The Diamond Tree by Michael Matson

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Dall is eager to prove himself a worthy prince, but what do you do when your older brothers have already slain every dragon and rescued all the princesses? You heed the advice of an old woman and set off on a quest! When Dall starts finding diamonds along the way, he discovers his quest may have a more unique ending than he had planned. Ages 6-12 and great for parents to read with their children.

Once upon a time in a far-away kingdom whose name contained all the letters of the alphabet and was impossible to pronounce, and where it was the tradition that every royal prince and princess be named alphabetically, there lived a king named Zym who had four sons, Prince Ardros, Prince Bendle, Prince Charn and Prince Dall.

Four healthy, inquisitive sons are generally handful enough for anyone, even kings. And more than once during the princes’ younger years King Zym locked himself away in his armory and fervently wished that Ardros, Bendle, Charn and Dall would grow up a bit more quietly. And, if possible, overnight.

Growing up, however, will not be rushed. Each of the four princes passed from spoiled toddler-hood to promising manhood in the usual number of years. And each in his time on reaching that stage of uncertain maturity, eager to prove his knightly skills, ventured forth fortified from helm to heel, to seek adventure and to win honor.

Each in his own time was successful.

Prince Ardros slew a fearsome, two-headed dragon, which lived above the mists of the Gargoline Mountains. He galloped home bearing the enormous emerald, as big as a tiger’s head, that the dragon had held clutched for one thousand years in the claws of one of its many scaly arms.

Prince Brendle defeated an awesome giant who for centuries had terrorized travelers in the shadowy forests of Thrup. He trotted home with the giant’s golden armor, a suit so huge three oxen were needed to carry it.

Prince Charn outwitted and killed an evil wizard who had assumed the shape of a flaming serpent, which demanded tribute from the aged King Klydde and his elderly daughter, the Princess Kendle. He cantered home with a chest overflowing with jewels and gold coins, the gifts of a grateful royalty.

Naturally, Prince Dall, the youngest (and some said the most spoiled of the four) was as eager to prove himself as his older brothers had been. On his eighteenth birthday, he too rode forth dressed in glittering panoply in search of adventure.


He was back in less than a fortnight as thoroughly angry as anyone had ever seen him. He stabled his stallion in a furious sulk and clanked in a terrible temper to the castle banquet room where his brothers lay sprawled loosely about drinking wine from silver goblets and bragging to one another about their adventures.

“You,” he shrieked, “have ruined everything! You have slain the only dragon, defeated the only giant, outwitted and killed the only evil wizard in the shape of a flaming serpent and rescued the only princess in distress anywhere in all the surrounding kingdoms. There is nothing left to do and it’s all your fault.”

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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