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    R. Eric
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His Royal Highness, Prince Vincent - 19. For The Love Of Thor

I love to chase "rabbits" as you know. I love to dangle carrots as a lure. More depth is coming, but this situation needed more. Thor is a main part here, but Vincent, David, Matilda drama continues. Stories don't end. They change and evolve. One more chapter and the Cowboy Ambassador and Future King has more drama. I swear.

I love you, Daniel.

For The Love Of Thor

Matilda’s behavior did make sense I thought. Grandma would say her spirit was out of balance. That was obvious. Did that mean Matilda willingly did her part? From her perspective I am sure she was. Teenagers often made impulsive decisions and had no experience to help guide that decision to understand what could happen. I may have given Ludwig Viktor too much credit. I didn’t know. Or I didn’t give Cousin Matilda enough credit. Again, I didn’t know. I think we needed to know. She acted like she was royalty because her great, great whatever was king of Denmark. The house I had been given to use was her grandmother’s. Now she really was royalty. Granted it was the lowest of the royal stations and she got that by marriage. Admit it, those people from this part of the world knew they were better than everyone else. Why? They just were. Most people in the United States just knew they were better than the savage “Indians.” How many in the southern states of the United States didn’t consider those from Africa were even people. They didn’t have souls. They didn’t!? Show me proof! I mean, prove those who did have a soul verses those who didn’t! What was the difference other than skin color? No, don’t just say everyone just knows that. Everyone does not just know. And all those slave owners that had sex with slave women, these men had souls, right? They didn’t pass any soul to the child? Does it take a few generations for the soul to develop? How many does it take? It was all just crazy! The guy Ludwig Viktor just knew Aryans were the Ubermensch of the Aryan People. One more time; why!? I am proud of my parents and grandparents. All of them. My maternal grandpa I never knew, but I knew he was French and Swiss…I think. French I knew. He was a trapper. Dad’s parents were from England and Scotland but died before he came to the ranch. I was raised by the Pohogwe, who were a proud people whose philosophies were, in my opinion, the best! There were many tribes that had similar views and their tolerance was the best. No judgements. No one was better than we were. Nor were the Pohogwe better than anyone else. Everybody had a place in the world.

Ludwig Viktor was even wanting a breeding program to produce more Aryans to speed up the taking control of the other races even sooner. Why did he think they were to be in charge? Talk about an inflated ego. Why did they have that!? Smarter? Stronger? Not simply because they were Aryan! Even more so because they were German? That was ridiculous! Where you were born means nothing. I was sheer madness! No, the Pohogwe didn’t really believe in mental illness. The belief that those people with madness were living partly in the Spirit World and getting messages from there, both good and bad. The Shoshone had many versions of the same religious beliefs. We all believed in the power of the Vision Quest and Spirit Animals. There were the Spirit Dances. One very important one happened every year was the Sun Dance that happened for the Summer Solstice. Dreams were from the Spirit World. Every living thing, animal and tree had spirits. Even the land had a spirit. My point is…I don’t believe Ludwig Viktor was in any way near any Spirit World. If he really believed what he said, I think he is crazy.

 

We had a good dinner and got ready for the next day. Thor was proving to be a very smart and well-behaved dog. He only had two incidents where he didn’t let us know in time he needed to go out to pee or anything else. Both were quickly cleaned up and dealt with. Both times were on the marble floor…that we knew of. Thor was never without Vincent or me. There were people I felt comfortable leaving Thor with if we needed to. Annabelle would do it. Rebekka, Laura, Emil, and Ulf could do it. Don’t hate me, but Annabelle would be the first choice until she took on other royal duties. The others I mentioned had jobs to do. I didn’t know what Annabelle did. She was taking on the Animal Welfare Act but soon would be returning to school following the coming of the new year. Really, I didn’t plan to leave Thor alone at all. When the Havershams came over I would include Thor at first. Their reaction would determine if he were to stay. I didn’t believe Beverly would have any problem with Thor. Her husband Percival shouldn’t have a problem, but their daughter Francesca is a new mother and may be overly cautious about cleanliness. Those concerns are very real as infant mortality is a valid concern. It was getting better, but it is a real concern. The was what mothers did be she Human, bear, bird even reptile. Many think alligators eat their young. They don’t! No one sticks around to see alligator mother will put them in her mouth when there is danger but releases them when that danger is over. Who would threaten an alligator!? They do! For their skin and meat.

Vincent and Emil were going to Alberte’s Kæledyr Bizart, Alberte Rasmussen’s Pet Bizarre, the breeder that threw Thor in the freezing water of the river to get rid of him…Vincent and Emil were going to make certain he was treating his inventory humanely. The problem is that what Mr. Rasmussen did was not against the law. He committed no crime. It was cruel and evil, but no current law existed saying one was broken. Maybe not right now, but it might be soon. Alberte Rasmussen had something else to worry about. The royal family knew about it, and you know Annabelle and Vincent would not be silent about how he conducted business. Treating his inventory as he did would not be kept private. Everyone would know and he’d lose business. Royal endorsement is great! Royal condemnation is bad…very bad.

We began the day like always. Thor’s training was going well. He was getting familiar with the routine! Dogs didn’t like baths? Beagles were hounds and they would dive willingly into water for retrieving prey. Thor loved us and wanted to be with us all the time. When we showered he joined us. He didn’t mind the water and the shampoo and soap we used that kept his dander down and it had to feel more comfortable. I know, I know, he’s a dog! They love to roll in the mud, grass, and they loved that feeling too! When I was little I did it. In the shower he was being touched and rubbed by us and enjoyed the attention. Ate it up! I find that interesting. A dog that almost drowned in cold water and minutes away from freezing to death from water. No one knows what an animal’s concept about life and death, but his instincts told him to struggle out of that sack and seek warmth somewhere. It wasn’t the water; it was the cold. He felt secure with Vincent and me. Besides, this water was very warm, and we always spoke kindly and lovingly to him the whole time. His mood indicator told us that he was fine. His tail. He was very happy. Putting him down after the shower he did the predictable dog thing where he shook himself from head to tail to get the water off.

“Thor!” Vincent’s attempt to chastise fell a little short from the tone he used. He shielded his face and eyes from little drops that flew. Vincent was smiling the whole time.

“It’s water,” I handed Vincent a towel for himself and Thor. “He’s clean and so are you.”

 

Our situation would soon change again. Angelica would give birth in early Spring in Norway. Vincent should be there when she did. She would come to Denmark after a few weeks to show Denmark the next royal generation. There would be many subsequent trips to and from Denmark and Norway. Vincent been given one of the four palaces when he returned from Wentworth Academy. However, since Angelica was part of the family now, Vincent and Angelica were family, I didn’t like to admit it, but as inclusive as Vincent and Angelica were to Harald and me as extensions of that family; we weren’t. We were told both of us were going to be important parts of their child’s life. Where she lived when she was here Vincent should, too. Angelica and Harald could live with me. Why would the future king of Denmark live at the American Embassy? Why would the future queen live with me? Public appearances would be done, and they got along very well. Even with staff discretion it would be difficult. We got through difficult before and I said, I walked into this with my eyes wide open. King Fredrik and Queen Maregete worked it out. Then I smiled realizing my mother would be here to meet Vincent’s and Angelica’s child! I would probably introduce her to not only to the King and Queen of Denmark, but Norway, too! I always thought people that included pets as part of the family were a bit odd, but Thor was. He was both Vincent’s and my responsibility. Therefore, he was our child! Pathetic, isn’t it? Yeah, I was.

We took the rear stairs to the kitchen where Vincent and I had our breakfast. Thor was doing better with the stairs…in spite of it taking extra time. He lowered himself to each step and we made sure he didn’t fall. He gained confidence the further down we got and literally bounced down the last few steps.

“Good boy, Thor!” Vincent praised and applauded lightly.

“Yes,” I nodded. I clapped, too. “Next we’ll to see how he handles going back up the stairs! He’ll get it.”

 

We ate in the small room off the kitchen. Technically, it was the staff’s dining area. I don’t think anyone minded if we used it. It was smaller and cozy, so why not?

“There you are!” Annabelle claimed suddenly from the doorway. “I looked everywhere for you three!”

Thor let a quick bark out and trotted over to his friend with his tail activated saying how much he liked her.

“Thor!” Annabelle greeted happily and stooped to pick him up and didn’t stop Thor’s licking for his wet greeting.

Vincent chuckled and looked at me, “Were you lost, David?”

“Not since I was four years old,” I commented casually. “I got separated Dad. We were looking for longhorn calf in some woods I didn’t know. Only for an hour.” I laughed. “I didn’t know where I was, but Dad found me easily.”

Vincent nodded, “We knew where we were.” Then he pointed at Annabelle with his fork. “You didn’t. We were never lost,” he chuckled. “You just couldn’t find us.”

“I never said you were lost!” Annabelle helped herself to our table and sat down. “I looked all over downstairs.” She waved to men behind her, “They were going upstairs to see if you were awake.” She smiled at us a bit slyly. “I believe you know them.”

I looked behind her and yes, we did know them. “Bendt! Nakia!!” I said to the two guards assigned to escort Vincent to the United States twice and had been the ones that introduced the Paris Underground to us. And most important, our very good friends. I jumped up and hurried over to hug them both. Vincent had gotten up to greet them as well.

“We haven’t seen you since we got back to Denmark!” Vincent greeted happily.

“You were busy!” Bendt defended with a smile.

Then I noticed another man I didn’t know. He was in his late thirties, and he had dirty blond hair and was smiling at us.

“Oh,” Annabelle said, “This is Soren Bortnik. He heads the Animal Welfare Department in Denmark.”

I smiled hearing that, “Bortnik? Vy russky?”

I watched his eyebrows rise and a smile spread across his face, “Ya! Ya vyros vie sankt-peterburge, poca mne nay trinadtsat.”

“Da! Mne yest s kem popraktikovatsya vie russkom!” I narrowed my left eye and growled at him, “Ethot vas alphabet - suka!”

Soren threw his head back and laughed, “Prosto vse pau-drugomu.”

Vincent tapped my shoulder and asked, “Do you want to share with the others that aren’t as smart?” He shook his head, “What?” He waved at Soren looking at me.

I grinned at Vincent, “Bortnik is a Russian Name.” I looked at Soren, “That means beekeeper, doesn’t it?”

Soren nodded, “Yes, it does. My mother is Danish, my father was Russian. I was raised in St. Petersburg until he died when I was thirteen.”

I felt that ache again in my heart, “I know how hard that is.” I admitted with a sad smile. “I am sorry about that.”

“I understand you lost your father not long ago,” Soren said. “You have an understanding. Thank you.”

I grinned at Vincent, “I then told him the Russian Alphabet is a bitch!!”

“Then I said it was just different,” Soren grinned.

“It’s almost impossible!” I stated to Soren louder.

“I learned it,” Soren said a little haughtily. “I was only six!”

I know my eyes narrowed as I didn’t quite glare at him, “And you brought him here…why?” No one was worried that I was really upset with Soren…not even Soren. Nakia, Bendt and Annabelle must have warned him in advance. They were laughing at me.

Soren nodded, “I did!” He smiled evilly. “We’ve done it for a while.” He leaned inward and said, “We plan to march in front of his store. We parade in the square about what he’s done! We can even carry signs and have visual images of what he’s done. Pictures drawn of puppies and kittens being hung and drowned. Cute little animals being tortured…”

“That would upset everyone,” Annabelle said happily. “Even children!”

I smiled at that, “He’ll be forced out of business.”

“Or he could simply relocate to another city,” Vincent pointed out.

Soren looked at Vincent puzzled, “And no one would keep track of him?” He shook his head. “He could change his name even, but to pull up stakes and start somewhere else? That would be difficult.”

“Or” I pointed out. “He learns the error of his ways and changes how he does business. He’ll at least learn he will be held accountable for his actions.”

“Things will slip through the cracks,” Soren nodded. “We won’t stop them all. This Spring we’re having our Spaying and Neutering March.”

“Neutering?” Vincent asked warily, “You mean…” He did a scissoring motion with his fingers. “Cut Thor’s…”

I admit it, that idea didn’t sit well with me either, “Well, it does make sense.”

“What!?” Vincent balked and took Thor from Annabelle and held him away from everyone as if to protect him. “You want to cut his…” his last word was unspoken.

I rolled my eyes and shook my head, “You’re how old? His genitals.” I pointed at him. “Say it. Genitals.”

Vincent smirked, “I was thinking balls, but…genitals.” He pointed at his sister. “She’s here so…” He shrugged.

“She doesn’t know what they are?” I chuckled and nodded, “I understand. We did it on the ranch.”

“To cattle!”

“Yes,” I said.

“Maybe I don’t understand why,” Vincent said quietly. “Wasn’t it to control what is slaughtered?”

“That’s just part of it,” I explained. “Bulls are naturally much more aggressive. We keep them separate from the rest of the herd until stud time. When we had the cattle drive you were a part of we had twenty prize studs for the entire herd. Eighteen were still young enough to do it. The other two would live out the rest of their lives in peace. They’d done their jobs. Those two are over twenty-five years old. Every birth of a male calf they assess for strength and health. The best calves are set aside to be potential studs. Male calves we do castrate, so their muscles don’t get tough because they don’t go through puberty and don’t become aggressive. The herd is more manageable.” I shrugged. “We get better cattle this way.”

“It’s easier to do it with male puppies,” Soren said. “It won’t hurt them as they will be anesthetized when it happens. It’s not like someone’s kicked us in the groin.”

Vincent still held Thor aside, “How do you know? Has any of them told you?”

“Male puppies recover quickly,” Soren assured. “Some don’t really have to recover but just are back to the happy, playful selves when they wake up.” He held his hands up. “It’s a lot less invasive than for the females.”

“It controls the population,” I said. “One male dog will mate with as many as they are allowed to during females heat season. One female spayed won’t have puppies. That’s just that one female. Male neutered puppies will reduce the stray dogs on a larger scale.”

Vincent nodded, “While everybody loves puppies,” He admitted reluctantly kissing Thor’s head, “and kittens…stray dogs and cats are often a problem in Copenhagen and all over Denmark. With poor living conditions they develop diseases and carry illness to people.”

Soren nodded again, “Yes, they do. They live in filth and are often starving. We try to gather as many as we can to nurse them to health. Often we end up putting them to death to protect others. We try to find homes for them. But…”

“He is a smart and happy dog,” Vincent said.

“I can say,” Soren smiled. “He is smart and healthy because is cross-bred.” He saw our faces and went on. “Many of our pure breeds are so often inbred to keep what characteristics we like in a dog. Cross breeding makes a better dog! No abnormalities from their parents and grandparents.” He smiled at Thor’s happy expression. “I see beagle, but his coloring tells me he was something else.”

“His father is a beagle,” Vincent ran a hand over Thor’s happy expression causing Thor’s tail to resume it’s fast speed. “His mother is a Terrier. She was a crossbred Terrier from Norwich and West Highland.”

“Even better!” Soren said happily. “More canine diversity!”

I chuckled, “Okay.” I waved them both down. “He’s still a baby! His genitals haven’t even descended yet, which should be any time now.” I shrugged. “He will gain some fame because he is so cute and smart. People will probably want a puppy from the Royal Dog Darling.” I grinned as Vincent smiled at me. “I can’t decide if Thor should sire a litter of puppies or even know when! It won’t be for a while. He’s just a puppy!”

“You’re right.” Vincent gave Thor another hug and handed him to me, “Yes, I knew a lot of this. It’s just so…” he looked at Thor who liked all this attention he was getting, “…so unpleasant about strays.”

“We want to stop that part, too.” Soren admitted. He turned as there were footfalls behind him. He smiled at Emil who got closer. “Good morning!” He shook hands with him. They knew each other. Naturally.

Emil greeted him back, “Everybody is going to Rasmussen’s Kæledyr Bizart? We’ll need a bigger sleigh!”

“I have guests coming tonight to prepare for,” I told them. “Thor and I will stay here.”

Nakia and Bendt were dressed as members of the Royal Guard and a part of the Royal Military and be the official escort for Annabelle and Vincent for protection. They would ride their own horses. Emil and Soren would ride with Vincent and Annabelle. I didn't feel sorry for Alberte Rasmussen, but he would feel pressure from all of them descending on him this morning. It would serve him right!

 

They left me with Rebekka and Laura who was ready to get things started. We got the fire going with the wood gathered that would be needed. We needed the coals to render down, and those clay pots warmed thoroughly. The coals should be warm and glowing red, but no real flames when we roasted the venison and or chicken. A slow roast gave the best heat and brought out the best of the flavors we added with the seasonings, especially with the sweet maple syrup. Then venison would start first as it was a denser meat and there was more of it. Thor was always seeking attention. We were busy! He claimed a corner of the kitchen where I put a blanket down to keep him off the colder floor. The kitchen was the warmest room in the whole house! It made sense for him to stay there. He wasn’t ignored, but he knew he needed to stay out of traffic or get stepped on. He was a smart dog. Some of the people he loved weren’t here right now, but the ones here he loved, too. He was fine. And there is that unwritten rule every dog was born knowing; everything that fell to the floor belonged to them! Naturally, the things in the kitchen fell occasionally…accidentally? Sometimes. Well, you have a tidbit left and it was not enough for the meal or whatever, you didn’t need to just throw it away, so it was dropped…accidentally.

Of course, we were busy, but he needed to go out at times. I did it a few times. It was cold! I had to wrap up and Thor up and take him out. Thor’s new friend Ulf came to visit us…Thor mostly and he relieved me a few times. He even helped me with the roasting spit. I showed Rebekka and Laura how to add the desired wood that would keep the coals hot and red, but not flame up.

Life had many things to deal with and overcome. Vincent and Annabelle were dealing with the issues with Alberte Rasmussen. We also had the latest from Matilda. We wouldn’t deal with it today. Beverly and family would be here about seven-thirty that evening. Hor d’oeuvres would be ready and warm cocktails would be given. I was going to make Mom’s mini-papoose dish with various things from asparagus and small bits of sausage or meats tucked in bread that wrapped around them like an Indian baby was tucked in blankets to be carried on their mother’s back. They were very favorable so not given too much spice. There were also going to be fried bread with dinner like dinner rolls.

“Timing will be the key issue,” I said to them.

Rebekka lowered her head and looked at me with an expression that questioned my sanity, “You think this is my first dinner party?”

I grinned, “No, I know it isn’t, but it is mine.” I shrugged, “I’m nervous! The Havershams are dear friends, yes, but I’m doing it as a friend who is now an American Ambassador.”

Her face softened and she smiled with compassion, “I’ll tell you the truth. When King Fredrik asked me to come over here and cook for you…I was a little annoyed.” She read my expression and before I could say anything she held her hand up and said, “Wait.” She went on. “I began cooking as soon as I could reach the stove top and for twenty years for the Royal Family. I have never let any member of the royal family down. When you offered me a job. You asked me to be a friend and cook for you and your guests as Ambassador but wanted a friend to do the job. I will never let my friend down. Yes, you are my employer now, but you are a dear friend. Trust me. I will not let you down.”

I smiled and nodded at her, “Thank you.”

Every event I attended was done for royalty but by people they employed to do that. Queen Maregete organized many great events with great success. Yes, it was her vision, but it was the work of people like Rebekka that did the actual labor. This was my event. It wasn’t a big deal perhaps, but I wanted it to be a good one. I will also admit I wanted Beverly and her family to be impressed. Not impressed that I knew royalty, but royalty was lucky to know me! Hey, I can be shallow, too. I just tried not to do it too often.

 

I wanted to know how things were going with Vincent and Rasmussen. I missed Vincent. Except for that period of time Vincent had gone through with his duty and married Angelica we had never spent more than a few hours apart since we met at Wentworth Academy. That had been agony. We would be separated often later as I had a job to do and so did he. He and the others had been gone the rest of the morning into midafternoon. Thor was calmly waiting on his blanket and was well behaved until…his head suddenly went up and his ear twitched. He then leapt to his feet and raced to the door he knew would let him into the back of the foyer. I didn’t respond fast enough so he went with plan B. Off the kitchen before you went into the hall to go to the dining room or out to the living area was a preparation area with long counters that lined this area where staff could put things on trays or platers to take out to guests. The door there opened easily, and Thor scrambled out. He had better hearing and I knew pretty much why. I followed at a more leisurely pace.

Vincent had come home. Annabelle, Nakia, Bendt and Emil were right behind Vincent. Thor rushed at them, mostly Vincent, but came excitedly around them and was glad to see them!

“Thor!” Vincent greeted and bent to pick him up. He was given an affectionate and wet greeting from Thor. “You missed me?”

I chuckled and pointed at Thor, “I think that’s obvious. So, how did it go?”

Annabelle bounced, “He’ll comply.”.

“For a while,” Vincent grumbled. He pointed at me and then at Annabelle and Emil. “And I am going back.”

“Okay,” I said. “When?”

“Not too soon,” Vincent answered. “Surprise visits at different times. I just don’t want to be so busy it slips my mind.”

“He didn’t think he’d get caught,” Annabelle added.

“Princess Annabelle told him she’d put a sign in his window,” Emil grinned and did air quotes. “Raised cruelty free.”

“After he proves he’s changed his business practice,” Annabelle qualified.

“Or she was going to use another sign,” Nakia inserted.

“Raised with cruelly,” Bendt added. “She was going to put those around.”

“With picture of a boot descending on a puppies head!” Emil said happily. “She’s the princess, who could stop her?”

“That isn’t against the law either,” Annabelle pointed out. “It might if it was a lie, but we know it’s the truth.” She rubbed Thor’s head and spoke to Thor. “I even met you Mommy and Daddy!”

“She wanted Rasmussen to give them both to her,” Vincent said proudly.

I was startled, “Isn’t his father a champion?”

“Of what? According to who!?” Annabelle demanded. “He’s a great dog, but Soren told me the only official dog show in Denmark was three years ago. If he is a winner, it would be at an unofficial show which means he’s nothing!” She held her hands out. “England had some shows, but no beagle has won that yet and in America they’ve had shows a decade or two…” she thumbed over her shoulder, “Did he strike you as the cross-Atlantic type? And with a dog!?” She shook her head. “I don’t believe so. It was a ploy to sell puppies he sired at a higher price! The man is a greedy liar!”

I smiled at her passionate outrage, “What would you do if he had given them to you?”

“Take them and find them good homes!” Annabelle stated.

I rubbed Thor’s head, “He’s a handful on his own,” I said. “It couldn’t be ours. I’d love to meet them but…”

“No,” Annabelle shook her head with a laugh. Then her eyes widened, “Why not give…” she snapped her fingers as she thought, “The other guy is Lars…”

“Lars Olsen?” I asked,

“Yes!” Annabelle said quickly. “He has that Pet Store, the Kæledyrshande. You liked his store, right?”

I nodded, “It was clean, and the dogs, cats and other animals were all happy.”

“Deserving of a Royal Endorsement?” Annabelle asked.

Vincent nodded, “Sure.”

“So, do it!” Annabelle slapped her brother on the chest and pressed on. “If Rasmussen hopes get any approval from Vincent or me; he’ll give me those two dogs.” She looked at Emil. “Periodic inspections will be made to keep that endorsement and just approval. Soren can have a group from the Animal Welfare Department to do that and earn the seal.”

“You do that!?” I asked. “You endorse a product or industry?”

“Sure,” Annabelle said. “My Mother’s dressmaker and Dad’s tailor has so much demand they have to turn customers away. They are always working Dad’s suits and on Mom’s next season’s dresses…” she grimaced, “And mine.” She said a little bitter.

Vincent leaned toward me, “Her wedding dress has been planned for the past two years.”

“Wasn’t she still growing?” I asked knowing the measurements would change.

“Yes,” Annabelle muttered. “Growing…” she held her hand up for height, “…and growing…” she patted her chest over her breasts. I knew Annabelle was a freethinking, unashamed young lady, but I also knew her mother, the queen, would not have approved. Who here was going to correct her? “I just want to at least like the man I’m to mate with.” She shrugged.

How did Queen Maregete get chosen for King Fredrik? I found out Queen Maregete was a princess. Really. A title passed to her from a father that was a prince who got his title from his father who got his title from his father, a prince. She was queen consort now. There was a movement to make the title of prince and princess was given too easily. That didn’t matter now. She was a queen. Consort, but a queen when she married Prince Fredrik and he ascended the throne.

“You’ve got a dinner party tonight,” Annabelle said changing the subject. “You probably have things to do before your guests arrive.” She caressed Thor’s head and kissed him. “You always smell so good!” She got happy face licks and then she looked up. “Is there more on Cousin Matilda?”

“Yes,” Vincent said simply and left it at that.

Annabelle frowned and huffed, “Fine, don’t tell me.”

“It’s better for now no one else know,” I chuckled. “We need to confirm things first.”

She turned to Bendt, Nakia and Emil. “I can walk the block alone.”

Bendt shook his head, “Sure, you could, and your father could kill us!”

Nakia shook his head but still smiled, “That won’t happen.”

Emil smiled at her, “I’ll give you three a ride in the sleigh back so I can put the horses away when I get back.”

           

We walked into the house and Thor was letting Vincent know how glad he was that Vincent was back by giving loving licks. Vincent had only been gone perhaps six hours. In the lifespan of a dog, that was practically a day and a half for Thor.

“Yes, yes,” Vincent chuckled as he cuddled the rapid tail wagging Thor. “I’m glad to see you, too.” He hugged Thor. “This was all about you! That big meanie won’t do again what he did to you and your brother and sister again. No.”

“Will he stop?” I asked. “How were the others?”

Vincent nodded, “He will stop.” He said confidently. “He will be held accountable. The inspection teams from Animal Welfare need to keep up with the inventory each time they go. All the animals were there, but three. A dog and two kittens. Soren got addresses for each family that purchased them.” He gave a nod. “The crates used were bigger and water was in bowls they couldn’t turn over…” he frowned. “He had all these things before but was too lazy to use them.”

“This will be an ongoing battle, Vincent,” I told him. “Even those well-meaning families can be cruel and mean. Pets are sometimes neglected once they grow out of infancy. Children can play too rough or even love too hard.” I caressed Thor’s head. “The puppies and kittens can’t fight back.”

Vincent hugged Thor again, “They are so helpless and loving…how can anyone be so cruel to them?”

I shrugged, “That beats me.”

We entered the kitchen and now the kitchen has some good smells in the air. And they really hadn’t begun to cook yet!

“The venison roast has been soaking in maple syrup all night and will be slow roasted over a lower heat and all those syrup infused juices will ooze out and really scent the air. The drippings will hit the coals and add flavor to the vegetables and bread…”

“Stop!” Vincent pleaded. He turned and slapped my arm lightly, “You could do this the whole time!?” He said demanding. “You can cook!”

“Yes, Vinnie!” I threw my hands out. “When would I do this before and where? Windsor Castle? Christiansborg Castle?” I shoved him back lightly. “Could you imagine Bert’s reaction at Windsor?”

“He wouldn’t be amused,” Vincent burst out laughing, “Actually, I can!”

Copyright © 2016 R. Eric; All Rights Reserved.
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Interesting chapter.  I really liked the cooking parts, even though those were not emphasized much.

The animal welfare parts were good.  Sometimes I might have to read a sentence or two twice to be sure of what was happening.  A lot happened in the chapter.

I am guessing that in another chapter or two more will be happening with Matilda.  Possibly three or more chapters, with the dinner party, and other happenings.

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R. Eric

Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, ReaderPaul said:

Sometimes I might have to read a sentence or two twice to be sure of what was happening

I can always use help with the proofing. (Hint, hint) Not offending anyone or asking anyone in particular. I can use help! Or I continue to do it myself. No problem. I felt like I was doing a Bob Barker thing he did at the end of "The Price Is Right." He pushed the animal rights and care at the end of each show. The cooking, I wasn't sure if everyone would care. I don't want to bore anyone. I will explain more in the next chapter. The cooking ways are real and they are real recipes. Clay ovens and low heat. Pepper is pepper. Herbs are unique for where they are raised. I can expound more, like the Hickory Salt. The Maple Syrup is important to when the sap is tapped. It makes a difference! I love to eat. It's a miracle I'm not three hundred pounds! I'm not. 190 at my last checkup. How you cook is important, too.

I have a plot with Matilda. It's coming.

Edited by R. Eric
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Babies, little children and cute pets always steal the show!!! Loved this chapter, looking forward to the next one!

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Have I mentioned how much I appreciate and enjoy that R Eric shares his adventures chasing rabbits with us?

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On 9/14/2021 at 5:37 PM, R. Eric said:

I can always use help with the proofing. (Hint, hint) Not offending anyone or asking anyone in particular. I can use help! Or I continue to do it myself. No problem. I felt like I was doing a Bob Barker thing he did at the end of "The Price Is Right." He pushed the animal rights and care at the end of each show. The cooking, I wasn't sure if everyone would care. I don't want to bore anyone. I will explain more in the next chapter. The cooking ways are real and they are real recipes. Clay ovens and low heat. Pepper is pepper. Herbs are unique for where they are raised. I can expound more, like the Hickory Salt. The Maple Syrup is important to when the sap is tapped. It makes a difference! I love to eat. It's a miracle I'm not three hundred pounds! I'm not. 190 at my last checkup. How you cook is important, too.

I have a plot with Matilda. It's coming.

I have offered before to help with the proofreading!  Let me know!  I’m certain others would be happy to help also. (You might want to change Frederick from a Princess to a Prince, while you’re at it, where you discuss Maregete’s title  near the end. :gikkle:)

 I had to laugh at Thor’s antics.  I wish my Bonnie would lie down in a corner!  Whenever I am at the kitchen counter, even it it is to do the dishes, she is right there, asking for Whoopsies.  There’s always some coming when I cook! Thor running for his Daddy was precious!  Bonnie gets so excited when we come back to her, I think her Tail of Perpetual Motion will fly off!  

My parents and I had a dog who could actually tell us when someone was on the way home, hours before they arrived.  We tested it by checking when my brother, who was traveling with a drum corps during the summer, would get on the bus. She always knew.  We knew when he was supposed to board the bus, and we would say to her that he was going to come home. No reaction, then, suddenly, she would go bonkers.  When we checked later, that was when he stepped on the bus.  She also knew when my Dad got on the plane to return from his National Guard camps. One time, we went to pick him up, only to find out he wasn’t on the manifest.  They wouldn’t let us on the base, as a result.  YOU try to explain that you know he’s there because your dog is going insane in the car looking for Daddy! They did find him and we got him.  Never did find out what happened, but Daddy was upset when we told him. :o

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1 hour ago, Clancy59 said:

You might want to change Frederick from a Princess to a Prince

Woops! No, he was never a princess, though some may say he was a queen. (Gay joke) He never was. I had someone proofing, but after one chapter he stopped. Why? I don't know. These stories are my children and will live beyond my life. So, important. At least acknowledge you received the chapter to read. I never knew what happened. Don't let it upset your life, but an acknowledgement you got it would be nice if not polite. I'll email you directly on GA. My stories may not be important to others, but they are to me. I'll contact you later. Thank you.

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