In today’s sneak peek we get watch as Leo stumbles though a lesson in respect.
While the other squires had the day off, Leo was on bodyguard duty as Lord attended an annual high society ball for the merchant’s guild. The celebration was held at Count Heshrue Barkingtons manor, a wealthy Shih Tzu that had recently opened new trade negotiations with the Feline border towns. The ballroom was lavishly decorated with a wide collection of foreign art pieces from across Luterra. The first few hours of the event were spent listening to a main speaker congratulate several merchants on the raise in Dogonna’s economy and after that a feast was hosted for the guests. Leo was standing and watching Lord from behind when a servant accidentally bumped into the squire, spilling the drinks on a large nearby tray.
Leo: “HEY! Were you even paying attention!?”
Servant: “Oh I’m quite sorry sir!”
Bright red beet juice had spilled down the front of Leo’s blue shirt and was quickly staining into a dark brown.
Leo: “You idiot! That was beet juice wasn’t it!? Don’t you know who I am?”
Servant: “I uh… I’ll get a maid to help… With, err that…”
Leo: “You’d better! I can’t be walking around here with a giant stain across my front! Get moving dumb dumb!”
Lord had stopped his conversation at the table and was watching the interaction between his squire and the servant. The servant quickly left, but as he did Lord could see him rolling his eyes in disgust with Leo’s behavior. Lord decided it was time to intervene.
Lord: “Leonard. A moment if you will?”
Lord held his paws out, leading Leo to a nearby balcony.
Leo: “Don’t worry about it Lord. That numb skull of a servant just spilled a little juice. But this shirt…”
Lord: “That’s not what I wanted to talk about Leo. I wanted a word with you on respect.”
Leo stopped fussing with his shirt and stared back at Lord.
Lord: “What do you think respect is?”
Leo: “It’s the… Way you’re supposed to treat people when they’re better than you.”
Lord: “And who is deserving of respect?”
Leo: “Like, the crown and parents and military generals and nobles.”
Lord: “Is that why you didn’t respect that servant?”
Leo: “Well, yeah! The guy clearly couldn’t do his job right! I don’t give people respect that don’t deserve it.”
Lord: “Is that why you continue to refer to me on a first name basis?”
Leo stiffened up immediately, he didn’t realize the way he was speaking and it had finally donned on him.
Leo: “No my king. Err, I didn’t mean it that way. You are deserving of respect.”
Lord: “Respect has nothing to do with a title or prestige. Respect is a measure of what one does for others and themselves. The first rule of respect is that one must be able to give respect before earning respect.”
Leo: “What about older dogs? They don’t give much respect to us younger ones.”
Lord: “While all generations hold some disdain for their descendants, I tend to find that it’s the younger that cast the first stone.”
Lord: “Give respect to those who have earned it. But you also can’t know who to give respect, before you give it. A classic conundrum. I find that it is easier to give everyone respect at first and let them prove whether they are worthy of more. People are usually quick to show their intentions.”
Leo: “That’s not how it works with the cats. If they don’t give respect to a superior don’t they get punished?”
Lord: “You are confusing respect with fear. I did not obtain the position I have today by beating my competition into submission. I did it by working hard and proving my worth to the people around me, and eventually to all Canine kind. The tainted kind of respect the Feline practice is based more on fear of punishment. True respect creates loyalty. Fear only breeds disdain.”
Lord held up a cloth, spit in it and started to clean the stain on Leo’s shirt. Leo looked around and could see the other dogs starting to chuckle at the sight. What Lord was doing was a typical act of mother dogs tending to their pup. Leo wanted to resist but instead just stood there in attention.
Lord: “Be careful not to ride off my well-earned respect. And if you continue to act like a puppy, I will gladly treat you like a puppy.”
Leo grumbling: “Yes my king.”
Ouch, that has to be thee embarrassing moments for Leo. He’s got himself a moral hat trick! But we all learn from our mistakes one way or another.
–Silver the Bard: “If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.”