One bright and sunny day in Harishehr, the peace was broken by a loud commotion. The sound of shouts, crashing, and bellowing could be heard from the direction of the Clock tower. In that moment, the door to the tower burst open, and out spilled two young boys. Breathless with laughter, they bounced up from where they had fallen and the one dressed in opulent finery said, giggling all the while, “That was brilliant Sher, did you see the look on Master Hafiz’s face!”
At that point, an approaching voice could be heard shouting from within the tower, “Your Highness! Prince Mukhallad! Get back here this instance!”
The other boy grinned, running a hand through his disheveled hair, he grabbed the other boy’s arm and pulled him into a run, shouting “Less talking, more running, Kal!”
The boys ran, laughing and gleeful, they tried to shake off the wildly coloured, stuffily dressed men pursuing them. Reaching the market, Sher swiftly scoped out the area and pulled the Prince with him as he dived under a fruit stall. The stall owner, a round bellied old gentleman seeing their antics, only grinned and shook his head. The boys, hidden under the stall’s cloth covering, could hear Master Hafiz arrive in the market. The boys held their breath when Master Hafiz approached the stall owner, despite being covered head to foot in coloured powders, and asked him with great pomp, “My good Sir, I am Master Hafiz al Birani, on urgent Royal Business. Tell me have you seen two young fellows go through this market? One is dressed opulently, with brown hair and blue eyes, while the other is black haired, dark skinned, and a little older.”
The stall owner, with extreme solemnity replied, “I’m honoured that you chose to approach me with your Royal task, esteemed Master. However, I am afraid; I have not seen anyone fitting your description.” When Master Hafiz approached other stall owners and shops, he was given the same answer, until finally a young man, with a twinkle of laughter in his eye, pointed the stuffy Master in the direction of the docks.
As soon as the Master and his helpers left the area, the fruit stall owner lifted the covering of his stall, and beckoned, “You can come out now Prince Mukhallad, Lord Shershah; he’s gone.”
With a grin, Sher jumped out from under the stall and grabbing a pear from the stall, he sat down on a nearby chair. With a satisfied groan he bit into the pear and said, “Thanks Mr. D, you sure saved our asses back there!”, then he shouted, “Thanks for helping us everyone!”
“Language, young man! Don’t think that just because you’re a Lord I’ll let bad manners slide.” Mr. Dijalli replied mock sternly, an indulgent smile on his face as he patted the emerging Prince’s head. “Now what are you boys up to today, besides driving your new tutor up the walls that is?”
“Oh but he’s such a bore and he has clue about how things are run in this city.” Groaned Sher. “That doesn’t mean you should continuously torment the poor man. Whose plan was it this time?” Mr. Djillali chided half-heartedly, looking meaningfully at Sher, who was normally a perpetrator of mischief.
“It’s not like that, Mr. D, it was me, I rigged up the moon charts with colour bombs. He insulted Sher’s dad! And I don’t like him, he is always praising me just because I’m the Prince and finding faults in everything Sher does, he’s mean and unfair!” The normally quiet Prince declared passionately. At this Sher’s face softened, and he smiled gently at the Prince, ruffling his hair in affection, “That’s not favoritism Kal, you’re just a nerd!” he teased.