Chester always wanted to fight. It was all he thought about growing up. Sadly, it wasn’t in his makeup as Chester was an owl. His family legacy was to be a companion to a magical being and offer advice as owls were very wise. Still, in his heart, he yearned to be different, spread his wings so to speak, and be a fierce warrior.
All his siblings laughed at him, and it only made him more determined to prove them wrong. One day he was matched to a knight, and Chester knew this had to be fate. As he happily left his home, he dreamt of being side by side with Sir. Phillip and fighting.
Imagine his surprise when he met the so-called knight. Sir. Phillip was just a boy of eighteen and scrawny. Flapping his wings, he shook his head. This had to be a mistake but as the young lad came towards him, Chester knew it wasn’t.
Phillip smiled and stroked his head. “Hello Chester, it appears we’re to be companions. I bet you thought I was a knight who fought in wars and tournaments. No, sadly the only reason they call me Sir Phillip is because my late father was a great knight and when he was killed in battle the King knighted me thinking I was like him. Unfortunately, I am not. In fact, blood makes me want to faint.”
Chester wanted to fly away and go back home as there was no way this boy would ever see a battlefield, thereby ruining his dream of being a warrior. He watched as Phillip went to sit down and open a book, his hand leaning on his face. This wasn’t going well at all. Maybe he could get reassigned. How could he live his life with this person?
Flying over to the desk, Chester perched upon it ready to say something but then the door burst open and two boys about Phillip’s age walked in grinning. One pushed Phillip while the other grabbed his book. Both laughed. “Andrew, look what we have here. Seems Phillip likes to read about building things. We all know he can’t fight like his father did. Who ever saw such a pitiful Knight?”
The boy laughed and the other boy shoved Phillip. “Hey, how about we fight? I’ll give you the first chance to strike. Come on, be a man!” He shoved at him again and Phillip stood, trying to grab the book from the other boy. “Go away, Andrew. I’m not fighting you. Just leave me alone. James, please give me my book.”
Chester couldn’t believe what was happening. Phillip was being bullied by these two excuses for humans and he was allowing it. He wanted to shout, “Fight back Phillip. Don’t let this lot push you around.” Still, his companion did nothing but try to take his book back. Finally, the one called James came forward and landed a punch in Phillip’s stomach. As the boy leaned over in pain, James flung the book against the wall. Both boys laughed as they walked away. Andrew called back. “See you later, Phillip. Enjoy your reading, coward.” They slammed the door and Phillip, holding his stomach, went to retrieve the book which had somehow split in half.
Seeing this Chester had to speak but before he did, Phillip looked up. “I know you were matched to me but if you want to leave it’s okay. I’m not a Knight and as you can see how they treated me, I’m not much of anything. Go back home and find someone worthy. You won’t find it here.” He turned away and leaning down began to read from the ripped book, all the while, rubbing his stomach. Chester sighed and flew away.
A day later Chester was back home when his father walked in. “Son, what are you doing here? Weren’t you matched?” He saw Chester puff his wings and knew he was upset. Chester looked at him. He needed advice. After telling him about Phillip and the boys his father sat there in thought. His father was the wisest owl in their village, so Chester respected his opinions.
When his father finally spoke, it surprised Chester. “Son, you need to go back to that young man. Now, don’t give me that look. Do you think I don’t know you want to fight and go into battle? Well, maybe this is one.” Chester rolled his eyes and his wings fluttered. “Father, that boy just likes books. He didn’t even fight back when he was punched in the stomach. How is this the same as fighting the enemy on the battlefield?”
His father smiled and his wise eyes widened. “Chester, there are other things that are battles too. Did you ever think that maybe Phillip needs you to teach him how to stand up for himself? Isn’t that being a fighter? Not letting others push you around or ridicule you? Not every warrior fights on a field. Some fight daily, just to be who they are. Maybe your call is not to fight with a famous Knight but to help a boy become a man in his own right. Fight for him Chester, be his warrior, and show him the way. That’s worth more than using swords.”
Chester sat there and realized his father had a point. He didn’t have to go looking to fight a foe as sometimes situations brought them to you. Phillip needed an ally and a friend, someone who could fight for him and teach him how to defend himself. Chester smiled at his father. “Thank you for showing me another way. I’m going back. Just have to make a few adjustments to my attire.” His father looked at him oddly, as Chester left the room.
The next day, Phillip was in his room when he heard a noise. Looking towards the window, he saw Chester, only he was wearing armor suited to his shape. Seeing the owl fly toward him he sat down. “What are you doing back here? What are you wearing?” Chester smiled and flapped his wings. “I’ve decided that this is where I belong. You said that you’re not a Knight, well then I will be your fighter. I take a vow to protect, serve, and teach you how to defend yourself outside the battlefield. From me, you’ll learn to fight back in life and become the man your father knew you would be. It took my own father to show me the way. Now do you accept this, Sir Phillip? Will you let me be your warrior owl and fight by your side through all of life’s ups and downs?”
Phillip smiled. For the first time in a long while he felt happy. Standing, he held out his hand to Chester who took it with his claw. “I accept your allegiance, Chester. Protect and guide me wise owl so that I can become someone I am proud of. Thank you for returning.”
Chester and Phillip shook on it, and so their friendship began. Through the months that followed, they were together. Wherever Phillip went, Chester followed. Days were spent learning about building and how to defend oneself. Phillip proved a very quick study and as the months passed, he changed. No long a scrawny boy full of doubts, but a strong, confident young man, who people began to notice.
It was no wonder then that one fine day in Spring the two punks from months ago approached him. Chester sat on his shoulder as James and Andrew appeared. They laughed at seeing Chester in his armor. “Well, what do we have here? Did you dress up your little birdy? Is he going to protect you from us? Do you see this James? A stupid owl is going to fight Phillips’ battles.”
Chester grew angry and was going to take out his small dagger to approach them but heard Phillip whisper, “Be still my warrior friend. I have this one.” Chester nodded and flew off of his shoulder as Phillip approached the two. “So, you think you can beat me, do you? Well then, let’s go at it.” The two boys looked at each other smirking. “He must want an early death. It’s us against you but if that’s what you wish, so be it.”
As they walked closer, Phillip gave the first one no chance as his fist slammed into the boy’s face, breaking the nose with a crunch, blood spurting everywhere. His cries sounded loud, and he held his nose in pain. James looked on, fear clearly on his face. Phillip moved towards him and backing away he held his hands up in surrender. “I don’t want to fight anymore. You win. Please don’t hurt me.” Phillip moved closer, watching as the boy ran away. Andrew followed, holding his bloody nose and screaming for James to wait up.
Once they were out of sight, Phillip turned to see Chester smiling, his chest puffed out with pride. “Well done Sir Phillip. I guess you don’t need me anymore.” Phillip smiled broadly at the Sir part and leaned down. “Thank you, Chester. My warrior friend, I will always need you. Together we will fight whenever we are challenged. We will win in life, my fine feathered friend. Now let’s go. I feel the need for some food.” Chester nodded, and smiling flew up onto Phillip’s shoulder. He had become a warrior after all.
Hi, I write Paranormal Romance and Short Stories. I have published multiple books and have written short stories for New Author's Journal. A love of reading and a vivid imagination led me to know I had to write. The stories in my head needed a home so here I am, bringing my characters to life! My books are The Ghost Convention, The Ghost Guest, The Ghost Honeymoon, and the Silver Crescent Wolves Series. I am in New Author Journal, Winter, 2022, Spring, 2023, Summer, 2023, and soon to be Fall, 2023 issue.