The Assistant

It was the part of his job that Cearbhall disliked the most. But he would not become head of Spiorada University unless he could deal with the more undisciplined students. They knew everything, dismissed their teachers, especially Siobhan whose lovely face disguised her determined mischievousness. After weeks of dealing with her on his own, Mr. Arach had enough! Siobhan went too far this time and Cearbhall would have to discipline her.

All of Spiorada was familiar with Siobhan. She was smart and talented, but refused to heed the basic rules. She believed that she knew best how to work her extraordinary magic.

“The thing is,” Cearbhall said to his friend and mentor, Dorus, “I rather agree with some of her ideas. Why can’t tulips be multi-color? Why must mortals only dream in black and white? And if a horse wants to believe that he is a unicorn-and, I might add, agreed to have a fake horn attached to him-why can’t we just let it be?”

Dorus smiled sympathetically. “Gentle Cearbhall, you are not the first to question The Way Things Are. But if we were to let the young choose we would have all sorts of nonsense and anarchy. Roses would be violet not yellow. The platypus would have fur, not feathers. Things are The Way Things Are because this is how best they work. It is not for us to change only for the sake of change.”

Crosta, in his usual spot, the corner, piped in, “The Old Ones know nothing!”

“Pipe down, imp,” Dorus replied.

“I’m a sprite, not an imp,” Crosta shot back.

“Enough you two,” Cearbhall pleaded, stroking his chin in weary. He knew Dorus was right and he knew what he must do. But he couldn’t help feel compassion for Siobhan and her friend, Capall, who now believed that he was a unicorn.