Origins of a Sparrow

Chapter 1

The lightning crashed wildly outside the countryside town, tearing signs from their posts and scalding horses and cattle who were unsuccessfully trying to escape the storm. The atmosphere inside the adjacent mansion however, was far from cold. Wealthy merchant Edward Teague and his young wife, Delanie, were celebrating the birth of their first child.

"What… what shall we name him?" Delanie groaned weakly as she glanced lovingly down at her new baby.

"Shh… you need your rest" the new father kissed his wife's forehead as best he could, while prying the screaming infant from her arms, "I'll think of something."

And with that, he took the baby and strode out of the room. Delanie shut her eyes and fell into a peaceful, dreamless sleep.

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Teague proudly walked with his son down the cobblestone street. Jack was an intelligent boy, and everyone knew it. He was the cream of the crop, the pick of the pack. He would easily be able to find a trade far surpassing his father's successful yet unfulfilling career. Teague wanted politics for his son, but Jack seemed to have his heart set on sailing.

"Jackie," Teague sighed. "Your headmaster says that you would be an excellent fit for a career as a lawyer or an elected official."

"Dad" The 10 year old whined, "I love the sea. Why can't you see that?"

"A sailor is not a respected profession, Jackie."

"I can be a merchant, like you."

"I don't want this life for you. I want you to do better than me. That's every father's dream for his lad. Besides you're too smart for the trade. Your little brother will get the business, if he doesn't get himself killed first. He'll never amount to much, but you are a different story. You're my hope at a good future standing for our family. Now come, you will be late for your lessons."

Jack longingly looked towards the docks behind him as the pair walked into the distance. All he wanted was a chance.

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Jack sat in the front of the class, uninterested as usual. He looked down at his horn book and retraced the letters of the alphabet with his grubby finger. He knew the lesson well and was prepared to remark and correctly respond to any question the teacher could throw at him.

Master Wilkins glanced at Jack's raised hand and started to speak. Finally.

"Jonathan Teague." The teacher cleared his throat as he paced around the front of the room, "Please translate and explain the phrase 'Galia est omnis divisia en partes tres.'"

"The phrase states that all Gaul was divided into three parts, Gaul couldn't work together as a whole. Each man thought himself better than all others. So they split. But unfortunately this move left them weak, and they were quickly conquered. The country of Gaul teaches us that to seize the day, we must stick together. We must fight as one."

The students seated behind Jack glanced at each other, confused. They didn't quite understand their quirky yet somehow brilliant classmate.

Jack sighed, realizing his peers' difficulty, "In simpler terms it states that the everyone must work together to achieve their goals."

Master Wilkins looked at his student, the prospect of wealth in his eyes, "Very good, Jonathan. It seems that you have once again outsmarted the best. Very, very impressive."

Jack smiled. He had won.