11. Heritage (Eldarion)
Triple Drabble. Exactly 300 words.
Eldarion glanced up at the sound of snickers. Several of the nobles' sons, all of them older than himself, stood nearby watching him. "What is so funny?" he asked, turning back to braiding his horse's mane.
"Surely you are not going to ride like that?" Belvindon asked. The boy stepped closer, fingering the black and white ribbons in Celegur's mane, then he sneered in disgust.
Eldarion felt uncertainty creep up his spine. "The elves' mounts will be braided with ribbons as well. It is tradition." He felt a spark of pride flare to life in his chest, but it quickly dimmed as the boys laughed.
"This is a festival for Men," another said. "As the king's son, you should ride as a Man, not garnish your horse with girlish adornments!"
Eldarion's heart sank for a moment, but then the spark of pride ignited once more. "I may be a Man," he stated with confidence, "but I also have the blood of the Eldar in my veins. I will ride as I see fit."
The boys walked away, laughing, but Eldarion ignored them. He spoke quietly to his elven-bred horse, determined to show everyone that to ride in elven fashion was as honorable as riding as a Man. With agile fingers, he continued weaving the hair as he had been taught, tying off each braid with an alternating color of ribbon.
When Eldarion rode towards the fields, many stared in wonder — including the group of boys who had jeered at him — for the prince rode with his horse adorned in the manner of the elves, but it was not this that caused a stir of whispers in the crowd.
Eldarion sat his horse, using neither rein nor saddle. With head held high, he smiled as the ribbons fluttered in the breeze.
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