ORPHAN4  9' The orphan and the gold ring

For the next four years, Venus travelled all over the world
helping rebel armies defeat wicked kings. During this whole
time, not one of the rebel armies let her help them plan the
battles until she defeated their leader in swordsmanship, in
archery and in hand-to-hand combat.

So, this time, as she approached the rebel army she decided she
wouldn't even ask to help them plan the battle. Instead, she
asked if she could help cook the meals for the soldiers and
wash their dishes.

Then, while the soldiers were sleeping, she would sneak into the
main tent and look at the battle plans and what the rebels knew
about the wicked king's army.

"What are you doing there, young lady?" asked a man's voice from
behind Venus.

When she turned around, it was a boy she didn't recognize. He
wasn't much older than her. And he was very handsome. But she
didn't want him to know that she didn't belong in main tent.

"I might ask you the same thing!" she exclaimed, "Are you a spy
sent by the wicked king?"

"Everyone knows who I am." replied the boy, "So, if you don't
know who I am, you must be a stranger. Maybe YOU are a spy
trying to betray our secrets to the wicked king!

"You can't talk to me like that!" Venus exclaimed as she burned
with anger. "I have been cooking meals and doing dishes her for
two weeks."

She grabbed the boy and whisked him off his feet and down to the
ground on his back. "Now take that back!" she shouted.

"Where did you learn to fight like that?!" asked the boy.

Venus raised her fist and prepared to punch the boy. "Take it

Suddenly Venus heard another voice from behind her. "I'm
looking for the prince. Have you seen the prince?"

"There's noone here but this rude little boy!" shouted Venus,
"And he's about to get a bloody nose."

"Your Majesty!" shouted the voice.

Venus stood up and whirled around, "Your Majesty?! Where?"

An older man in city clothes pointed at the boy lying on the
ground saying, "There. You were about to punch him in the nose!"

Venus sank to her knees and bowed, "Your Majesty! I am so sorry.
I had no idea! I thought you were a..."

"It's quite alright." said the boy as he stood up and dusted
himself off, "I should have introduced myself."

The older man bowed and jestured toward the boy and announced,
"Let me introduce Prince Philip, the rightful heir to the

Venus bowed again and repeated, "Your Majesty! I am so sorry.
I had no idea! I thought you were a..."

The prince interrupted, "You still haven't told me where you
learned to fight like that. Stand up and talk to me."

Venus stood and kept her head down, "Are you going to have me
arrested, Your Majesty?"

The prince replied, "I will if you don't tell me where you
learned to...."

"Is something wrong, Your Majesty?" asked Venus as she looked
up to him.

"That ring! Where did you get that ring?!" he asked as he
pointed to the gold ring on a string around her neck.

"I didn't steal it, I swear!" exclaimed Venus as she grabbed
the ring, "I've had it since I was a baby!"

The prince walked toward the older man asking, "Giles, what was
the name of that little girl we heard about all over the world,
the girl who helps rebel armies overthrow wicked kings, the
one with the magical gold ring?"

Giles rubbed his beard briefly, then recalled, "Let's see, she
was named after a planet. Let's see... Venus! Yes, that's it,

The prince turned toward Venus and asked, "That's you isn't
it?! You're the girl who can fight like a man."

Venus nodded.

"Perfect!" exclaimed the prince.

"Does that mean you are or you are not going to have me
arrested?" asked Venus.

"Arrested?!" exclaimed the prince, "I'm going to have you lead
our army into battle against the wicked king."

Giles interrupted, "But, Your Majesty, this girl is so young!
Are you sure you want a mere girl to lead a whole army?!"

The prince turned to Venus and asked, "How old were you when you
first lead an army into battle?"

"I was twelve." she replied, "But I'll be sixteen and two days!"

Giles replied, "Still, I'm not sure I would trust MY army to a

The prince asked, "Venus, have you EVER lost a battle?"

"Not one." she replied.

So, Venus became the commander of the Prince's army. The next
day a stranger rode into the camp on horseback.

"That's my spy returning from the wicked king's army." said the

The spy unrolled a map of the wicked king's battle plan and
explained how the king had planned to defeat the Prince's army.
The king's army would assembled on one end of a valley and the
Prince's army would attack from the other end.

"Something is not right." exclaimed Venus.

"What do you mean?" asked the spy.

"This battle plan looks like a trap." exclaimed Venus.

"I don't understand." replied the spy.

"This is the same plan I used to defeat the first wicked king
four years ago. Except the wicked king was attacking us through
the valley. Something is missing from this map."

She took the string from around her neck and removed the gold
ring from it. Then she looked at the map through the ring.

"Just as I thought." she exclaimed.

"What do you see?" asked the Prince.

"The gold ring show me that there are hundreds of bushes and
large rocks on both hillsides surrounding the valley." explained
Venus, "In my first battle, we hid our best archers behind the
rocks and bushes. Then, when the king's army was right in front
of us, we all stood up and aimed our bows at the king's army. If
they had not surrended, we would have wiped them out."

"Are you saying that someone changed this map to remove the
hiding places?" asked the prince.

"Someone who wanted us to think that we had the king's army
trapped at the other end of that valley." replied Venus.

"Who would do such a thing?!" asked the prince.

Venus looked through her gold ring at the spy saying, "This spy
isn't what he looks like either."

Immediately, the prince had the spy arrested. A dawn the next
day when the king's army took their places behind the bushes and
the rocks on the hillsides above the valley, they were all
captured by soldiers from the Prince's army who had hidden there
the night before. Again, the king's army was defeated with
anyone firing a shoot. The wicked king and the rest of his army
threw down their swords. Prince Philip could now take his
rightful place on the thrown.

Suddenly, a soldier pointed to the early morning sky and
shouted, "Look, two stars are coming together."

"Does anyone know what this means?" asked another.

"I do!" said an old man's voice.

It was the wise one from the monastery where Venus grew up.

"Father!" shouted Venus as she ran to hug him. "What are you
doing here."

He replied as he pointed to the stars, "I came to tell you about
the convergence."

"What is a con.. conv..." asked a soldier.

"A convergence is the coming together of two planets." explained
the wise one. "When it happens, it means that something
important will happen."

"Tell us," said the prince, "What could be more important that
winning a battle against a wicked king?"

The wise one explained, "The two planets converging are
Saturn and Venus."

"What does that mean?" asked the prince.

"The planet Saturn is surrounded by rings that look like a
crown." explained the wise one. "That means that my daughter
Venus will marry a king. Do you know a king who would like to
marry her?"

"I would." relied Prince Philip.

And so, one her sixteen birthday, Venus married Prince Phillip
and they all lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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