The beginning of the end

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

And here is the beginning of Chapter 16, the final chapter of the second book, More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

Luke Walker and the Maybury Christmas Fayre

Luke reached for it at the exact same time as Jared.  They scowled at each other.

“Let me have it.  I saw it first,” Luke insisted.

“We saw it at the same time,” Jared argued, “and I’m the oldest so you have to do what I say.”

“I do not,” said Luke emphatically.

“Boys!” Mr Walker halted their squabbling, “what’s the trouble now?”

“I want to get this for Mum,” explained Luke, “I saw it first.”

“No he didn’t!” argued his brother, “I saw it first and I want to get it for Mum.”

The item in question was a dainty ceramic ornament depicting Little Bo Peep with a lamb – an ideal Christmas gift for anyone’s mother.  Dad took it off them and asked the lady how much it was.

“All the small ornaments are 50p,” she told him.

Dad looked at Jared and appealed to his better nature.

“Luke doesn’t have much money Jared, so this is all he can afford.  You’ve got your paper round money so you’ll be able to find something else.  Let your brother have this one.”

Jared shrugged.

“Okay,” he agreed and wandered off to the home-made jam stall.

Luke pulled a sticky fifty pence piece out of his pocket and handed it to the lady. She wrapped the ornament in tissue paper for him.  Dad smiled.

“Your mum’ll love that Luke, nice find.”

“Where is Mum?” Luke asked.

“Where d’you think?” said Dad, grinning.

“Tombola!” they both said at the same time.

This was the first time they’d been to the Maybury Christmas Fayre and it was pretty good.  There were lots of stalls where you could buy Christmas presents for reasonable prices – some things were second hand, some were home-made.  There were games, like Mum’s favourite, the Tombola, where you had to get a ticket ending in 5 or 0 to win a prize, and some which had a prize every time like the lucky dip or Luke’s favourite where you paid 50p for a jar wrapped in Christmas paper without knowing what was in it.  If you were lucky it might be a jar full of sweets or marbles; if you were unlucky it might be full of tea bags.  But even that wasn’t a complete loss because it could be a Christmas present for someone.  Nan liked tea.  There was also a cake stall, a raffle, and a dog show to see who was the prettiest dog and who was the cleverest dog and who was the most obedient dog.  Luke knew that Dudley wouldn’t enjoy that because he was the type of dog who had no interest in performing.  He was clever, but didn’t feel it necessary to prove that to anyone.  He was his own dog and Luke respected that.

The other good thing about the Christmas Fayre was that it was in aid of helping animals.  Maybury Centre for Animal Welfare was a sanctuary where they looked after horses and donkeys and sheep and chickens and tortoises and anyone else who needed help and came their way.  They also rescued dogs and cats and rabbits and guinea pigs who’d been abandoned or neglected or cruelly treated, and they found happy new homes for them.  Luke was very glad that his Christmas shopping money was going to such a good cause.

By three o’clock Luke had done all his shopping and was very happy with what he’d got for everyone: Little Bo-Peep for Mum; gloves for Dad; football book for Jared; jar of tea for Nan; bowling DVD for Grandad; and a jar of marbles for Joe. Plus he’d been lucky enough to score a jar of gobstoppers and a really cool stainless steel whistle for himself.

Luke had 87p left so while Dad went to find Mum, he decided to have a final look round.  In doing so he came across a man wearing climbing gear standing behind a table with a pen and a long list of names and numbers.

“Sponsor me to abseil down the clock tower?” he solicited.

“What’s that?” asked Luke.

“Abseil means to descend down the side of a building on a rope.”

Luke looked confused.

The man tried again to explain.

“So, I’ll stand on the top of the tower wearing this harness attached to a rope which will be doubled through a loop. And I’ll jump off the top and bounce my feet on the side of the tower, going down bit by bit, sliding the rope through my hands until I get the bottom.”

“Yeah, I get what you mean, but why would you do that?”

“To raise money for Maybury.”

“But why don’t you get sponsored to do somethin’ useful, instead of abstainin’.”

“Abseiling,” he corrected. “Raising money is useful for Maybury.  They can do a lot of good things with it.”

“Yes, but if the thing you got sponsored for doin’ was useful as well, like you could get sponsored for pickin’ up litter, then you would get money and at the same time you would have done somethin’ really useful.”

The man looked over Luke’s head at the elderly couple approaching his table.

“Sponsor me to abseil down the clock tower?” he asked them.

Luke moved on.

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Story continues tomorrow 🙂 or you can read the whole chapter right now, no waiting 😉

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal sanctuary, Christmas, children’s story, vegan children’s story, children’s book, vegan children’s book, juvenile fiction

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