The King’s Heir - written by Alfred (a short story for kids)
Once upon a time in a land far far away there lived a 12 year old prince, his father was sick and his mother had long passed on. All he had left was his 21 year old elder sister, the princess Sophie. Now in those days there was great injustice towards women and women weren’t allowed to have a say in any matter. Their opinions were basically regarded as less than trash.
As the king lay on his dying bed he surprised everyone by saying that instead of giving the crown to his son because he is the male child, he would give his two children an assignment and whoever performs best would have his crown.
The king’s assignment for them was quite unusual. He spilt his kingdom into two, his daughter was to take one part and be it’s sole ruler while his son was to take the other part and to be it’s sole ruler. They would be allowed to do anything they want and at the end of one week whoever impresses him more would get the two kingdoms which he would join back into one.
Thus the prince and the princess set off to impress their father. The prince even though he was young got generals together and they arranged for the army that was under his charge to go and start conquering everything conquerable. He was certain that he father would be impressed that even though he is just 12 he’s showing incredible leadership skills and extraordinary vision plus courage. Princess Sophie on the other hand did things differently. She was always closer to her mother than anybody else and her mother always loved to teach her lessons with stories from the bible. The story of King Solomon had particularly struck her and made her understand the importance of wisdom.
So now instead of conquering cities or doing something typical of a supreme ruler in those days, Sophie went to the royal library to study.
By the middle of the week Sophie was full of ideas to make everyone under her charge prosper, and so quite naturally by the end of the one week period her people were 20 times more prosperous than they used to be.
When the prince and princess went before the king for assessment, the king analyzed things and told his son that in going out to conquer others he only conquered two cities and lost more men than the sum total of all the remaining soldiers in his city. He had created war in a kingdom that previously had peace by taking his people to fight others to increase the kingdom. Besides being a king is not about inflating your power and thus your ego. It is about serving and protecting your subjects.
The king applauded the princess however for seeking wisdom, and for understanding that it is the most important thing for a leader to seek so that he or she can lead properly.
The king also commended her for making those he put under her charge 20 times more prosperous.
And so, the princess won. She became the king’s successor – the leader of both kingdoms combined; including the new cites her younger brother had just conquered.