can play with it, if you want."

Heero shook his head.

Duo thought very hard about what his father would do in this case to the point that his little head nearly burst. Then he reached into his bag and pulled three bean bags. He threw them up in the air and began to juggle them adroitly.

Curious, Heero turned and watched. He asked, "What are you doing?"

"Juggling. Trowa taught me. He and his sister live with Prince Quatre. He can do tumbling, tame lions and stand still while his sister throws knives at him."

"Let me try." He tried, but did poorly, which irritated him terribly since he usually did things well.

Duo then said, "Stand next to me and use your right hand and I'll use my left." So, they stood next to each other and began to juggle together. By the end of an hour, Heero could juggle almost as well as Duo. There was a hint of a smile on his face. Happy to see his friend happy, he gave his friend a hug, which made Heero scowl.

An affectionate child, he was forever glomping onto the prince. He did this partly because it really drove Heero crazy and partly because he liked him. After about a month of this, a very irritated Heero complained to his father. Odin, surprised that his son had actually complained and not knowing much about children, asked that Duo be caned.

Heero was walking by the playroom when he saw one of his caretakers taking a cane and beating Duo with it, causing him to scream in pain. Heero snatched the cane and being a very an unusually strong child, snapped it in half. "What is this?"

"We're following orders. You didn't want him to glomp onto you. Now he won't," said his caretakers.

Duo ran out of the room, weeping. Heero glared at his caretakers, then ran after Duo.

He looked all over the palace for him. He should've felt glad that he wasn't being grabbed by that idiot, but he felt very upset. This was not what he wanted to happen. He finally found him in his room, gathering up his clothes and toys in his knapsack. There were tear tracks on his usually happy face and his face was puffy. Upon seeing Heero, he promptly hid under the bed, whimpering.

Heero looked under the bed and said, "What are you doing?"

"I'm going home and I'm hiding from you."

"Get out of there!"

"No, you hate me. I'm living here forever until my da' picks me up."

"I'll throw all your clothes and toys out the window."

"Fine with me."

"Nobody else will play with me."

Duo held his breath so he wouldn't say anything. It was quiet for a while. Curious to see if Heero had left, he looked out to see an amazing sight. Two little tears were trickling their way down Heero's face. He crawled out, temporarily forgetting about the pain and stood up in front of Heero. "Why 'ya crying?"

Heero didn't say anything, but grabbed Duo around the shoulders and cried quietly on his shoulder. Despite being beaten for grabbing the prince, he wrapped his arms around him as well. After a little while, Heero said, "It's Ok for you to glomp onto me if you really want to."

"I got hit last time."

Heero scowled, saying, "If they hit you again, I'll kill them."

Soon after that, they went back to being playmates, and no matter how much how it irritated him, he didn't complain about being glomped anymore.




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