A Carrot A Day?
by Pirate Turner
He was sleeping soundly when something rapped him on the head. Exhausted from his parents', the Faeries', and his own beloved's wedding plans, he remained still with his eyes tightly shut and hoped that whoever it was would just go away. He ignored two more taps before his hat was lifted off of his face. With a weary sigh, he opened his eyes and glared into the long face of his best friend.
Samson refused to take any of his master's attitude after all he had been through to help him get his Princess. He knickered loudly but was hushed by Phillip quickly clasping his hands around his mouth.
He brought the horse's face down so that they stared directly into each other's eyes. "What," he demanded through gritted teeth, "do you want? And don't give me away or there'll be no apples for you in the morning."
Samson blew his breath out of his nostrils as Phillip released him. He returned his glare, just as determined to get what he wanted, needed, and truly deserved as his Prince was to get his nap. His tongue lolled out of his mouth, and he licked his lips. He stared pointedly, hoping that Phillip would somehow get the message and wishing that he could talk like a human to make himself and his demands clear.
Phillip continued to stare begrudgingly at his horse, and Samson continued to make signs that told him he was hungry. He had given him his part of the deal the day before, he reasoned, and he was well fed, so what did he want? It was then that the memory came to him, and he recalled that he had promised his most loyal friend that he would give him his favorite foods if he helped him find the source of the most beautiful voice he had ever heard. He'd ended up dumping him in a puddle, and so Phillip had refused his request for carrots.
Yet, just as surely as Samson had allowed that branch to hit him and dropped him in the puddle, he had also been by his side throughout his trials to win the woman who had so completely captured his heart. He had seen him through thick and thin and was truly man's best friend. He had stayed with him even when he had been captured and had not hesitated to run for their lives once he'd mounted him.
A smile had spread slowly over his face as he thought of his friend's loyalty. He reached up and ran his hands over his face before fondly scratching his ears. "All right," he told him. "I'll see to it that you get a carrot a day, starting right after I wake up from my nap." Samson eyed him in an expression he knew all too well. "All right," he relented with a grin, "two carrots."
He stroked his head again. "Now let me sleep." He leaned back into the hay, and Samson dropped his cap back onto its place on top of his face. He returned to his slumber with a prayer that the Good Faeries would not find him.