Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter 17, continues from Friday:
“Maybury,” said Tania, “has anyone had a reply yet?” They all shook their heads.
“No,” said Joe, “surprise surprise.”
“Well, they can’t ignore us forever,” she said, undaunted. “Did you bring the petition?”
“Of course,” said Isabel, pulling a clipboard from her bag.
“Okay then, let’s go! Outside the cinema?”
“Last time we stood there nobody was interested,” said Isabel. “Let’s stand in front of the RSPCA shop.”
Outside the charity shop, Joe held the petition while the other three tried to tempt people to sign it.
“Excuse me,” said Tania.
“No, I’m in a hurry,” replied a frowning man.
“Would you mind …” asked Isabel.
“Sorry. Bus to catch,” replied a lady pushing a bike.
“Stop Maybury Sanctuary killin’ animals!” shouted Luke.
“What?” asked a shocked passer-by, “Maybury Centre for Animal Welfare? Why would they kill animals?”
“They are!” declared Luke, “sign our petition.”
The man and his wife read the petition:
WE, THE BELOW SIGNED, DEMAND THAT MAYBURY CENTRE FOR ANIMAL WELFARE STOP HAVING ANIMALS KILLED FOR THEIR CAFE AND MAKE THE CAFE COMPLETELY VEGAN.
The couple breathed a sigh of relief. “So they’re not actually killing animals,” said the man.
“You’re spittin’ hairs,” said Luke. “They’re payin’ for ’em to be killed and makin’ money out of it.”
The man shook his head. “You’re making it sound like they’re killing kittens. You could get into a lot of trouble spreading lies like that.”
“It’s not lies! If you paid someone to kill your wife, wun’t that be murder, even if you dint do it yourself?”
“Why would you say such horrible things about Maybury Centre? They do so much good,” the wife joined in. “We got our Maxie from them. She was starving when they found her and they nursed her back to health.”
“I’m not sayin’ they don’t do good things,” Luke clarified, “we’re just askin’ ’em to be that good to all animals. Why don’t piglets matter? Or cows?”
The wife tutted and ducked into the shop while her husband continued to set Luke straight. “Slaughtering animals for food is not murder, it’s necessity. Think of all the wild animals that kill to eat. It’s just nature.”
“It’s nature for foxes, and cats, and lions and tigers and crocodiles, but it’s not nature for us. We’re not s’posed to eat animals, we’re s’posed to eat vegetables.”
The man laughed. “What gives you that idea? Humans are omnivores – that means they eat plants and animals,” he said with condescension.
“But we’re not meant to,” insisted Luke, “if we were we’d have sharp teeth an’ claws to kill with and we’d eat ’em raw.”
At that moment the man’s wife emerged from the shop, frowned at Luke and escorted her husband away. Luke kicked the pavement in frustration. Thankfully Isabel had been more successful with a few people leaving the shop and Tania looked like she was making headway with a passing group of foreign students. Luke composed himself and tried a gentler approach.
“Will you sign a petition to save the animals?” he asked a lady holding a little girl’s hand and pushing a pram.
“I will,” said the little girl, “I love animals!”
“I think he meant me sweetheart,” the lady laughed.
“No,” Luke smiled, “I meant everybody.” He took the clipboard from Joe, held it low enough for the little girl to reach, and gave her the pen. She signed her name in large undisciplined letters and Luke thanked her sincerely.
“Now you Mummy,” she said to the lady.
“What is it for?” asked her mother.
“It’s for the animals!” the daughter replied, hands on hips, “weren’t you listening?”
When her baby started to cry the woman was eager to get moving again so she signed the petition without reading it, took her daughter’s hand and went on her way. Luke, with spirits lifted, was about to approach another pedestrian when a tall woman, wearing a badge that labelled her the manager, came out of the shop and stood in front of them.
“Please don’t stand here,” she said to the Society, “you’re upsetting our customers.”
“I’m sorry,” said Tania, “we don’t mean to upset anyone, we just thought that people who supported the RSPCA would be interested in this. It’s a petition to make Maybury Centre go vegan.”
“I know what it is,” replied the tall woman, “and we don’t support it. Maybury Centre has done a lot of good work in this community and it’s horrible of you to tarnish their reputation. If you really cared about animals you wouldn’t be attacking an animal rescue charity.”
“We’re not attacking anybody,” said Isabel, “we’re simply asking them to stop having animals killed for their cafe.”
“It’s the way you’re saying it! You could just write ‘please stop selling meat’ or ‘please make the cafe vegan’ without using these shock tactics.”
“People think meat is normal,” said Joe quietly, “they don’t react to it because they think it’s a normal, everyday thing that everybody eats and there’s nothing wrong with it.”
“Yes,” Isabel finished his thought, “they don’t think of the animals who were killed to make the meat ….”
“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” the tall woman interrupted, shaking her head. “Move along now please or I’ll be calling the police.”
The story continues tomorrow 😀
but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here 😀
and if that doesn’t satisfy you 😉 the next eight chapters are now available in paperback:
Luke Walker and the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers
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