Meet My Imaginary Friends: Ysabel and Charity Wilde
Ysabel is a half chow and half something-else puppy whose mother was abandoned when her owners discovered she was pregnant. Amelia's "old lady" mare, Beatrice, found the dog and brought her to the stable where she had her puppies. While Amelia is giving Boone and Kit a tour of her stables, Boone sees the little back puppy and decides to bring her home to his daughter, Charity. He says that Charity is something of a rescue herself. She had lived the first 12 years of her life with a selfish and careless mother who neglected her. When Boone found out he had a daughter, he brought her to live with him and she is slowly growing to trust. In this scene from The Legend: A Marienstadt Story, Boone brings Charity a present.
Minnie was in the kitchen alone, peeling potatoes, when Boone and Kit came in.
“Where’s Charity?” Boone asked in a low voice.
“She went upstairs to change clothes,” Minnie said. “What have you got there?” She peered into the box and caught her breath. “Oh, Boone!”
“Shhhh.” Boone placed the box on the chair that Charity normally used and folded the top flaps over, tucking them shut. Kit opened the refrigerator and took out two bottles of Straub beer, passing one to Boone.
“She’s going to be so excited,” Minnie said. The men sat down at the table and opened their beers as they heard Charity’s footsteps coming down the stairs.
“Grandma, is it okay if I go down to the tavern and help Belva for a while?” she called. She appeared in the kitchen door and smiled when she saw Boone and Kit there. “Hi.” She leaned over and kissed Boone’s cheek. “I didn’t know you were back. Hi, Uncle Kit.”
“Hi yourself,” Kit said. “You should have seen the horses we saw today. You’ll have to go with us next time we visit this lady. You’ll love them.”
Charity flushed and went to the refrigerator to pour herself a glass of apple juice. “I’ve never seen a real horse up close. They look so big.”
“The big horses she has are called Gypsy Vanners,” Boone said.
“Gypsy horses,” she said. “That’s a pretty name for horses.”
“But she also has some smaller ones called Black Forest horses. I bet you’d really love those.”
Charity carried her juice to the table, then noticed the cardboard box on her chair. “Is this yours?” She looked back and forth between Boone and Kit.
“Actually,” Boone said, “it’s yours. Kit and I thought you might like it.”
Charity looked at him with her slow, bashful smile. She placed her glass on the table, then tentatively folded back the box’s flaps. The puppy sat on her haunches and when the lid opened, she jumped up and gave a little yip. Charity’s chin trembled. Big tears welled in her eyes and rolled down her face. Her hands shook as she reached into the box and lifted the happy, squirming animal to her chest. “Thank you,” she said, trying to smile despite her tears. “Oh, thank you so much.” The puppy’s fluffy black tail wagged madly and it licked her face with enthusiasm.
Boone reached over, moved the box to the floor, and pulled out the chair for his daughter. “Do you like her?”
“She’s a girl puppy?” Charity asked. “What’s her name?”
“That’s up to you. What would you like to call her?”
Charity slid onto the chair, rubbing her face in the puppy’s fur. “She looks like Toots. A little baby Toots.”
“I thought so, too. That’s why I picked her.”
Charity held the puppy out so she could look at her. “Ysabel.” She turned to Boone. “That’s the name of the dog that was Toots’s friend in The Call of the Wild.”
“That’s an excellent name.”
“Hello, Ysabel.” She sat staring at the dog in disbelief, then stood, rushed over to Boone, and, being careful not to squash Ysabel between them, she hugged him. “Thank you so much.” She pulled back and kissed his cheek. “I love you so much.”
Boone hugged her close.