The Once and Future King Book 1, Chapter 1
Arthur, or "Wart," as his bullying brother Kay has nicknamed him, is a young boy of about ten growing up in a small castle near a forest in Medieval England. The boys learn many skills appropriate for young gentlemen of the time: they study Latin as well as jousting, for example. Kay, who is older, is somewhat spoiled and moody: he throws tantrums if things don't go his way. Their father, Sir Ector, is a good-natured man who entertains his friend, Sir Grummore Grummursum, over dinner. They discuss Sir Grummore's day: he has spent it chasing hooligans around the countryside. Sir Ector tells him he really wants his boys to have a tutor, and his friend agrees. The next day is hay-making day, when everyone works in the field under Sir Ector's direction. Arthur is better at it than Kay, but Kay won't admit that. Then it begins to rain, so the hay-making ends and the boys soon decide to take Cully, their hawk, out rabbit-hunting. Kay bullies Wart, because he is adopted. Wart usually allows Kay to bully him, because he doesn't want Kay to bring this up, and also because "He...was a born follower. He was a hero worshipper." Book 1, Chapter 1, pg. 4 Once they find Cully in the Mews, a clean, mysterious room full of tools for flying hunting birds, Arthur worries that Cully might not be right to fly. Kay sneers at this, and takes Cully out, making him fly before he is ready. Arthur knows what to do but realizes that the older boy will get angry if he gives him advice. The hawk flies away, and the boys have to chase after it.