The Twin Princes©

Many years ago, in a far-off land, twin baby boys were born. They were princes, the sons of a famous king and queen. Though they were twins, they did not look like each other. In fact, one of the boys looked very much like the king, but the other did not. When anyone asked which one of the boys would become the next king, the king said, “I’ll put them to a test someday. The smarter will be chosen king.”

It so happened that the king favored the prince who looked like him. So, he gave him many interesting books to read and ordered all the wise men to teach him everything a prince should know. The other prince got but one book, a little dictionary, so that he might learn a few words.

Time passed and the young princes grew up. However, the favored prince grew up to be a know-it-all. Even the wise men could no longer teach him, because he would not listen. The other prince, who was somewhat neglected, was thought by many to be a fool because all he ever did was look for words in his little dictionary.

One day, the king became very ill and decided that now was the time to show everyone in the kingdom which prince should become the next king. He called the princes and his loyal subjects to his bedside. He told them that he had hidden his golden crown somewhere within the castle and the princes would have a contest to find it. The clue was written on a piece of paper with three simple words: “hickory, dickery, dock.”

The know-it-all prince immediately laughed at the paper and said, “How silly and simple this is. Why, anyone knows that if the clue is ‘hickory, dickery, dock,’ the crown is hidden in the clock.” He hurried to the big clock near the wall and began to break it apart. However, when he was through, he had found no crown.

Meanwhile, the other prince just stood there looking at the three simple words: Hickory. Dickery. Dock. He had no idea what this meant. So he opened his little dictionary and looked for the word hickory. And there he found it. “Hickory,” the dictionary said, “is a tree.” He then turned to find the word dickery. “Dickery,” it said, “comes from the word dicker and means groups of ten.” He then found the word dock, and the dictionary said, “A dock is a weed.”

The young prince then thought of the trees in the courtyard. All the people followed him, and there, to their surprise, were ten hickory trees. Weeds grew tall all around the trunks and roots of the trees. The young prince crawled into the weeds, and there was the golden crown!

The king was stunned. He didn’t know what to say. Finally, with tears in his eyes, he stretched his arms toward the young prince and said, “Forgive me, my son, for I was the fool. You have made great use of the very little I have given you, and you deserve to be king.” He then placed the golden crown upon the boy’s head. The prince smiled, and with his little dictionary at his side, he grew up and became known as one of the wisest kings who ever lived.

Like a dictionary, so is school.
Use it wisely; it's your tool.
Twin Princes Twin Princes