Justice, freedom, righteousness, when we think of these words we don't think of what makes them, no not the definition, the true meaning. Something noble and honorable, in our culture we think of doing the right thing, being virtuous. What exactly is the "right" thing. What can be considered virtuous? Human kind has struggled with these questions since the beginning of time. In fact, the Wart finds out that every species has struggled with the very same universal riddles.
Our story begins with the tench. The tench live in tyranny filled society, a kind of society where the weak die young and the strong survive. This is the concept of, "power of the body decides everything; might makes right". The Wart does not take to this concept, in fact when he sees a family of fish whose matriarch "mother" is sick, he cures her. He defies the rules of the tench by doing what he believes in, what his concept of right is. He knows this...monarchy... is not in his beliefs.
A noble hawk sweeps over the land, a merlin to be exact. Noble, royalty, that is their structured culture. Merlyn teaches this to the Wart as he transforms him into a hawk. This time he was prove himself by staying perched adjacent to the goshawk until all of the other hawks ring their bells. He accomplishes his task, just in time too, just as the hawk began his attack and escapes. He learnt a valuable lesson then, in this "noble" tradition. In the world of the hawks your place is set in stone upon birth and nothing can change that.
Next lets move on to the merlin, or hawk. "Royalty is for those who are born royal." As the king begins to grow bored, Merlyn changes him into a hawk and makes his stay the night in the mews where he is tested for his power. He must prove himself by staying perched next to the goshawk or fighting hawk until all the other hawks ring their bells. He manages to stay through it all and escape just as the hawk begins his attack. He learns that in the world of the hawks; If you are not naturally royal you never will be. How many of us can say...