Edan’s father agreed to keep a stray dog as long as his son could build a doghouse, so he looked for wood in the forest near their home and discovered an old abandoned doghouse. His puppy sniffed his way inside only to find a letter with an unbelievable message.
“Ok, you can keep the dog, as long as you’re completely responsible for it. You will also have to build him a doghouse because I don’t want him inside the house at all. Are we clear?” Edan’s father, Liam Jackson, told his son in a stern voice.
“Yes, Dad!” Ethan cheered and hugged his father quickly. They were each other’s only family after Edan lost his mother. He was 14 years old, and a dog was the perfect companion, so when he saw a stray one in the forest near their home in Telluride, Colorado, Edan decided to take it home. It was pure luck that Liam agreed to the arrangement.
His father worked two jobs to support them, and Edan spent most of his time after school alone. The older man would worry about this, but there was nothing they could do for now. Fortunately, Edan was a teenager and could take care of himself for the most part. But he was still lonely, and his new pup, which he decided to name Rex, was the solution to that loneliness.
“Oh my! Dad, it’s the man I sent the metal box to! Remember?”
Just as his father asked, Edan started looking for wood and began to build a doghouse for the pup. He searched on YouTube for tutorials, but it was not going very well. His hands were red, and splinters hurt like crazy. Furthermore, most of the wood was wet due to the snow. However, he was having fun.
On one of his excursions in the forest behind his home, he discovered an abandoned house he had never seen before. He held onto Rex’s leash tighter as he got closer. But suddenly, his pet started pulling him toward the back of the lot, and surprisingly, there was a doghouse sitting in the middle of the snow-covered yard.
“Rex, I think we found your house,” he muttered to his dog, approaching the structure. He patted it and inspected it. It was in perfect shape, but it was too big. He wondered about calling his friends to help him get it home, but suddenly, Rex did something unexpected.
“Hey, boy. Don’t go inside. It’s dirty. I’ll clean it up once we get home,” Edan ordered his puppy, but Rex sniffed his way into the doghouse anyway. Suddenly, the dog came out with a piece of paper between its teeth, his tail wagging in delight. Edan took the paper from his mouth and discovered what looked like an old message.
If anyone ever finds this, please deliver or send the metal box inside the doghouse to my brother, Peter James Jr., at his address. I didn’t have time to do it myself…
There was an address after those words. But there was more to the letter.
…On the other hand, if you find this, Bro, I’m glad you’ll be able to keep this box. Dad is moving us away, and I don’t think we will return. But I couldn’t just let him take our mom’s possessions, especially after he threw you out of the house. So, this is the only way I can think of to keep it safe right now. Love, Samantha.
Edan didn’t quite understand the entire letter, but he peeked inside the doghouse and found the metal box mentioned in the letter. He had to dig through some snow to get it out. He didn’t know what it contained, but he could certainly mail it to the provided address.
He returned home with Rex and the metal box, making a mental note to get his friends to help him bring back the doghouse. Once home, he opened the box and discovered a real treasure inside. It was filled with expensive jewelry; at least, it looked costly. His eyes grew wide as he stared at the gems and thought about keeping a few pieces.
But he shook off that thought. He couldn’t do it. His father had taught him honesty and fairness. He must do the right thing.
He got a discarded cardboard box, which was just slightly bigger than the metal box containing the jewelry. He placed the metal box inside placed along with the letter from Samantha. He addressed it to the place indicated in the letter and wrote a message.
Mr. Jackson, I found this box and letter from Samantha in a doghouse in an abandoned home near my own house, so I’m sending it to you. I don’t know what happened, but I hope it finds you well.
He went to a nearby USPS office a few blocks away, hoping the package finds its way to Peter. It would only work if Peter were still at that address, and maybe if he were, he would write back and explain what happened. After all, the package contained the return address, so Peter would certainly know where to write Edan.
Days passed, and Edan’s friends helped him bring the abandoned doghouse to his house. He only had to clean and varnish it again, adding a few comfy pillows and blankets inside so Rex would be comfortable. It was perfect.
He told his father everything that happened, including the jewelry box he found and the doghouse. Although Liam disapproved of just taking the doghouse, he conceded once Edan showed him that the entire estate where he found the doghouse was abandoned.
Weeks went by, and Edan almost forgot about the metal box, although he sometimes wondered what exactly happened in that house and to the family who lived there. It obviously wasn’t pleasant.
As time passed, Edan lost hope that he would ever find out until his father called out to him from the living room one day. He hurriedly left his room to go to see what it was about.
“Yeah?” he asked his father.
“Edan, there’s a letter for you. I thought your friends only used email these days,” Liam stated, looking at the envelope strangely. The teenager also frowned until he saw the name Peter Jackson on the envelope.
“Oh my! Dad, it’s the man I sent the metal box to! Remember?”
His father nodded, and Edan opened the letter as quickly as possible.
Hello Edan! It’s Peter. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SENDING THE BOX! I don’t know if you’re curious about what happened, but my father threw me out of the house when I was 17 after I told him I didn’t want to follow in his footsteps in the lumberjack business. My sister, Samantha, had to stay because she was only 11. I didn’t even know they moved away from the house. But she didn’t want our late mother’s jewelry to end up in the hands of whatever woman my dad decided to marry next.
I haven’t talked to Samantha in many years. I did not know she had done this. So, thank you again, particularly for your honesty, because you could’ve kept the box to yourself. It’s hard to find honest people these days who want nothing in return for doing good. You’re amazing!
Once I left my father’s house, I did my own thing and followed my dreams. I became a successful businessman on my own. This is my way of saying thank you. I hope your life is filled with beautiful things.
To Eden’s utter shock, there was a check for $10,000 inside the envelope. He passed the letter to his father, who read it quickly and smiled as he finished, pride in his son reflecting in his eyes. “Son, I’m so proud of you. This is going directly into your college fund. You’re going to become a wonderful man.”
What can we learn from this story?
Honesty and kindness will always be rewarded in the end. Edan was an honest teen, so instead of keeping the jewelry for himself, he mailed it and received a massive thank-you from Peter.
It’s important to teach your kids about doing the right thing, and they will make you proud. Liam taught his son well, and that’s why Edan made him so proud.
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