*Alternate* First Reading: Excerpt from “What Kind of King?” by John Foley

Once there was a king named Arthur. You remember him, the one who thought up the Round Table and had Lancelot as his knight and Guinevere as his wife.

Long before he became king, in fact when he was just an infant in the cradle, a strange thing happened. The nurse stepped out for a moment and, quick as a wink, Merlin the magician stepped in and then stepped out again … taking the boy with him.

This was not a kidnapping. Merlin was a kindly old magician and his commission was to let the boy grow up as a normal — not spoiled, pampered or “royal” — person.

He was not to be miles above the animals and the people and the tiny, precious specks of beauty in the most surprising places in our lives.

He was to live with us.

The words of John Foley