Castle Roland


Wolf Folk
Book I

by Charles Bird

Completed
Chapters:

Chapter 2

Published: 18 Dec 14

THE WOLF FOLK SERIES

THE ADVENTURES OF JEREMIAH TATE

A STORY OF A BOY COMING OF AGE IN AN
UNCOMMON FAMILY

© 2013-2014
Charles W. Bird
thehomeplace1@earthlink.net

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 protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.


The Wolf Folk are an ancient race, their exact origins are lost in the mists of time. They are likely the origin of the legends about Werewolves, however they are neither werewolves nor are they wolves. They are shape-shifters who have the ability to modify their appearance and are telepaths of considerable power. They mentally convince their observer of their wolf status. There were originally six great houses or families of shape-shifters that lived in peace with their human brothers. As civilizations began to grow, those jealous of the Wolf Folk began to harass them. They held humans in great esteem and refused to fight back. As continents began to emerge from the ice ages, the Wolf Folk emigrated away from their homelands and arrived in Alaska about 10,000 years ago, crossing the land bridge with the peoples who became the Hopi, the Cherokee and the Athabascans. The latter betrayed them and were subsequently shunned by the Wolf Folk, although they retained legends of shape shifters as their descendants became the Navajo and the Apache peoples. They had few laws among them, however, their traditions would not allow them to hurt a human, nor, for that matter, eat one, despite what old tales said. In fact, the Oath of the Prime Pack Leader stated, in part, "**in sight of the Great Creator, I shall allow no harm to come to our cousins, the Humans through fault or deed of my own or those holding allegiance to me. I swear this upon my Ring and my life, so help me God!" **This oath was so binding, no wolf would cross the line and harm a Human, nor allow harm to come to a human.

prologue; Jeremiah Tate is nearing 16 years old and struggling to become a man in a family without his father. What he does not know can hurt him, yet what he does know leads him to explore further. On his 16th birthday, he is confronted with a situation that turns his entire world upside down, everything that he had believed in was suddenly suspect. When he finally works it all out in his mind, he is no longer the boy he thought he was, nor was he completely human.


From Book 1; His Mother looked at the new clothing admiringly and said, "You can wear this one to the Winter Conclave." Jeremiah asked, "Winter Conclave?" Franklin said, "Yes, on the Winter Solstice we meet with all the leaders within our Clan. This year, it will be near Table Rock. There, you will be introduced to all our folk as the Heir Apparent." Jeremiah replied, "OH!" It was finally hitting home that his carefree days were ending, he was heir to his Father and would have to learn much in order to fulfill any duties required of him. Franklin hugged his son and mind sent to him, "Yes, you TRULY ARE my son and heir!" While his Father and Mother were talking, Chub came over and, despite their true age differences, they remained close friends. Jeremiah showed off his new clothes and told Chub about the F-150 Truck that would be delivered the next day. Chub was excited for Jere and was anxious to see the truck for himself.

SETTLING IN

Jeremiah continued his scholastic excellence in school, he was a Junior this year and, was again, the Soccer Team Captain.

He had several near mishaps until he learned to control his strength, he severely bruised several team mates and shredded a soccer ball before he learned control.

His team mates suspected him of being on steroids or other enhancing drugs, but the school had a policy that all members of sports teams had to undergo a physical examination and a blood test that included drug screening. Jeremiah and his Circle, the male members, passed the test without a problem.

The two female members of his Protection Circle, Betty and Samantha, went out for the Cheer Leader squad and were with the team every time they played.

In all the teams they played in the Southeast Conference, only one team had a member of the wolf folk on it. When he found out that the Prince Alpha was on the opposing team, he conveniently came down with a sudden case of stomach flu!

The winter played heavy on Jeremiah, he longed to get out into his woods and run, work off all his caged energy. During Christmas break, the weather turned unusually warm for that time of year and it was a few days before the Conclave, so Jeremiah talked Chub into going running with him.

They walked to the top of the hill, Jeremiah did not want to distress his Mother by her seeing him shift to his wolf. They both shifted and raced joyfully through the trees, their yips and yowls sounding through the deep canyons and meadows of the forest.

Wild Ox Daniels, the Chief Ranger, was the only ranger on duty during the winter season. He had no tribal duties and he was widowed, so he had no reason to refuse to work during the holidays. He sat in the Ranger Station and heard the wolves yipping at each other as they played in the snow.

His longing to see a shape-shifter of his people's legends was strong in his mind and he decided to put his snow shoes on and take a walkabout. He was not a young man, but he prided himself in keeping fit and strong. He tramped up the mountain, towards Skunk Cabbage Flat, where he had heard the wolves.

He sat quietly under a tree and prepared himself to watch for a few hours. Wild Ox did not know himself to be telepathic, but the two picked up his thoughts. Chub said to Jeremiah, "Prince Alpha, that man is of the folk our's came with to this land. See, he is here to see us because he believes."

Jeremiah thought for a few moments, then thought back to Chub, "He knows we are here, what harm would it be, if we allowed him his wish? He is an old man who has served his people faithfully for many years."

Chub agreed and they walked silently to a place behind Wild Ox and Jeremiah thought to him, "Man of our Faithful Friends, turn and you shall see that which you are seeking."

A startled Wild Ox brought his head up sharply and with no little fear. He turned and saw two huge wolves standing about twenty feet from him.

As he watched, the wolves started to shimmer and suddenly, there were two young men standing there without clothes. He heard them laughing in his head, "We are cold Good Friend, we must change back."

As he continued to watch, both boys again became wolves. The two wolves walked up to him, unafraid, and sat beside him.

Wild Ox stammered, "You are shape-shifters?" and he heard, "Yes, Good Man and the largest of us is the Lord Prince Alpha, heir and son of the Lord Alpha Leader."

The largest of the two wolves sent, "I, the Prince Alpha, am your friend, if ever you are in need, call out with your mind and someone will hear you. One of us will come to you. I, The Prince Alpha say this, it shall be so."

The two wolves then ran off and the old man was reduced to tears, he had been blessed by a living legend as none of his people before him had.


CONCLAVE

Franklin, Lord Alpha Leader of the South Eastern Clan came to collect his son and his Circle. They were all headed to a Resort owned by the Clan, where the Shape-Shifters would hold their Annual Conclave.

Appropriately, the lodge was called "WOLF'S ROOST". There were Clan Members from as far north as Southern New York and from as far south as Birmingham, Alabama.

Nearly 1,200 Delegates were attending, the Prince Alpha was to be presented.

Many drove automobiles to get to the Conclave, but many more came on foot as wolves, each fitted with a backpack containing necessary items and clothes. These were the "traditionalists" the ones who preferred to keep the old traditions and ways.

Jeremiah's Circle kept tight guard around the new Prince Alpha. In the distant past, a new Prince Alpha had been murdered before he could be presented to the Clan.

Jeremiah was the first heir to survive change since his own Father, 500 years earlier.

They were taking no chances.

There were several political factions among the Clan, the Traditionalists, of which his Father was a member, the moderns or, as they liked to proclaim, the Realists, and the Mystics. The latter sent few to the Conclave, they shunned contact with all and rarely mixed in Clan affairs. It was this group that Franklin's Father, Jeremiah's Grandfather had joined.

At precisely noon of the first day of Conclave, the Alpha Leader's Proxy banged his staff three times upon the meeting stone, "All come forth in Conclave, let none speak in anger nor offend another. This Conclave is now open."

He bowed to Franklin and announced, "Lord Alpha Leader Franklin Jeremiah Tate."

Franklin bowed back at his Proxy and then bowed to the delegates. He then announced, "I call for introduction, Prince Alpha Jeremiah Franklin Tate. Come forth Prince Alpha."

Jeremiah had been coached by Chub, he slowly walked forward to his Father and bowed deeply, "Lord Alpha Leader, Command me!" Franklin replied, "TURN PRINCE ALPHA AND BE RECOGNIZED BY THIS CONCLAVE!"

Jeremiah turned and again bowed, "I, JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE CLAIM RECOGNITION BY RIGHT OF PATERNITY AS PRINCE ALPHA OF THIS CLAN. HOW SAY YOU?"

With few exceptions, all the delegates stood and cheered. Jeremiah's Circle had brought forth their wolves and stood guard around him.

The senior delegate walked up to Jeremiah and put his hand on Jeremiah's shoulder. "I, JOSEPH OF ROANOKE RECOGNIZE THEE, JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE AS OUR PRINCE ALPHA. IT IS SAID, IT IS DONE. ALL WELCOME OUR NEW PRINCE ALPHA!"

A voice from the crowd spoke up, "I, Wild Ox of the Cherokee People ask to recognize the Prince Alpha."

An old man dressed as a Cherokee Indian Shaman walked forward and bowed to Jeremiah.

In the distance, a large drum began to boom.

Wild Ox began, "I KNOW THEE, PRINCE ALPHA. I SEE THEE, PRINCE ALPHA. I RECOGNIZE THEE, PRINCE ALPHA. KNOW YOU PRINCE ALPHA AND ALL YOUR FOLK, THOU ARE REVERED AND LOVED BY THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE. HEAR ME, PRINCE ALPHA, THY FOLK HAVE EVER BEEN FRIENDS OF MY PEOPLE. HEAR ME, PRINCE ALPHA, MY FOLK SHALL FOREVER BE THY FRIENDS AND FRIENDS OF THY FOLK."

There was silence, all the Shape Shifter folk knew the ancient legends, but never in the memory of even their most ancients, had the Cherokee Indians publically proclaimed friendship to them.

Jeremiah smiled and replied, "HEAR ME SHAMAN OF OUR FRIENDS, THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE, I THANK THEE FOR THY BLESSINGS. KNOW YOU, SHAMAN OF THE CHEROKEE PEOPLE, I AND MINE TENDER THEE AND ALL YOURS, OUR FRIENDSHIP, OUR TRUST AND OUR FAITH FOR SO LONG AS THE SUN SHALL SHINE AND THE MOON SHALL HANG IN THE SKY."

Franklin sent to his son, "Son, in a few minutes, you have concluded a treaty with the Cherokee People that has eluded us since we first came here thousands upon thousands of years ago!

The first day of the Conclave ended in a holiday cheer, never in all their long history had a new Prince Alpha presented them with such a gift, the friendship and treaty of their longtime friends, The Cherokee Indians.

There was a long line of shape-shifters waiting to greet the new Prince Alpha.

Near the end of the line, stood Wild Ox, when it was his turn, he grasped Jeremiah's hand in his old, gnarled hands and said, "When you and your friend showed yourselves to me, I knew that we were destined to be friends."

He hugged the young Wolf Prince and said, "There are many boys on the reservation who would benefit from meeting you. Right now, they are disillusioned, feel betrayed and have no feeling for the old ways. Would you please come and be a friend to our youth. Our youth, whom we are going to lose if we cannot turn them from their troubled paths. If they could see truth in old legends, if they could see a living legend their own age, maybe we would have a chance in saving them."

Jeremiah said, "Brother Wild Ox, I and my Circle will come."

The Old Shaman asked, "Circle?" Jeremiah turned and pointed to those standing behind him, as the man watched; each shifted to his or her wolf and then back again as humans.

He promised the old man that they would come to Magee Valley two days after the end of the Conclave. That would be a week before schools resumed after Christmas Break.

Franklin was standing back, but listening to every word his son was saying. He thought, "That boy could easily be President, he could charm coins out of a miser's pocket! And worse, he means every word he says!"

The Conclave came to a successful end, many problems were resolved, many by the smiling face and words of the young Prince Alpha. It was a tight fit, but with much laughter and giggling, Jeremiah and his entire Circle crowded in his truck and they drove home.


THE CHEROKEE

True to his promise, Jeremiah made arrangements to go visit the Cherokee People. He rented a second truck from the Ford Agency and they caravanned to Magee Valley with Chub driving the second truck.

Wild Ox had laid the ground work for their visit. A large crowd of Indian Youths, mostly boys, were crowded in the street in front of the Youth Center.

Chub and Jeremiah stepped out from behind their steering wheels, dressed as any youth might be. They could hear moans of disappointment among the gathered youths, it was just another "White Man's Lie".

Jeremiah held up his hands and asked for quiet, "I am Jeremiah Franklin Tate, Prince Alpha of my folk."

"BOOS" were already being heard.

He said, "I and my Circle Alpha will prove to you that you are wrong." At that both he and Chub started taking off their clothing.

Chub looked up and smiled, "Jeans are expensive, I don't wanna rippem".

As soon as they were both naked, they went into change and, suddenly, there were two huge wolves standing in the bed of the truck. The largest, stood taller at his shoulders than most of the boys looking at them were tall.

The two wolves hopped down from the truck beds and started walking among the crowd, almost unnoticed, five more wolves appeared and started through the crowd. Each wolf nuzzled a boy or girl, or even licked their face.

Several of the older boys sat on the street and cried, one so hard, his wails could be heard all over the crowd. The largest wolf went up to him and sat, facing him, the boy heard in his mind, "Why do you cry, BROTHER? "

The boy cried even harder and hung his arms around the wolf's neck. He said, "I didn't believe, I had lost my faith and you came to me anyway. You called me your BROTHER!"

Wild Ox and Franklin were standing between two building, observing. Wild Ox tried to thank Franklin, but he was told in no uncertain terms, that this was The Prince Alpha's doings.

It was nearly dark when Jeremiah and his Circle were allowed to change back to human and get dressed.

The Indian Youth who had been so affected, Running Deer, stood before the crowd. "WHO WILL JOIN ME? WHO WILL JOIN ME IN BECOMING A YOUTH LODGE OF THIS TRIBE? WHO WILL JOIN ME AS A FRIEND OF THE WOLVES? ALL YOUTHS ARE WELCOME, IF WE STAND TOGETHER, IF WE HELP EACH OTHER, WHO CAN SAY WHAT WE CANNOT DO? CANNOT BE?"

There was a rush to sign up and The Friends of the Wolves would become a major part of growing youths of the Cherokee. Almost immediately, youth arrests for trouble and drugs dropped to near zero and funds were made available for youths to go to specialized schools and universities off the reservation, none knowing that it was Jeremiah Tate who provided the funds from his own accounts.

The graduates would come back and apply their knowledge to improve their people's lives.

The Prince Alpha's fame began to spread beyond the confines of the Southeastern Clan. As the next summer drew near, a visitor came knocking on Helen Tate's door.

It was a teen Cherokee Indian Boy, Running Deer. He asked, "M'am, is this the home of the Prince Alpha Wolf?"

Helen called upstairs, "Jere, there is a young man here to see you!" Jeremiah came downstairs and immediately recognized Running Deer, he clasped him around the shoulders and hugged him.

Running Deer stood very straight and said, "Lord Prince Alpha Wolf, we beg your permission to name our youth lodge the LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF YOUTH LODGE and we ask that you come and dedicate our new building."

Jeremiah mind contacted his Father and Franklin replied, "It does not compromise us and it pleases them, follow your heart my son."

Jeremiah replied to Running Deer, "I, PRINCE ALPHA OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CLAN OF WOLVES, BLESS YOUR LODGE AND WILL STAND SPONSOR. MAY WE COME NEXT SATURDAY TO DEDICATE YOUR BUILDING?"

Running Deer nearly staggered, he never expected the Prince Alpha Wolf to actually sponsor them or come to dedicate their building. He finally collected his wits and replied, "We would love to have you come."

The young man left, walking about 4 feet above the ground!

The next Saturday, two truck loads of visitors arrived, a young man and six burly wolves stood at the door of the tribal office. The young man asked, "Where is the Prince Alpha Wolf Lodge building?"

The woman pointed to a newly renovated building about a block away.

The group walked over, they were spotted and a shriek went up, "HE'S HERE!"

The younger children ran out to play with the wolves and Running Deer hugged Jeremiah. He showed him all around, happy children playing, getting help with their homework, and listening to a story being read to them.

Older boys were outside in a ball game and there was a girl's Lacrosse game in progress.

One little boy walked up to Jeremiah and said, "Are you really a wolf? Howcum you are dressed like a boy?"

Jeremiah smiled and let his Canine Fangs drop and his face go furry, "You mean, like this?"

The little boy jumped back and held onto Running Deer's hand for dear life. Running Deer said, "This is Blue Tree, my nephew."

He asked the little boy, "Do you believe in me now?" Blue Tree shook his head in a yes and buried his face in his Uncle's shoulder.

Jeremiah's face went back to his human and he hugged the little boy, "See, sometimes Legends are true!"

Jeremiah donated $250,000 of the money his Father had allocated to him, to the new Cherokee Lodge. Running Deer placed it in the education fund and it went to help Cherokee boys and girls attend college.


FAME SPREADS

School began again, Jeremiah was now a Senior along with those of his Circle. Most of the boys in their class suspected something was different about Jeremiah, he always had the same group of students around him and he was never left alone by them.

Years earlier, a bully had tried to intimidate Jeremiah and a day later, the bully was so terrified, every time Jeremiah and his friends came around, the bully peed his pants. The bully refused to tell what had happened to him, but he spent the next several years staying as far away as possible from Jeremiah Tate.

Jeremiah was the Soccer Team Captain again and they were looking for a winning season. Jeremiah had learned control and nobody got hurt, and no soccer balls became scrap rubber.

One afternoon after school, Jeremiah and Chub came running in the house to get out of the cold, they heard voices in the parlor and went to investigate. There was a group of teens and young adults sitting there, speaking quietly to Jeremiah's Mother, Helen. Helen introduced Jeremiah to the older teen, Robert Bagwell.

Robert began, "Lord Prince Alpha of the Southeastern Clan, we are from the Inland Clan". Jeremiah knew right away, all the visitors were wolves, he could smell them.

He motioned for Robert to continue, "Lord Prince, we are without leadership, our leaders have all joined the Mystics and we have no idea how to continue or conduct Clan business. Our businesses are failing and our young wolves are running wild. We are about to collapse, our young will likely go rogue."

Jeremiah's eyes went wide in horror, there had been no wolves go rogue since the middle ages in Europe! He mind called his Father and relayed to him what they had been told.

Franklin replied, "Since it is all young wolves who have come to see you, try to handle it yourself. You have my authority to do anything you feel necessary, anything to prevent young wolves going rogue!"

Jeremiah turned to Chub, "Gather the Circle, fast!"

The Circle Alpha Wolf called emergency and told the Circle to come to Jere's house as fast as possible. He called, "WOLF ALERT!"

Within minutes, there were five wolves panting at Helen's back door, packing their clothing on their backs.

In the meantime, Franklin notified the Ford Agency that Jeremiah was going to need a supply of vehicles, they were to supply him with anything he asked for.

The group talked far into the night, Helen was helped by Betty and Samantha in serving snacks and soft drinks, then Helen retired and left the young wolves to hammer out a plan.

The visitors had come as wolves, they had no funds to purchase transportation, they were tired and footsore as they had come from Springfield, Ohio without stopping to rest.

Finally, Jeremiah said, "Enough, you are all tired and none of us can think straight when we are exhausted. There are beds and rolls in the basement, get some sleep and we will start fresh in the morning."

After the visitors had gone downstairs, Jeremiah called his wolf friend who was the salesman at the Ford Agency, "Barney, I need three of the largest SUVs you have."

Barney Drillman replied, "Lord Prince Alpha, I have instructions to supply you with whatever you need. We have four Ford Expeditions, do you want all four of them?"

Jeremiah thought for a moment and replied, "Yeah, we got visitors from the Inland Clan and they are in big trouble, maybe I had oughta take all four. Can you bring them over first thing in the morning?"

Barney answered, "For you, Lord Prince, if you need them tonight, we can get them to you."

Jere replied, "No, Barney, morning will be just right, our visitors are exhausted, they came from Springfield on all fours! Thanks anyway."

The next morning, they hammered out a plan to gather all the young wolves and keep them from getting into trouble. The ones already in trouble would be gotten lawyers to help them.

Robert awoke early and got on the telephone in an effort to calm his wolves. He promised, "I will bring Lord Jeremiah, Prince Alpha of the South Eastern Clan to help us."

When he had hung up, he found Jeremiah standing there and became frightened, "Eeerra ahh Prince, I hope I have not offended you!"

Jeremiah smiled and hugged the overwrought young wolf, "No Robert, we are all going to help. As soon as the vehicles get here and we load them up, we can leave for Springfield. Don't you worry, somehow, we will work all this out!"


TBC

The next episode will show our Young Wolf Prince as a skilled negotiator and a leader that frightened young wolves can follow.

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