Once upon a time, there was a young boy who lived in the grand palace of a mighty Duke. The boy was only little, but he was learning the ways of knights and noblemen, as his father had been a brave knight himself. The boy’s mother, a woman skilled in love and art, had sent him to the ducal court to follow in his father’s footsteps.
While the little lad enjoyed his lessons and his play with other children of his age, he missed his home greatly. His home, simple yet filled with love, was a humble place with roses around the door and an imposing oak tree by the gate. He missed his mother’s singing, the taste of her bread, the clarity of their honey, and the comfort of his small white bed. But he was a brave boy, and he hid his longing, focusing on his duties and lessons.
One day, the Duke returned from a hunt with a silver fox. This fox was an extraordinary creature, wild and untamed. Despite the Duke’s wishes, none of his courtiers could tame the fox. It thrashed and howled, bit the shiny bars of the cage, and looked at the outside world with yearning eyes.
The boy felt a pang of empathy for the fox. Looking at the beast longing for freedom, the boy felt a sudden impulse to free it. He looked around, and seeing no one, he unlocked the cage, setting the fox free.
Fear consumed the boy after the act. What would the Duke say? He had heard stories of people being punished for lesser crimes. The boy sobbed in fright, crying for his mother.
As it happened, no one realized that the boy had freed the fox. They assumed that the crafty creature had managed to open the cage itself. But this didn’t lessen the guilt the boy felt. He was torn, his mind filled with words his mother used to say, “Deceive no one; speak truth; be brave.”
The boy knew he had to confess. He couldn’t delay it any longer. With his heart pounding, he went to the Duke and confessed that he had freed the silver fox because he saw the creature longed for home.
The Duke looked at his wife, whose eyes were filled with tears, and then at the boy, who was sobbing and scared. He decided on the boy’s punishment; the boy was to be banished from the Duke’s sight and court for the entire Christmas Day.
However, the Duke appreciated the boy’s truthfulness and bravery in confessing his deed. Thus, he decreed that the boy’s day of banishment, the Christmas Day, be spent in his mother’s home.
So, the boy who freed the silver fox learned a crucial lesson that day. He discovered that truth and courage are the virtues of a true knight, just as his mother had taught him. And even in punishment, he found joy, for he got to spend his Christmas with his beloved mother in their lovely home. From then onwards, the boy always stood up for what was right and embraced the truth, eventually growing into a brave and just knight, much like his father.