Tom and Peter hurried through the King's garden and sat down on the grass in front of the palace. He didn't see his parents or all his other friends, but he knew they would all there. No one wanted to miss the King's special message.
At the top of the steps, stood the King. His snowy white hair glimmered in the sunlight, and He had the kindest face Tom had ever seen. Tom felt a happy glow inside when the King looked right at him. He's so great! thought Tom. But why does He look so serious this morning?
The King opened the Book of Truth and began to read about a war. Tom was surprised to hear that his wonderful King had enemies.
"Who would want to fight against Him?" he whispered to Peter.
"I don't know," whispered Peter back. "But if the King said that there's a war, it must be true."
"... therefore you need the armor every day," said the King.
The armor? Tom decided he'd better listen more carefully. He really tried. He wanted to know about this war and how to put on the armor--whatever it was. But he missed most of the message. For just as the King began to talk about putting on the belt of truth, Sasha ran into the garden. She rushed straight to Tom, bounced up on his lap and licked his nose. How can a kid listen--even to the King telling about a scary war--when a funny little dog wants to play?
Tom ate breakfast with Peter and some other guys. He watched the little dog run in and out between the tables, always ready to lick a hand and grab a bite to eat.
"Come, Sasha," called Tom when he and Peter were leaving the garden. Sure enough, she heard him and came running.
Colin was waiting at the gate.
"You bet," said Peter.
"I'm glad you guys have Sasha," said Colin. "She keeps running away from me."
"How long will this trip take?" asked Tom. He still wasn't sure it was such a good idea. "I have to be home for dinner."
"Do you always have to do what your parents tell you?" asked Colin.
"I think so." Actually Tom wasn't sure. He tried to remember something the King had said this morning. Something about the helpful instructions written in the Book of Truth. If I knew what it said, I would know how to answer Colin's question, he thought. I think it says something about obeying my parents.
"Peter, what does the book of Truth say about parents?" he finally asked.
Peter shrugged. "I don't remember," he answered. "But why don't we stop by my house and leave a note. Then nobody will care if we come home late."
"Great idea. Let's go!" shouted Colin. He didn't seem the least worried about what his parents might think.
Tom hesitated. "You're sure you know the way?" he asked Colin.
"Of course. I came from there just last week, remember? And lots of people are living up there. If we get lost, they'll help us. Some even have special powers."
Peter was excited. "Sounds great! Don't be a wimp, Tom."
That did it! Tom didn't want to be a wimp. "Okay, I'm coming," he said.
When they passed Peter's house, Peter ran into the kitchen, scribbled a short note and left it on the table. "Gone to the mountains to return a stray dog. See you tonight. Peter and Tom."
Then they started up the mountain. Colin led the way.
Go to Chapter 5