The house by the road

"Thief, after him!" King William yelled, as he sent some of his palace guards after the scrawny man, who was running with a sliver of gold. The man was not all too happy about getting caught, but still kept running, twisting and turning throughout the halls as fast as his skinny legs could take him.

"Do not let the thief get away!" The king yelled after the guards and down the long halls of the large palace. The thief was fast, but the king has guards all over the palace, and knew that the scrawny man would not get away with stealing from the king, nor the palace. Although it was only a sliver of his gold, it could bought the man a house, or even a years worth of food. Especially if it was the king's gold, which would, most likely, increase it's value.

The man only had to go a bit further, and he would be at one of the secret entrances of the palace, where the thieves exited. He did not consider himself a thief, but in need of money, for food and shelter. He could not get a job, for he would surely loose it the next day. He was good at magic tricks, and juggling fruits, but anything more would be a disaster.

All of a sudden, a guard hopped in front of him, blocking him from the exit. He was about to turn around, and run back, only to think the guards were sure to catch him if he did. Then, he had an idea. He pulled a deck of cards out of his sleeve, and turned around, setting up his trick. The guard was confused. He held four Jokers in his hand, and turned back around, then started to tell the trick.

"You see, I have four Jokers," He held up the four Jokers in his hand for the guard to see, "all that are in the deck. They are going to rob a palace." The man said, as the guards eyes narrowed, and the man placed the cards back on the deck.

"Now, one of the Jokers went down to the lower levels of the palace to see if there were any riches hiding down there," the man said as he placed the card in the bottom of the deck.

"Then, the other Joker went to the kitchens, to see if there were any valuable utensils." The man placed the second card a bit higher in the deck than the other one.

"The other Joker went to the King's room, to gather jewels and other riches," the man placed another card a bit above the other, "and the last one stayed on top, and just in case anything happened," the man said, tapping his finger on the top of the deck, "they would all meet up at the top." The man finished, as he flipped over the four cards on top – all which were the Jokers that robbed the palace.

The guard snatched up the deck from the scrawny man's hand, and shuffled through the deck, to see if there were any more Jokers that could have been in the deck, but there were none. The thief took this time, while the guard was occupied, to slip past him and exit the palace. However, the guard quickly got over his amazement, and caught the man by the shoulders, leading him back into the palace.

"It will be seen to that you get a fitting punishment, thief." The guard said, as he led the man to the throne-room.

"My king, a visitor." The guard said, as he shoved the man to his knees. One of the kings advisers looked at the man, and said, "This man stole from the king. The item shall be returned, and his hands shall be cut off, for he will no longer be able to steal from a person again." He announced.

The man winced at the thought of his hands getting cut off. He could no longer do his magic tricks without his hands. He wished he never stole from the king, or even had the idea in the first place.

"Father!" a young girl (the princess) said, as she walked into the room. "I have seen what he is capable of doing with his hands, and it would be devastating if his talent were to go to waste. He showed a guard a magic trick, and I was truly amazed at how clever it was. I suggest that he be the new palace Jester."

The king snorted at the little girls thought, but looked the man over. "If my daughter says so, then I shall see too. Show me the trick that the guard was fooled by."

The man turned around once more, and set up the trick, everyone in the room was watching. Then he turned back around and said to the king, "Four Jokers are going to rob a palace." He said, as he showed the king the four cards.

He then placed the cards on the top of the deck and followed through with the steps of the Jokers going into the levels of the palace to find riches.

"Then, the last Joker stayed on the roof, and if anything happened," The man tapped the deck of cards three times, "They would all me up at the top." He finished, as he turned over the four cards on the top – the four Jokers.

"Baaah! Let me see the deck." The king ordered.

One of the servants took the deck from the man, and gave it to the king, who shuffled through the deck as the guard did, eyes wide in amazement. How did you do this...?

"Trentis, my king."

"Very well, how did you do this, Trentis?"
"I am sorry, my king, but one does not tell another their tricks." The man answered truthfully.

"Very well, Trentis. You shall make a great Jester for the palace, but will have to prove your worthiness with your hands. You shall build a house where the trees obscure thy view, but a carriage shall still be able to pass through. You may obtain help, but still have to build on your own." The king said, and dismissed the man.

The man was escorted through the palace, and back into the town. The man had until the fortieth sunrise to build the house. Trentis did not have any idea how to build a house, or where he would find such a place.

"Aye, good lad, can ye spare some change?" An old man off the side of the town streets asked Trentis.

"'Orry good fellow, I am short a few. I may, in trade of advice." Trentis said to the old man.

"A'rite son, what is it ye need advice for?"

"A riddle. Where shall there be trees obscuring the view, but a road for a carriage to pass through?" Trentis asked, as he handed the man some change.

"Aye, ye 'ill find 'elp from an animal, but the best advise I can gi' ye is ye cannot 'ave a carriage pass through a forest, for it is too thick, but ye still can be lookin' through a forest if it ye is looking straight at it." The man answered.

"Thank you for your help." Trentis said, as he walked away. He was thinking about what the old man had said.

Later that day, the Trentis went out hunting. He needed food, and did not even have enough to buy a small meal from a street vendor.

While he was quietly stalking a hare through the trees, he heard some squeaking and rustling in the bushes. He cautiously walked over to the shrubs to check out what was making that noise. It turns out, it was a beaver.
The beaver was stuck in a trap, most likely set by someone like him, needing food. He had no idea how the beaver managed to get caught in a bush, and thought it was odd. He cautiously freed the beaver, then thought how the old man said that an animal would help him. He then said to it, "I freed you, now I want you to lead me to a place where trees obscure the view, but where carriages can pass through." Trentis said to the animal.

The animal looked back at him and seemed like it understood. The beaver made a motion that said follow me! Then, the animal took off, scampering through the woods. Now, following a beaver through the woods is not the best thing he has ever done, but it did not seem real smart either, seeing that the beaver was leading him deep into the forest. Although, after a few minutes of running after the animal, they came across a clearing, and a small path, wide enough for a carriage to pass through.
Trentis walked along the path, and found that it went all the way into town. Then, walked back to the spot where the beaver led him to. He surveyed the place, and chose a spot in the grassy area to mark off. He made a few points of where the house would go along. He also needed some tools to cut down wood so that he could build.

After a few minutes of looking around, he noticed that the beaver was still following him. Trentis looked at it quizzically.

"What are you still doing here?" He though aloud.

The animal squeaked in reply, and started chomping on some trees. Is it helping me chop down trees? He thought. He shrugged off the idea, and went back to town, following the path through the woods.

When he arrived, he noticed that there were axes, hammers, and nails in a scrap metal dumpster. This must be my lucky day! He gathered most of the things that he would need, and followed the trail back to the clearing that the animal led him to.

He had been gone for almost six hours, and the sun was beginning to set off in the horizon. But, the strange thing was, when he arrived back at the clearing, there were random cut down trees along the place. He decided that it was the beaver that helped him, and began chopping the wood so he could have pieces to build the house.

Later that night, he decided that he'd sleep there, and start again, early in the morning. When he woke the next day, he found more wood, and started chopping. At mid day, he started to build.

A few weeks have gone by, and the process of the beaver cutting down wood for the house kept going. He almost completed the house, and was proud of his work. All day long, he was chopping, placing, measuring, and nailing. He had never done as much work as he has done in his entire life.

He just strated making the roof for the house, when an idea struck him. Maybe, since he was almost complete with the house, he could build more. He started developing a passion for building his house, that he almost forgot that his deadline was in two weeks. Of course, he could complete it by then. Maybe even put some colored stain on it.

He got back to work, and so did the beaver. He was greatful of the beaver, and if it was not for him, he would never be where he is now.

Trentis was looking at the house in relief. He had been able to build the house, and much more. He built two chimneys, and even a shed. Today was the day that he would show his work to King William.

As we walked along the path to the palace, he noticed that the king was already seated in a carriage, and was ready to see the house.

"Aye! Trentis, what brings you here? We were just about to come and see for ourselves the work that you have done for us."

"I have come here to say that I have completed the riddle, and built the house. I will direct you to the place." He said.

"A'right, lead us to your house." The king ordered.

"Aye, my King"

Trentis lead them to the clearing through the road. The got there in a few short minutes, and the king helped himself out of the carriage, inspecting his soon-to-be-jester's work.

"Aye, this is a work of art. I am truly amazed, Trentis. You shall keep your hands, and become the palace Jester." The king announced.

That day, the king also order the there be a painting made of this place, and it shall be forever remembered throughout the lands.