The Wizard Heart

Darrin Thomas

©: 2014 - 2015

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This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

This story is copyrighted by Darrin Thomas, all rights reserved. Distribution, including but not limited to: posting on internet sites, newsgroups, or message boards, or in book form (either as a whole or part of a compilation), or on CD, DVD or any other electronic media, is expressly prohibited without the author's written consent.

Chapter 17

Eli had been shipping his stingray pups for several weeks without any problems. The time had come for Jeremy to get his new pup. This weekend would be exciting.

It had been very hard for Eli not to give in, but this was too important to cut corners. Ryan and Evan and even Noah had been all over Eli wanting to know when he was going to get Jeremy his new stingray. Eli had tried hard to explain that the rays weren't ready to be shipped quite yet, but that didn't help much. The last thing Eli wanted to do was hurt Jeremy or his little sister in anyway, that included them getting a pup and having it die on them. Watching Jeremy all depressed was very hard for Eli to do.

Eli had Uncle Matt send out an email to Jeremy asking if he still wanted his order fulfilled, but with 'alternative shipping methods at his expense'. He had the final response letter already drafted ready to be sent at a moment's notice.

Jeremy came into the lunchroom Monday morning at breakfast looking less depressed, but still stressed. Ryan's best friend, Toby was the first to pick up on it.

"Yo Dude, what you stressing about?" Toby asked in his skater way.

Toby Kaufman was a 12 year old Class IV Wizard who was also a semiprofessional motocross rider. Eli really liked him, but there was something aloof about him at the same time. He figured that if he was Ryan's best friend than he had to be a good guy so Eli gave him the benefit of the doubt.

"I got an email from EFH asking if I still wanted my order fulfilled." Jeremy told the group.

The whole table cheered for him, but he didn't seem too happy about it.

"Why aren't you excited about that?" Stacy asked him.

"Well, I am but I am also scared. They said in the email that there would be alternative shipping at my cost, but they didn't tell me what the cost was going to be. What if I can't afford it? I am not sure that I have enough saved up to pay for alternative shipping."

"Jeremy, you know damn well that you are getting that stingray! Just email them back and tell them you still want it and ask them what the extra costs are going to be. If you don't have the money, well, we will all pitch in to cover the difference!" Ryan told him.

"Yeah, after all Eli has a job so he can afford it!" Evan said shooting Eli daggers, although everyone else laughed.

Jeremy pulled out his phone and sent off his email. He was shocked at how fast he got his reply.

"Holy crap! They already responded. Guys listen to this.

"Dear Mr. Mayfield,

We wish to thank you for your order and your patience with us while we deal with the shipping issues to your small town. Here at EFH we pride ourselves in providing the best fish we can, including getting them to our customers alive and well. After researching all shipping means available to us, our owner has offered a solution.

As you may or may not know, we are not open to the general public, however, with your order we are making an exception. Due to the shipping issues, we will not be able to ship your order, instead you will have to come to us to pick your order up.

This Friday evening, at 7:00 pm, you will be required to arrive at our facility and be given the opportunity to hand select your new pup from those ready for customers. You are welcome to bring your family with you, however, we do ask you keep it to a limit of 4 persons.

Please arrive promptly at the address below no sooner than 7:00 pm, our Owner will meet you at the facility and personally guide you and your family on a tour and assist you with choosing your new stingray.

We look forward to fulfilling your order.

Thank you.

M. E. Kahne, GM"

The whole table cheered for Jeremy as he read the email out loud. Eli was getting some big smiles as well.

"I guess the 'alternative shipping' will be your dad's truck! You will have to pay his gas!" Evan teased Jeremy!

"I will be happy to do so! I got to call Dad and my Mom and make sure they can take me. This is so AWESOME!" Jeremy said as he got up from the table to go outside to make his calls.

Once he was gone, the others patted Eli on the back. Toby and Stacy were a bit confused.

"Okay, sorry but I wanted to keep this a secret as long as I could, but EFH, as we have started calling it because of Jeremy, is Elijah's Fish House, also known as Eli's Fish House, and I am the owner!"

"Wait, what? How long have you all known about this?" Stacy said shooting a major glare at Evan.

"Well, Nora, Noah and I have known since Eli's first day here, and Evan found out the next day. Toby wasn't here that week and Eli asked us not to tell anyone." Ryan said quietly.

"I can't believe you all didn't tell me, well us! But, I guess I can understand why you didn't. If Jeremy had found out that Eli is the one that owns EFH, he would never leave him alone! I can't believe he hasn't figured it out! I would be madder at you all if it wasn't so funny how blind Jeremy has been! Eli sits with us every day, has gone to the mall with us several times, and is in most of his classes, and he still hasn't put two and two together to even come up with one!" Toby said while laughing hard.

"Well, I am not happy you all didn't tell me, but I do understand why, Eli. Just don't keep me out of any more loops!" Stacy told the group before hitting Evan in the arm, hard.

Jeremy rejoined the group smiling as big as he cold. The whole group knew that he was getting his wish. Eli felt very good about the way this was working out.

Right before the bell rang to let the students know they needed to head to class, David approached the table.

"Eli, may I speak to you a moment?" He asked.

"Sure dad, whatcha need?" Eli said making no move to get up.

"Alright, well I got a call a few moments ago from Sherriff Mills. Do you remember that boy you helped rescue?" He started.

"Yeah, I remember, why? Nothing happened to him did it?" Eli asked now getting worried.

"Nope, in fact he is doing great and is about to be released from the hospital. It turns out that the boy's grandfather is a United States Senator, and would like to meet his grandson's rescuer, and has asked that I come to the hospital to meet with him. I can't take all the credit for this one, so I would like for you to join me, after all, you did more than I did to save this boy's life." David knew he was playing it up a bit, but not too much for the benefit of Eli's friends. He was sure Eli had not said anything to any of them about the rescue mission of the little boy in the crevice.

Eli figured the group would give him crap for not saying anything, but no-one did. He asked Noah about it later and learned that they were used to it because of the times they had all ridden along with his dad. That made sense to Eli.

The rest of the school day was pretty normal. At lunch, Eli helped Nora out with her homework, and Chad Dawson stopped by for a little help as well. Chad was an 8th grader, but was a bit behind in his math classes. Eli had been helping him get caught up much to Mr. Stewarts delight. Eli was looking forward to seeing the boy he had helped save.

Eli and David met in David's classroom after school. Unlike most days, David had permission to leave school grounds early because of the request by the U. S. Senator. Neither of them were upset about getting out early.

On the way to the hospital to meet this Senator, David and Eli talked about what they would say happened during the rescue. Eli didn't want them to tell just how much he had done to save the boy, while David was only concerned about keeping the Wizard facts a secret. It took them about an hour to drive to where the boy was hospitalized.

When they checked in at the info desk, they were told that a member of the Senator's security staff would be right down to escort them to the boy's room.

A very large man in a black suit approached them. "Are you David Hunt?"

"Yes sir, I am David Hunt, and this is my Son, Eli, who helped on the rescue."

"We were not told you were bringing anyone, I will have to call up to see if that is approved." The man said before turning his back and talking into his radio. It wasn't long before he came back. "This way gentlemen, the Senator is waiting to meet you both. My name is Mr. Isaacs, I am Senator Holland's head of security. I must apologize for acting like I did, however, we can never be too careful with Senator's visitors these days. Which I am sure you can understand if you follow politics in the news."

"Yes, I can understand that. I am surprised though that we didn't find out the boy we helped save was his grandson until today. I would have thought that would have been more news worthy." David said trying to get a conversation going.

"I am sure the Senator will be able to explain that as well. Gentlemen, the Senator will meet you in the last room on the right, it has been made into a temporary office for him." Mr. Isaacs told them as he walked back towards to the elevator. David and Eli headed down to meet the Senator.

"Dad, do we have to do anything special like bow or anything?" Eli asked sounding a bit nervous.

"No, son, we just shake his hand like a normal person." David replied trying not to laugh.

They knocked on the door and waited to be invited inside. It didn't take long.

"Hello, I am Ed Holland, you must be David Hunt, and who would you be young man?" The Senator said, standing from his desk and shaking David's hand.

"My name is Elijah Everett Kerry-Hunt, and I am his son." Eli said pointing to his dad.

"Well, Hello Elijah Everett Kerry-Hunt, I am pleased to meet you. I am a bit confused though, in my research of you Mr. Hunt, it didn't show you had any children."

"I am engaged to Eli's mother, and plan to adopt Eli at the wedding if everything goes well."

"I see, that is wonderful, congratulations to you all. I have asked you here today to thank you personally for saving the life of my grandson. Due to my political career, I have kept Josh out of the media spotlight ever since he came to live with me. I would like to keep it that way. Josh is very important to me and the thought of losing him terrifies me to the bone!" The Senator said while taking his seat and waving both his guests to one as well.

"I can totally understand that one as well. It was that thought that caused this to be such a hard rescue. I don't think I could have ever lived with myself had something happened to Eli here."

"But, nothing did happen to me, Dad. You made sure that we were both alright. We got Josh out of the crevice and I!" Eli said getting up and hugging his dad.

"Wait, I am confused, what do you mean WE got Josh out of the crevice and you? I was told that you, Mr. Hunt, saved my grandson." The Senator asked sitting up straight.

"Yes, I was there and helped, however, Eli here was the one who went down into the crevice to get your Grandson out. It was Eli that had to do the assessment, straighten his broken leg, get him onto a backboard, and to help guide him out of the crevice. All I did, other than bring Eli, was talk Eli through the steps to help Josh. Eli did a great job!" David said while looking proudly at his son.

"Well, this changes everything." The Senator mumbled something then picked up the phone and made a call. "Mr. Isaacs, I need the polished wooden box from the trunk of my car brought to me immediately! Yes, that is the one." After he hung up the phone he looked back, "Eli, thank you so much for being so brave and helping my grandson. I will be in your debt for the rest of my life, as will Josh! My family will serve you for as long as you need. After Mr. Isaacs retrieves the item I have asked for, we will go visit with Josh. I am sure he is ready for some company closer to his own age. Mr. Hunt, I understand you are a teacher? What do you teach?"

"I am currently a middle school science teacher, at Eli's school, Dyersville Middle School. Before that I was a high school gym teacher down in Carver City. When Eli's Mom, Sherry, and I decided to get married we moved to Dyersville to be closer to her father and family."

"I envy you. I had once wanted to be a teacher more than anything, but I chose to follow in my father's footsteps and become a lawyer. I guess I could have gone on and taught law, but I just couldn't stand those pretentious law students." He laughed.

"I can kind of understand that. I am having so much more fun teaching middle school than I ever did teaching high school kids. It's like once they hit high school they know everything and you become an idiot!" David laughed. "I just hope this one doesn't do that to us!" He said patting Eli on the shoulder.

"For some reason, I do not see that happening. Ah, thank you Mr. Isaacs. That will be all for now." The Senator said as Mr. Isaacs set a beautiful wooden box down in front of the Senator. "I believe what is in the box rightfully belongs to you, young Elijah. Before I open this box, let me tell you a story of my family." The Senator started as he rubbed his hands over the lid of the box.

"My family, on my father's side has been lawyers for five generations. During that time we have served some very powerful people. My Great-Great-Great Grandfather was the personal lawyer to a royal family. He was told that the contents of this wooden box would go to the child who saved the life of a male child of my family. Josh is the first male child in my family since then who was ever saved by another child, you, Elijah. My Great-Great-Great Grandfather was known as Garpet Adrian Holland." Both Eli and David gasped as he said this.

"Yes, Your Highness. I am the Garpet, keeper of the Wizard Heart. Which I now gratefully surrender unto you, Dexas Elijah Hunt!" The Senator said kneeling before Eli.

"Thank you, Garpet Holland, please rise. Your family's loyalty will not go unrewarded." Eli said thinking it sounded right.

"Thank you, Your Highness..."

"Please call me Eli. I am not known to the rest of the Wizard World yet, and wish it to remain that way for the time being."

"Of course, Eli. I do understand. I will walk down and check on Josh, make sure he is awake and ready for visitors. I will leave you here with this for a few moments, when you are ready, we will be in room 309. It will be safe to leave that in here while we visit with Josh, this room is well guarded." The Senator said before leaving the room.

When Eli opened the box to view the Wizard Heart, he heard a distant voice, "Dexas, this is not the time nor the place, please wait till you are safely home."

"What's that mean, Dad?" Eli asked his father.

"What's what mean son?"

"Didn't you say it wasn't the time or place?"

"No, son, I didn't say anything. Did you hear that when you opened the box?"

"Yes sir, it said this isn't the time or place and to wait till I got home. Who said it if you didn't?" A confused Eli asked.

"Son, I believe that the Wizard Heart spoke to you. It has long been rumored that it has the ability to speak to the rightful wearer. You, son, are that. I suggest we follow its advice and wait till we get home before you do anything with it." David said. "Let's walk down and meet Josh, so that we can head home. I would like to get there before it gets dark."

The father and son duo spent about forty minutes with young Josh before heading home. Eli had lots of questions for his father on the drive back to the farm, but none about what was in the box.

"Dad, since I have chosen some Non-Wizards to be on my High Court, when do you think I should tell them about Wizards, and that I am one? Or, do you think I should wait until I ask them to be on the Dexas's High Court before informing them there are Wizards in the world. Do you think there is something that we should have them sign, as to not let it be known that there are Wizards out there, and that they work for the head of the Wizard World?" Eli asked in rapid fire.

"Eli, slow down. First off, the people you have chosen to be on your High Court are very good choices, who I am sure will be loyal to you. As for when to tell them, well that is up to you and your Shielo. Now that you have the Wizard Heart, it is time for you to be making these type of decisions, you are the King of the Wizards." David told the boy even though it hurt him to do so.

"I might be the King of the Wizards, but you are the King's Dad! I will always need your advice and will seek it out. With or without the Wizard Heart, what you think means a lot to me. So please don't shut me out."

"Eli, I am not trying to shut you out, son, not at all. All I was saying was that you have people in place to give you the advice you need to make these types of decisions, and you need to trust those you have put into those positions to give you the advice needed. I am just one of the people you have to seek advice from. Son, I will never shut you out."

David told Eli, trying to reassure him. "Although, for this, I really do think you need to talk to your Uncle Max. He is the head of the High Court, and it will be his job to lead the others on the High Court."

"Oh, sorry." Eli said now understanding what his dad was talking about.

"No reason to be sorry. You are new at this, and so am I. We are both bound to make a few mistakes, and we just have to trust each other and be able to talk about what is going on."

Once Eli and David got back to the farm, Eli ran off to the fish house. He wanted to make sure everything was alright. Uncle Matt was still there working on the computer.

"Why hello there, boss! I am just finishing up here. All the feeding has been done, and we will have a total of six orders for rays going out tomorrow. Not bad if I do say so myself." Uncle Matt laughed.

"I want to make sure there are plenty of pups ready for Jeremy to pick from this weekend. I would hate for him to get here and we not have a good selection. I want to keep track of how many are ready for shipping between now and then."

"Well, I don't think you will have to worry about that. We have 32 that are ready, or about ready to be shippable. All of the shipped orders have reported back as doing great. One did express a bit of concern that her pup couldn't seem to get enough earthworms, and got really excited over them." Both chuckled over this statement.

"Yeah, the stingray 'crack'!" Eli laughed. "I think we should put something in the handouts we send with each pup about earthworms being like drugs for the stingrays, and to limit the amount they give them. While they are okay for them to eat, they are not as nutritious as some foods. With 32 ready to go pups, Jeremy will have plenty to choose from. Uncle Matt, what do you think of me offering a free pup to Jessie, or something like that?"

"Well, I was thinking about that, and here is what I would do, offer her one, but instead of housing it at her home, donate an entire setup at the children's hospital in her name. This would be a good tax deduction for you, as well as some very good publicity. I am not sure who you would have to contact, but if you would like I would be more than happy to find out for you."

"Yeah, please! I think that sounds like a great idea. I think everyone will love that idea. I think, though, that it should be a 2 for 1 deal. We will tell the hospital that EFH is donating the tank and setup, and that the Mayfield family, Jeremy is donating the stingray. I think this will make it mean more to Jeremy and Jessie than just giving them an extra one, or EFH making the complete donation. What do you think?"

"There is no doubt in my mind that you are the rightful King! You make me very proud!" Uncle Matt said hugging Eli.

Together they headed to the house where the rest of the family was gathered at the dinner table waiting on them to arrive. Once Eli and his Uncle arrived, they started eating.

"Grandpa Max, on the way back from the hospital I asked dad a question. He said that I should seek your advice seeing how you are my Shielo."

"And, my Khil, what would be the question you would like to ask?" Grandpa Max asked him in return.

"Well, I was wondering when I should inform the Non-Wizards I have chosen for my High Court about the Wizard World. We don't know for sure if any of them are aware Wizards exist, other than in stories." Eli asked between bites.

"Now that is a good question. You have chosen three Non-Wizards to be on your High Court, more than any known in history. This is not something to take lightly, but I do agree with your choices. I think that with the wedding several weeks away, anytime between now and then would be a good time. My recommendation would be for you to invite them out for dinner, and talk to them while they are here. If, by the small chance, they refuse the position, than your father can do a Memory Cleansing on them so there would be no issues down the line. At that time, you can also inform them of our decision that all High Court positions are to have Kahneu, of their choosing." Grandpa Max told Eli and the rest of the family.

"Son, the Mayfield's are going to be here on Friday, why not send Jeremy an email and invite his family to stay for dinner. It would be a good time for us all to get to know them." Sherry suggested.

"Then you can invite the Mears to come out on Saturday for a BBQ. I am sure that wouldn't be a problem. I can talk to Erin at school tomorrow and tell her that I would like to talk to her husband about becoming my accountant, which is true, I do want to do that." David suggested.

"Okay, that all sounds good. Does anyone have any complaints about those plans?" Eli asked the whole family, which no one did.

Only David and Max realized that Eli was starting to take charge. They both wondered if this had anything to do with the Wizard Heart, or if Eli was just growing into his role.

Once dinner was done, the older three headed home. Eli told his mom and dad that he was going to go sit in the back yard and do some thinking. Sherry looked at him weirdly, but David told him it was alright, and to let him know if he needed any help.

Eli retrieved the box containing the Wizard Heart from the back seat of David's Explorer. When he got to the big tree in the back yard he sat down with his back to the tree. The wooden box was sat in front of him on the ground. Eli stared at the box for a while before he decided he needed to open the box. When he opened it, it was like he was pulled into a new world.

Eli was no longer sitting in his back yard, he was in a castle on a mountain top. He was looking out over the valleys and fields of the farmers below. He knew he should be scared, but for some reason he was at peace.

"Hello Your Majesty. My name is Magnus Saluzzi, the creator of The Wizard Heart. Welcome home. This is Natilitiuamacs, the ancestral home of the Wizard Kings. This castle no longer stands in your time, but with the help of The Wizard Heart, you can always come for help or council. If you will follow me, I will begin to teach you the secrets of The Wizard Heart, so you might start to use it as you need."

"I need to let my parents know I am going to be gone for a while." Eli said trying to stall.

The old Wizard waved his hand over a window, and the view changed to show Eli sitting in the backyard in front of the open wooden box. It also showed David and Sherry sitting talking on the back porch.

"Is this real? I am still in the back yard?"

"Yes, Your Majesty. You are here in your mind only, your body and soul are still at your family's home. If someone was to touch you there, your mind would be there in an instant. This is a Gift of The Wizard Heart, it allows you to come to Natilitiuamacs to talk with past Kings, and ask for advice from those who have been where you have been. Although, times have changed for the Wizard World, the past Kings still watch over the Wizard World to this day, and can help you with what you seek." The old Wizard informed the young one.

"Good, I have lots of questions. What Gifts does the Wizard Heart give, and how long will it take to master them? My dad thought that I was about ready to take on the Council of Wizards, but we might have to put that off while I master the new Gifts."

"No, Your Majesty. The Gifts The Wizard Heart gives do not need to be mastered, as they are not your Gifts. They are The Wizard Heart's Gifts to you. It controls what Gifts you will be allowed to use. There are many Gifts the Wizard Heart controls, which it will not allow you to use. These are manly Gifts needed in time of war or battle. If needed, then you will be allowed access to those Gifts. Let us go sit and we can discuss the Gifts it will be allowing you access to start with." The old Wizard walked Eli over to a couple of benches facing each other in the middle of the courtyard.

"Sir, could you please call me Eli? I am not comfortable being called Your Majesty quite yet." Eli asked in a small voice hoping not to offend the old Wizard.

"Of course, King Elijah, I shall call you what you wish. In my time, one would never call a King anything other than His Majesty, or King so and so. It was just not allowed, however, we are in your time now. I thank you. Even my own brother was King Walker to me."

"Eli, when my brother asked me to make him his crown, I knew that it was going to be more than the Crown of the Wizard King. Normally each king or queen will have their own crown made, but for the Wizard World, I envisioned something grander. I created a living piece, one that would change with each King who wore it. One that would grow and adapt as the world did with time. The Wizard Heart isn't a necklace, it is a living item, one with a soul. Along with its own soul, it holds with it a part of each of its wearer's souls and mine. It is how traveling to this time and place is possible."

"So, when I wear it, it will take part of my soul too?" A bit frightened Eli asked.

"No, not until you pass from your time will your soul become part of the Wizard Heart. Until your passing, you are joined to the Wizard Heart, but separate as well. Once you pass, part, and only part of your soul will remain here in this time and place as part of the Wizard Heart to help with future Wizard Kings."

"Oh, so in a way we live on forever?"

"I guess you could look at it that way, but only for the future Kings. Now, let us talk about what Gifts are available from the Wizard Heart." Magnus told the boy.

It seemed like many hours had passed for Eli while he and Magnus talked about all the different Gifts the Wizard Heart offered him. Eli was starting to get tired and also knew he had some homework to do.

"Sir, I really do need to get back. If we are not finished yet, can I come back tomorrow? I am really getting tired and I do have homework to get done for tomorrow."

"Eli, what is homework? A king shouldn't be doing the housework. You should be more worried about courtly things, and choosing your High Court." Magnus said sounding a bit disgusted.

"Homework is school work that is sent home. My classes are very important to me, and I must stay caught up with them."

"Aww, you mean your lessons? Book work?"

"Yes, I think I remember Uncle Max calling them that. We learn many different things in school, the teachers are always sending homework home for us to do. We get graded on this, and I have to keep my grades up." Eli said hoping the older guy would understand.

"I do understand, and I agree with you, you must keep up with your lessons." You are welcome to come back at any time to talk to any of us here, you just have to ask the Wizard Heart to transport you to Natilitiuamacs."

"Can I bring others with me here?" Eli asked.

"That I do not know. You will have to ask the Wizard Heart that question when the time comes. Eli, I look forward to serving you as you grow into a truly wise King of our people." The old man said giving Eli one last bow.

Before Eli even knew what had happened he was sitting in his backyard looking at the open wooden box before him.

'You must think about how you wish me to appear when you place me around your neck.' Was all that Eli heard as he picked up the heavy necklace?

'For now, a simple gold chain with a pendent would be nice. When I have to do something formal I might ask you look more like your true self, would that be alright?'

'As you like my King. I am to serve you.' Eli heard.

As Eli placed the necklace around his neck, it quickly changed into what Eli had seen in his mind's eye, a simple gold chain with a single red stone pendent. The boy was very pleased. He closed the wooden box and headed back to the house.

As Eli approached the house he noticed a bright blue outline to his dad. As he looked at his Mother he didn't see any, when he looked back at his dad, he had to think about seeing it again before it appeared. This was the Aura Sight Gift Magnus was telling him about. It allowed Eli to see who was a Wizard at first glance, the different color was the different class. Green was for a Class VI, Yellow was for a Class V, Orange was for a Class IV, Blue was for a Class III like David, and Red was for a Class II. This would come in very handy.

Eli sat with both his parents on the back porch and visited for a while before going in and starting his homework. It wasn't long before his homework was done, his shower taken and he was ready for bed. Eli knew the next few weeks were going to be tough on all of them.

The next morning, Eli and David had breakfast with Sherry before heading off to school. Very little happened during the school day. Jeremy was all excited about the latest email from EFH, which included an invitation for dinner with the owner of EFH after choosing his new stingray pup.

David and Eli headed home around 4:00 pm that afternoon. They were talking about Eli's adventure with the Wizard Heart and meeting Magnus Saluzzi, when Eli heard a cry for help.

"Dad, stop, someone is hurt!" Eli yelled out.

David pulled the truck to a stop on the side of the road. They both jumped out and Eli ran down the side of the road before turning and dashing into the trees. David ran after him. When David caught up, Eli was kneeling on the ground with a young dog jumping all over him. Eli was laughing too hard to talk to David.

David knew, they would be taking this dog home with them, he only hoped Sherry wouldn't be too upset.

"Dad this is Prince, his old master wasn't very nice, and dumped him on the side of the road. He isn't very old, and he is really nice. Can he go home with us?" Eli and Prince both were using the puppy dog eyes on David.

"He can, but first, Prince will need to see a Doctor so that we can make sure that he is healthy and not carrying anything that could hurt you or him. And, we will have to find a way to tell your Mom about him!" David couldn't help but laugh at the sight in front of him.

David called Sherriff Mills and asked about the best vet in the area. After getting directions, David, Eli and Prince headed off to visit the veterinarian's office and get Prince checked out.

When they got there, the Sherriff was there as well. David wasn't quite sure why.

"Hello Nevin, what brings you here today?" David asked as they walked in.

"You had said that this young dog had been abused and dropped off on the side of the road, I wanted to see if by chance he had a chip in him so we could track his former owner. I do not like animal abusers, and if I can catch them I will!"

"Prince said that his former master wasn't from this area. He says that the abuse wasn't anyone's fault, but that they just didn't have enough money to buy food for everyone. They were in the car for a long time before he got dropped off. The former master thought that Prince would have a better chance of making it on his own then starving with the rest of the family. They were staying at a campsite by a river for the last few days." Eli said while looking at the dog.

"Thank you Eli, that helps. David, are you planning on keeping the dog?" The Sherriff asked.

"Yes, that is the plan. Just have to convince Sherry of it now." They all laughed.

"I am going to go try and find this family, sounds like they might need help. Eli, does Prince know anything more about the family?" Nevin asked.

"He says the family has two little girls, and drives a big red truck with a house on the back. He says they were always nice, but didn't feed him. I guess that's why I thought he was abused." Eli said feeling a little down for thinking the worst of these people.

"No problem, Eli, when talking to animals, sometimes their words don't match ours. Nevin, let me know if you find them and if there is anything I can do to help. It sounds like this family is in a tough spot." David replied.

"I will keep you posted." The Sherriff said as he was leaving.

After the Sherriff left, David called Sherry and tried to explain what was going on. She didn't sound too excited about having a dog live with them, but she said she would just have to meet Prince before making up her mind. Eli was really excited about having Prince come live with them. He knew he would be a great help around the house.

The Vet came out to talk to them before too long, but Eli saw that Prince wasn't with him.

"Well, Prince is doing well. He is a little underweight, but from what you told me, I think he should bounce back fast. I will give you a recommendation for some special food to feed him for a while, and some treats for him. He is around 8 months old, and if I would have to guess I would say he was a mix between an American Boxer and a Pit-bull Terrier. This would be a very good watch dog if he was trained properly. He is getting all of his shots right now, and will be ready to go home with you in a few moments. Let me show you what dog food I would recommend for you." The Doctor said as he led them over to some shelves.

David bought 20lbs of dog food and lots of treats. He also got a leash and food bowl. It wasn't long before the three of them were back in the car heading out to the farm. Eli was telling Prince all about it, while David tried not to laugh.

Eli and Prince

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