Mobilising the troops

Story continues from Friday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

18 March  2027

Prime Minister mobilises British troops.

Elsewhere…

Elsewhere…

But …

Story continues tomorrow,  🙂

Click here if you don’t want to wait 😀

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Aftermath

Story continues from yesterday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

NEWSPAPER   CLIPPINGS:

Story continues on Monday, unless you don’t want to wait 🙂

Have a great weekend! 😀

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Maddicts was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

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Mass Exodus

Story continues from yesterday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

Berkodd Mildews turkey farm, Norfolk, UK
07:51 GMT

Dickie Dumbman Dairies, Lincolnshire, UK
07:51 GMT

Ball’s pig farm, Cambridgeshire, UK
07:51 GMT

Ixford University labs, UK
07:51 GMT

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait, just pop over here 😉

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Ouch!

Story continues from yesterday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

Pushminkski fur farm, near Volokolamsk, Russia
11:32 HRS MSK (07:32 GMT)

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait, click here  😉

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Maddicts was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

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Break out

Story continues from yesterday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

Zhang bear bile farm, Sichuan Province, China
15:17 HRS CST (07:17 GMT)

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait, you know what to do 😉

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Maddicts was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

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Getting away

Story continues from yesterday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

Wookiburra Sheep Station, Victoria, Australia
18:03 HRS EDT (07:03 GMT)

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait, you don’t have to 😉

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Maddicts was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

vegan, animal rights, vegan comic, vegan graphic novel, animal rights graphic novel, satire, activism, animals, cows, pigs, sheep,

Global Effect

Story continues from Friday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

16 March 2027 British Brain Foundation (registered charity) releases latest pamphlet detailing their research into cures for human dementia.

16:42 HRS Ixford University labs, UK.
Lab tech Vicky Crass collects mice for analysis

16 March 2027 Professor Miriam Goode’s website goes largely unnoticed.

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

but if you don’t want to wait, you don’t have to 😉

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Maddicts was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

vegan, animal rights, vegan comic, vegan graphic novel, animal rights graphic novel, satire, activism, animals, cows, pigs, sheep,

The Last Chance

Story continues from yesterday

[This is a darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

10:13 HRS Ball’s Pig Farm, Cambridgeshire, UK
Mother and son, Kevin and Mary Ruth, protest outside.

14:13 HRS Offal Inc. abattoir, Hampshire UK
Activists protest against perceived cruelty

16:01 HRS driver Ian Stooge arrives with lambs and ewes for slaughter.

Story continues on Monday

but if you don’t want to wait you can continue right here 😉

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Maddicts was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

vegan, animal rights, vegan comic, vegan graphic novel, animal rights graphic novel, satire, activism, animals, cows, pigs, sheep,

Maddicts Part One Begins: Tuesday 16th March 2027

[A darkly comic satire not recommended for readers under 12]

07:21 HRS Berkodd Mildews Turkey Farm, Norfolk, UK.

Matthew Gilt, John Mallis and Ed Crewel arrive at work.

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😮 Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait, you know what to do 😉

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This comic was remade with Comic Life by Plasq

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Vegan Story Time #8: The Two Little Pigs

Listen to The Two Little Pigs 😀

Want more stories?  Check out the Story Time page 😀

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New Year – New Menu?

A Tweet a day to bring Raystede to its senses – get this petition noticed!

Make Raystede Vegan

Menu-board-updated

I popped over to Raystede’s cafe page yesterday and it looked different.  I held my breath.  Did I dare hope?

I scrolled down past a photo of delicious-looking cake to the Specials Board (above).

Yes!  The beef pie was gone.  It was all vegan!

But my joy was fleeting.  The changes were only superficial.  The paragraphs beneath the photos were the same as before and a click to view the full menu revealed their “extensive” vegan options among  the almost three times as extensive meat, dairy, egg or fish options.

pigs at Raystede

Maybe we should be pleased that they’re at least trying to look vegan.  Is that a step in the right direction?  Perhaps they’d be open to meeting us half way and making a few edits to their menu that would at least make it more honest.   Hmm, well, I know they’re very busy so I’ve done it for them:

new Raystede menu noted vertical click…

View original post 74 more words

Three months later …

Big Blue Sky continues:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

Oh no Luca! Wake up!

Big Blue Sky continues tomorrow but if you can’t wait to find out if Luca’s ok, you can finish it now 🙂

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Are you sure there’s a way out?

Clarence’s story continues:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

Will Clarence get to see the Big Blue Sky?

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegan Christmas, turkeys, Christmas story, children’s story, vegan children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, birds,

Clarence’s story begins today

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

 

vegan Christmas story***************************************************************

Clarence’s story continues tomorrow

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Vegan Christmas Market

Feeling Christmassy? 😀

Then don’t miss the Be The Future Market Christmas Special!

All you have to do to win a beautiful vegan story book is roll the dice and get an even number 😀

But

they’ll all be wrapped in Christmas paper so you won’t know which one you’ve won 😀

It’s 50p a go and there’s a prize every time!

ie if you roll an odd number you get a booby prize 😀

But of course it’s not just us there – there’ll be loads of stalls filled with wonderful vegan gift ideas and yummy things to eat.

So come on down to Stoke Newington, North London, and have a lovely time at the Be The Future Vegan Christmas Market – we look forward to seeing you there 😀

Click here for full details of how to get there 😀

Have a great weekend! xx

Story Books for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re looking for something different, something special for the little ones in your life, you can’t go wrong with these lovely books from our little Lulu shop 😀

There’s the Luke Walker collection – humorous juvenile fiction for readers aged 8 to 108,

Colourful picture books and rhyming stories for the younger set,

and even a colouring book which teaches how nutritious plant food is.

Plus there’s all the Brave Girls comics (Reflecto Girl, Megan & Flos, and Venus Aqueous) not pictured here and more coming soon.

Just pop over to the shop and have a browse – quick before it’s too late!  If the prices shown aren’t your national currency, just click on the cart and select what country you’re shopping from by clicking on the appropriate flag.

They are beautiful books – I promise you won’t be disappointed 😀

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Getting it done!

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

In an effort to reproduce the events of the dream as faithfully as possible, the princess had notice of a public meeting announced as soon as she got home.  Then, as in the dream, she asked the people what she could do for them.  When they asked for cheaper food and cotton she wrote it all down in her blue book and told them she would do her best.  She then returned to the castle and summoned the duke.

fairy tale

However, unlike the dream, when the Duke of Aequitas arrived he brought with him a basket of fruit.

“Your Majesty,” he said, bowing, “please accept this gift from the people of Calidum Terram, with their compliments and best wishes for your twelve month reign.”

The princess smiled and indicated that should place the basket on the table.

“Thank you,” she smiled, “let’s talk trade.”

fairy tale

The princess argued with the duke, just as she’d dreamt, and Aequitas impressively stood his ground.  He showed her the king’s decree and she dismissed him.  Lady Beatrice, meanwhile, having resumed her miniature stature, was observing to ensure everything went to plan.  The wizard could be anywhere, watching, waiting for an opportunity.  He wasn’t stupid.  He was not stupid.

fairy tale

Suddenly the old fairy was struck by that frightening realisation – “He is not stupid.  He’ll know that that fruit is not natural – it doesn’t smell!  He’s not going to fall for it!”

By now the princess was slumped over the table complaining about her inability to give the people what they want.  And Venustus was climbing in through the window.

Lady Beatrice had to do something!

fairy tale

There was only one thing she could do.  She closed her eyes and spoke so quietly that even the mouse couldn’t hear:

“Power of the elements, I call on thee,

From air, earth and water, come forth, help me.

On fruits in the basket, I beg you bestow,

The scents they would have when in nature they grow.”

fairy tale

At the same time the princess was listening to Venustus’s claim that he could get her a better deal.

“I don’t know,” she said, reaching for an apple, “my people are used to top quality produce.  I want it cheaper but not if it’s substandard.”  She took a bite and smiled at him.  “Seriously,” she added, “your stuff can’t be as good as this.  Go ahead – try some, then you’ll know what I mean.”

fairy tale

Venustus returned her smile and, with the sweet, mouthwatering smell of fresh fruit in his nostrils, carelessly took a cherry.  As soon as it touched his tongue the princess spat out her apple and spoke swiftly:

“sutsunev sutsunev sutsunev”

The wizard’s eyes widened; his sharp intake of breath made him start choking on the cherry; then came a crash of thunder; and he was gone.

fairy tale

“We did it!”  The princess was jubilant.

“You were brilliant,” Lady Beatrice told her as the duke returned to the room, “but remember, no one else can know about this.  As far as the rest of the world knows – Venustus was never here.  There’ll be no public recognition.”

“That’s ok,” the princess smiled, “it’s enough just to know we set things right.  Thank you, both of you.”

fairy tale

The following morning, Princess Primrose told her people that she wouldn’t be able to get them cheaper food and fabrics after all.

“I have discovered,” she explained, “that we are already paying a fair price for those goods.  The only way for us to get them cheaper would be to cheat the growers out of their hard-earned money; to reduce their quality of life in order to improve ours.  And that’s just not right.”

There were some nods of agreement and some grumbles of discontent.

“I thought you would put your own people first,” someone shouted.

“As one young lady said yesterday, my people already have everything they need.  They work hard for it, and they don’t have much left over, but they are not short of any essential.  Do not the people who grow your food deserve this much?  Fair is only fair if it’s fair for everyone.”

fairy tale

The crowd began to disperse and the princess smiled as she noticed Grandfather, still alive, talking cheerfully to one of his neighbours.  There were a few disgruntled faces but the princess, understanding her father’s advice now, was not disheartened.  As she walked away she overheard a snippet of conversation:

“What is she wearing?!  I don’t like her hair.”

“That’s okay,” she said to herself, “I like it.”

fairy tale

And they all lived happily ever after.  For the most part 🙂

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Have a great weekend! 😀

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The fairy’s plan

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues:

“But the owl didn’t know his name.  Or how to find him.  I searched for many years without luck and eventually settled here.  And if your mother hadn’t asked me to protect you from yourself; if I hadn’t psychically perused this kingdom’s archives; I may never have discovered his name.  Now we not only know that, we also know where he’ll be if you re-enact the beginning of the dream.”

fairy tale

The princess was excited at the prospect of defeating the wizard.  “But how will we get him to eat his magic potion?” she asked.

Lady B was excited too.  “We know that Venustus takes advantage of the naïve and vulnerable.  Now, two months ago King Arnot died, leaving his unworldly son, Albro, in charge.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that kingdom is already in receipt of potion-doused produce.”

fairy tale

There was no time to lose.  The princess was well known so she dressed in disguise.  Then, while she rode to young King Albro’s territory, Lady Beatrice informed the duke of their plan – he would need to be in on it.

Once over the border, Princess Primrose searched for the market place.  She needed to make sure that they were indeed selling ‘magic’ produce.

fairy tale

Before long she found the market.  Some stalls were piled high with colourful, irregular-shaped, delicious-smelling produce.  Others displayed equally enticing goods but they were all uniform in shape, colour and size.  And the smell … there was no smell.  The unnatural food was cheap and selling fast.

Princess Primrose smiled at the stall holder.  “This is just what I need,” she said.

fairy tale

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Ooh, will Lady Beatrice’s plan work?  Will they be able to defeat the wizard?

Find out on tomorrow 😀

Unless you don’t want to wait, in which case you can read it now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids, fair trade

A bad dream?

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues:

At that moment Princess Primrose sat up in bed.  Lady Beatrice was sitting close by, smiling.

“Did you have a bad dream my dear?” she asked.

The princess was dazed.  “A dream?  It was just a dream?  I imagined it all?” she reached for her blue book.

“Well,” said the old lady, “yes, and no.”

fairy tale

“It’s hard to take in, I know, but as you can see from your book, this is your first morning in charge of the kingdom.  None of what you dreamt about has happened yet.”

The princess was bewildered.  She looked at her last blue book entry and realised that her mother’s friend’s explanation was the only one possible.  Relief began to wash over her.  Then she tensed.

“Yet?”  she asked nervously.

fairy tale

Lady Beatrice explained.  “The queen was very concerned about leaving you in charge, given your inexperience and eagerness to please.  So I simulated, in your dream, what would happen if you proceeded as she expected.  But the monks’ memory rhyme, the fire-damaged arrest record, and Gertrude’s book, all really do exist in the archives.  Venustus is horribly real.  He just hasn’t come here yet.”

fairy tale

The princess was confused.  “But how did you simulate my dream?  How did you know what would happen?”

Lady Beatrice hesitated before answering.  “Your mother is the only other person who knows this.  I hope I can trust your discretion.”  The princess nodded and she went on, “I am a fairy, the last of my kind here because the others were long ago poisoned by an evil wizard.”

“Fairies can take any size.  When I was a young girl, one thousand years ago, I was as small as a dragonfly.  We helped with pollination and feasted on flowers and fruit.  It was a beautiful, enchanting, wild life.  Then I fell in love with a sailor, assumed human size and travelled the world with him.  Being human, he aged much faster than I, and when he passed away I returned home.”

fairy tale

“My exquisite ancestral home had become a contaminated wasteland.  Hardly anyone was living there any more so it was difficult to find out what had happened but eventually an old owl, who had been watching me for some time, took pity on me.  He described a situation very similar to that depicted in Gertrude’s book, which led to the death of all the pollinating insects and fairies, and the exodus of many other species.”

fairy tale

“Possessed of the knowledge of all of his ancestors, the owl was able to give me some hope.  He said that when such a wizard was vanquished, all their evil was undone.  But, he said, there was only one way to do it: the wizard must be tricked into tasting his own potion and, while he is doing so, his name must be repeated to him, three times, backwards.  Then the world would be as if he had never been born.”

fairy tale

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Story continues tomorrow, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids, fair trade

My goodness girl!

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from last week:

They pleaded with Venustus to let them have the potion on credit, promising to pay him out of the profits from the sale of their produce.  Then he tells them that he will sell their produce – as they agreed in the contract they signed – and take his cut before passing to them whatever’s left!

What contract? they said, and he shows them the paper with their signatures on it – the contract had been added above their names.

fairy tale

My goodness girl, there were many there at that moment who could have throttled him but, as the first man lunged, Venustus smiled and said, “Perhaps we can make a deal.”

He ummed and ahhed for a few moments before adding, “Give me your children in return for as much potion as you need,” and while they still reeled from shock he said, “If you starve, they starve.  With me they’ll live.”

fairy tale

I swear on my life Gertrude, that’s what he said!  Well, according to Elsie, there was no holding people back after that.  Many of them flew at the wizard in their desperation at the thought of losing their children, and their anger at having been so cruelly tricked.  But Venustus didn’t flinch.  He smiled smugly as a glow of light surrounded his body and every strike just bounced off it.  He was untouchable.

fairy tale

What could they do?  It was too late in the season to sow the seeds from last year which, by next year, would be too old.  They had to do as the wizard told them.  All children over ten years old were taken to a cocoa farm where they worked from sun up to sun down; slept in windowless sheds; and ate a very poor diet.  They were beaten if they didn’t work fast enough.

And Venustus just got richer.

fairy tale

And as if that wasn’t enough for these poor people to cope with, they started to get sick.  After eating produce grown from the magic seeds, fed with the magic potions, this normally healthy community began to develop illnesses they’d never seen before.  Contamination by magic potions killed the fish in the rivers and the insects of the air and soil.  Birds and animals died or moved away.  Everything stank.

fairy tale

“Oh stop!  Stop!”  The princess snatched the book from the duke’s hand and slammed it down.  “I can’t listen to any more!  It’s horrible!  This is the price of our cheap food!  This is why my people are sick!”  She dropped to the floor, full of remorse, and just sobbed.

“It’s all my fault.  I wish I’d listened to you.  I wish I’d listened to my father.”

fairy tale

The story continues tomorrow.

Or you can read it here now 🙂

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids, fair trade

We interrupt this story to bring you …. frozen greens!

I’m thrilled to tell you that you can now get quality, organic, frozen veg packaged in nothing but a cardboard box!

It’s really hard to get enough greens when you’re trying to avoid plastic – unless you can grow your own.

But now that I’ve found these we can have our organic greens every day!

And they’re so easy to add to any meal.  No washing or chopping.  Just put some of these in a saucepan to gently warm – I put them in with my baked beans.

I bought them from the brilliant Sunny Foods Health Food shop in South Street, Eastbourne, but I’ve seen them in the Health Food Shop in Rye and the one in Hastings so hopefully you’ll be able to find them near you.

One thing’s for sure – I’m going to make sure my freezer is always stocked up with healthy, organic, plastic-free veg from the Natural Cool rangecheck it out! 😀

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Elsie’s story

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

The fruit and vegetable growers were having troubles.  They had had some bad weather which led to their harvest being poor, and some of them were worried that they wouldn’t have enough food to get them through the winter.

Luckily they have a good community and they had a meeting and realised that if they shared what they had, evenly between them, they would each have enough to scrape by.

fairy tale

They also agreed to distribute equally what seeds they had between them for the following year.  They wouldn’t be able to sow as much as usual but, again, they knew it would be enough.  They would manage.

Satisfied and relieved, they were about to return home when a kindly stranger called their attention back to the meeting.  He said he thought he could help.

fairy tale

Oh my word!  It would have been better for them if they had pretended not to hear him and walked away!  But they didn’t.

He said his name was Venustus and he could provide them with plenty of seed for next year, so that they wouldn’t have to scrape by.  He said he had more than he could use in a huge barn on his property, and they could have it for nothing to prevent it going to waste.

fairy tale

Well, he looked so kind, and had such a warm smile, Elsie said, that they couldn’t help but trust him.  He asked everyone who wanted his seeds to sign their names on a sheet of paper so that he would know how much to ship to them.

The following spring, as promised, the seeds arrived and everyone was thrilled.  They sowed so many seeds that they looked forward to a bountiful harvest.

fairy tale

So, green shoots began to grow and everyone was hopeful until, after a few weeks, they started to wilt.  They couldn’t understand why because the weather had been perfect – sunshine and showers and just the right amount of each.  So they contacted Venustus to ask his advice.  Well!  That’s when he tells them he’s a wizard!  He made them seeds special so they grow much bigger and faster but …

fairy tale

…. only if they’re fed with his magic potion!  Without it they would not survive at all.  Of course the people asked if they could have some of his potion and he says: ‘course you can – it’s 20 pieces of silver per vat!

Oh my goodness!  You can imagine how the people felt.  They had no money.  They couldn’t pay for the potion.  And they would have no harvest at all without it.

fairy tale

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😮

Story continues on Monday (unless you don’t want to wait)

Have a great weekend 😀

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The Duke continued …

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

When he finished, Aequitas paused and looked at the princess.  He hesitated to continue burdening her when she looked so defeated, but there was more, and he had to go on.

fairy tale

Aequitas went on to explain that he had found a record of Venustus among the surviving documents of the Procul County Gaol fire, one hundred and forty seven years previous.  It was slightly fire-damaged but the charges made against him were still clearly legible.

“It is uncertain how the fire started but Venustus was the only prisoner not accounted for after it was put out,” the duke added.

fairy tale

“But by far the most useful information I have found is contained in this book,” he said as he placed a small, tattered volume on the table.  “It belongs to the estate of an elderly lady who recently passed, named Gertrude.  She was deaf her whole life and when she was a little girl her mother would write down every piece of news and gossip for her to enjoy in this book.  There is here a detailed account of Venustus.”

fairy tale

Aequitas leafed through the book to find the story of Venustus, as told by Gertrude’s mother, while Princess Primrose looked upon the list of Venustus’s crimes with horror.  She nodded sadly at him, and he began to read:

Elsie from across the sea says they’ve had troubles over there.  She told a sailor, who told his uncle, who told his wife, and she told me.

fairy tale

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Oooh.  Find out what troubles Elsie and friends have suffered, tomorrow.

Or read it now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

More bad news

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

The Duke of Aequitas stood before the princess for the first time in many months.  After an embarrassed pause she forced herself to ask: “Worse?”

“When I heard you were dealing with Venustus I tried to find out more about him.  He is very hard to track down and I could find only three references to him in our archives, one of which dates back four hundred years.”

fairy tale

“Four hundred years?  That must have been a different Venustus.”

“No.  There are no others.  He’s a wizard Your Highness, he changes his appearance to appeal to whomever he’s attempting to fool.  But, apparently, he is unable to change his name, it’s the only thing he’s truthful about.”

The princess was exasperated.  “That’s absurd,” she said, “How do you know this?”

fairy tale

The duke continued, “The four hundred year old reference to Venustus was written by the monks of the ancient Lunam Monastery.  It is in the form of a rhyme so that everyone would recite it and remember it.  When I read it I became very concerned indeed.  The monks only created memory rhymes for things they considered extremely dangerous.  It was vital to them that this be remembered generation after generation.”

fairy tale

The princess listened apprehensively as the duke read aloud.

“Venustus he was,

Venustus he is,

Venustus he’ll always be.

He’ll lie about everything else in the world,

But truthful ’bout that he’ll be.”

fairy tale

“Venustus is wicked

Venustus is false

Venustus will use and abuse.

Remember his name, remember his name,

Keep thyself safe from his ruse.”

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Gasp! 😮

Learn more about the evil Venustus tomorrow.

Or read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

Flabbergasted

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from yesterday:

The old man had no family of his own but everyone called him Grandfather.  He was kind and cheerful and loved to talk.  He could talk for hours but no one minded because talking to him always brightened their day.

When news of Grandfather’s death reached the castle, the princess was saddened, but when she then learned that more people were falling ill, a cold chill shivered through her body.

fairy tale

Princess Primrose desperately hoped that this was not her fault; that the sickness afflicting her beloved people was not caused by the cheap fruit and vegetables she had imported through Venustus.

But she couldn’t find Venustus.

The only thing she could do, she decided, was to tell everyone to stop eating the cheap produce; to admit that it might be the cause of their illness.

fairy tale

But the people took no notice.  They dismissed as ridiculous the suggestion that the cheap produce might be unhealthy.

“Sickness comes and goes,” they said.

“It’s probably the weather,” they said.

“It will pass,” they said.

The princess was flabbergasted.

“It’s as if they’re under a spell!” she exclaimed.

“It’s worse than that,” said a familiar voice.

fairy tale

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What???!

Story continues tomorrow – or you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

An Alternative Deal

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues from Friday:

The princess seethed.  The duke was nervous but stood his ground.  They looked at each other in silence for several moments until she, unable to counter his argument, dismissed him.  She slumped over the desk and felt very sorry for herself.

“The first thing they ask me for and I can’t deliver!” she said out loud.

“Perhaps you can,” said a strange voice.

fairy tale

“Ahhh!  Where did you come from?”  The princess jumped and stood up straight, embarrassed to have been overheard and alarmed to be looking at a strange person who had apparently appeared from nowhere.

“I’m sorry Princess, I didn’t mean to startle you.”  He smiled warmly.

“Who are you and where did you come from?” she asked again, calmer now but wary.

fairy tale

“I apologise.  My name is Venustus.  I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation with the duke and I believe I can help.”

“First tell me where you’re from and how you got into the castle!”

As Venustus’s smile broadened, the princess’s mistrust faded away and she forgot her question.

“I can get you what you’re looking for,” he said, “make your trade with me.”

fairy tale

“My father decreed that only Aequitas can make the trade.”

“With Calidum Terram.  But what’s to stop you from trading with another party?”

The princess hesitated.  “Nothing … I suppose.  But we’re already getting a fair deal, so I won’t be able to do better.”

“So says the duke, but how can that be true if I can get you those goods for half the price?”

fairy tale

So Princess Primrose made a deal with Venustus and very soon the cheap goods were on the market.  Her people were delighted to find what they needed at such low prices and, as she’d hoped, loved her for listening to them and getting them what they wanted.  The princess was very pleased with herself and basked in the adoration of the populace which she read about almost every day.

fairy tale

But not everyone was happy with the new arrangements.  The duke was very concerned as the produce from Calidum Terram went bad on the shelves, and he discovered that the princess was dealing with Venustus.

He urgently begged an audience with her but when she refused to see him he wrote to her, daily.  The first few letters she binned, but after a while she didn’t even bother to read them.

fairy tale

After all, hadn’t her father told her that it wasn’t possible to please everyone?  Well, if the Duke of Aequitas wasn’t pleased then that was something she’d just have to live with – and, since he seemed to be the only one who wasn’t happy, she could  be pretty satisfied that she’d done a good job.

And she was.

For a while.

Until Grandfather died.

fairy tale

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Oh no!

Story continues tomorrow – or you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, watercolour, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

Come to Brighton!

Tomorrow, 23rd November,

10 ’til 4

at Brighton Unitarian Church,

Come to the seaside to buy some vegan story books and/or lots of other books!  There’s going to be something for everyone so they say!

What fun! 😀

The Brighton and Hove Book Fayre returns on November 23rd to the Brighton Unitarian Church, New Road. Come and meet local authors and browse the huge selection of books on offer, from children’s books to self-help, crime to horror, cookery to romance.

Brighton Unitarian Church is situated at the north end of New Road, close to the Brighton Dome, Royal Pavilion and the Theatre Royal.  Exit the library and walk straight ahead until you reach Church Street.  Cross it and you will be in New Road which is a restricted access zone and a pedestrianised area.

There is a multi-storey car park nearby in Church Street, although the Churchill Square shoppers’ car park is often more cost effective during the day – the entrance is in Regency Road.

Maybe we’ll see you there?

 

Summoning the Duke

Story continues from yesterday:

That very afternoon the Duke of Aequitas stood before the princess in her father’s study.

“From whom do we buy cotton, cocoa, fruit and vegetables?” she asked him.

“From the Calidum Terram nation Your Highness.  We have traded with their people for many years,” he replied.

“Well it’s time you got us a better deal!”

fairy tale

Aequitas was taken aback.  

“Forgive me Your Highness, but we already have a good deal.  We pay a fair price for top quality produce.  It’s a good deal for us and a good deal for them.”

“My people want it cheaper, so that they can afford more.  And I intend to give them what they want.  Sir, I insist that you make it happen!  Renegotiate the deal!”

fairy tale

Aequitas took a deep breath.  “Your Highness, I have in my possession a decree, written by your father, which gives me complete discretion in our trade agreements with Calidum Terram.  The king has put his trust in me and I will not be persuaded to betray it.  Our trade agreements are long-standing, fair and amicable and I will not renegotiate.”

fairy tale

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Story continues on Monday but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

Have a great weekend 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

First thing’s first

The princess’s story continues from yesterday:

Princess Primrose awoke the next morning to the sound of birdsong as sunlight streamed through her open window.  She smiled broadly.

“The first thing I’ll do,” she said to herself, “is call a public meeting and ask the people what they want.”

fairy tale

So, right after breakfast, she summoned the town crier and instructed him to announce the meeting.

“At ten o’clock,” she said, “on the green beyond the lake.  And I will ask them how I can best serve their needs.”

Thus he announced.  And they came.

fairy tale

Princess Primrose addressed the people by simply asking them,

“What can I do for you?”

At first the only response was one small voice.  

“Nothing, thank you Princess, we already have everything we need.”

The princess smiled at the child who stood among the sunflowers and smiled back at her.

fairy tale

Then more voices spoke up from the crowd:

“I wish I could afford to buy enough cotton to make two nightdresses, but it is expensive so I can only afford enough for one.”

“I work hard to support my family but most of my money is spent on food.  It would be nice if I was able to save some.”

“I have to save up two weeks’ pocket money to afford a bar of chocolate.”

fairy tale

And so the princess wrote it all down in her blue book – her blue book where she kept a record of everything.  Everything she did, and everything she planned to do.  

She didn’t want to forget a thing.

fairy tale

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Story continues tomorrow but if you want to read it now it’s right here 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

 

Incognito

The story continues from yesterday:

Unbeknown to the princess, her mother saw her expression and guessed what she was thinking.  So, Queen Evangeline, on the eve of her departure with her husband, visited her life-long friend and confidante – Lady Beatrice.

Lady Beatrice was very old, very wise, and mostly kept to herself.

fairy tale

She lived in her cottage by the lake at the edge of the woods and the queen, not wanting anyone to know where she was going, visited her incognito.  When she returned home later that night, her mind had been put at ease and she was able to set sail happily with her husband the next day.

vegan fairy tale

On Princess Primrose’s first night in charge of the kingdom she went to bed very happy.  There were so many changes she wanted to make; so many ways she thought she could improve the happiness of her people; and therefore so many potential opportunities to increase their love for her.

fairy tale

As she closed her eyes a mist rose from the lake and engulfed the castle, causing everyone in it to slip into a sleep so deep that nothing could disturb them.  Then Lady Beatrice arrived.  She walked past the guards who didn’t wake up.  She walked past the dogs who didn’t wake up.  She walked through the corridors, past all the bedrooms, and no one woke up.  And so, with the ease and confidence of someone who knows they won’t get caught, she entered the princess’s chamber.

fairy tale

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Story continues tomorrow but if you want to read it now it’s right here 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, fairy tale, children’s story, vegetarian, veggie kids

Here begins the princess’s story

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular

Once upon a time there was a princess who loved to be loved. She always did her best to make popular decisions so that her people would love her. And they did.

If the people were happy, she was happy.

If the people didn’t like her hair style she would change it. If the people said a certain colour didn’t suit her, she wouldn’t wear it any more.

 

vegan fairy tale

Her parents, King Jerome and Queen Evangeline, were about to leave her in charge of the Kingdom while they travelled around the world for a year, so the young princess was very excited.

Confident that she could make her people even happier, she was eager to run the kingdom her way so that they would love her even more.

fairy tale

Before he left, the king looked at his daughter, his face stern and serious, and he said,

“Primrose,” for that was her name, “remember you cannot always please everyone. Make decisions because they are right, not just because they are popular.”

vegan fairy tale

The princess smiled and nodded while he was talking but as she walked away from the king she raised her eyes to the heavens and thought to herself,

“Oh Father, you are old, you don’t understand the world of today. I will make decisions that will make people happy.

How could that ever be wrong?”

vegan fairy tale

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Story continues tomorrow

or you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan fairy tale, illustration, fairy tale, children’s story

The Two Little Pigs in paperback

If you enjoyed The Two Little Pigs you might like it in paperback 😀

It’s very cute 😉

If you do, you can buy it our little Lulu shop 😀

(if the link takes you to a shop with foreign currency, just click on ‘cart’ and then on the flag and you can choose what country you’re shopping from)

Have a lovely weekend 😀

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vegan, vegan children’s book, vegan children’s story, rhyming story, books, children’s books

Tower Hill Stables – Awesome Sanctuary!

The wonderful Tower Hill Stables sanctuary, home to nearly 600 animals, is run by record breaking marathon runner Fiona Oakes and her partner Martin Morgan.

Click here to give them much needed support 😀

Thank you

TOWER HILL STABLES ANIMAL SANCTUARY
ASHELDHAM
ESSEX
CM0 7DZ

 

Be The Future Vegan Market – This Weekend!

If you’re gonna be anywhere near London this weekend why not pop in to the Be The Future Vegan Market in Stoke Newington?

There’s going to be lots of stalls including Food, Drinks, Skincare, Crafts, Clothing, Plants, Candles, Scents, Ceramics, Soaps, Illustrations, Kids’ books, – that’s us! 😀 (Sunday only) – Kids’ Clothes, Jewellery, Herbs, Mushrooms, and all vegan, sustainable products.

The market is being held at Abney Public Hall, 73A Church Street, N16 0AS on Saturday the 2nd of November and Sunday the 3rd.  We won’t be there on the Saturday but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good! 😉

Click here to find out more, including how to get there.

We’ll be setting up our ‘Be The Future’ mobile library so you can sit and read the comics and story books and even borrow them for free.

Maybe we’ll see you there, if you go on Sunday 😉

Happy Birthday Luke

Chapter 24 continues from last week:

As soon as the red car turned out of the cul-de-sac Luke ran home to get his rucksack.  He grabbed harnesses and leads from the hook in the kitchen and tossed them to Joe.

“Can you put these on Curly and Squirt?”  Dudley started barking and wagging his tail.  “Sorry boy, not this time.”  He hitched his heavy rucksack onto his back and returned to the garden for the sheep.  He was in such a hurry he didn’t close the door properly and Dudley followed him out.

Joe handed Luke the leads.  “Are you sure about this?”

“Got no choice,” he said sadly, “gotta keep Curly and Squirt safe.”  Dudley jumped up and pleaded to go with them.

“Not this time boy, I’m sorry.”  He crouched down to give his dog a hug.  “Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon.  Look after Scratcher for me okay?” Dudley licked his knee.  Luke looked at Joe. “Stay in touch on the walkie-talkies.”

He led Dudley back into the kitchen and closed the door properly, but before he could make his getaway, he heard Dad’s car.

“They’re home!” He snatched up the leads and looked frantically for somewhere to hide.

“The garage!” said Joe.

Thankfully the side door wasn’t locked but getting them all in was easier said than done.  Partially blocking the doorway was some kind of large structure, covered in an old sheet.  They heard Mum and Dad’s voices; they heard the gate hinges squeak.  There was nothing they could do but give up.  Luke tucked his rucksack behind the rose bush just as his parents entered the garden.

“Oh, you’ve seen it!” said Mum, disappointed.

“Seen what?”

“He hasn’t,” said Dad, peering over their heads through the open door, “it’s still covered.”

Luke looked back at the mysterious structure.  “What?”

Mum and Dad smiled at each other and then at Luke.  “Happy Birthday.”

Luke looked at Joe.  He’d completely forgotten.

“Happy Birthday Luke,” said Joe with a big grin.

“Did you remember?”

“No,” he laughed.

Luke looked back at his parents, “but it’s not my birthday ’til tomorrow.  Is it?”

“No, but we thought we’d do it today because I’ve got to work tomorrow.  Is Jared home?”

“Yeah, he’s upstairs.”

“I’ll get him,” said Mum.

“I’ll get the stuff out the car,” said Dad.

“Presents from Aunt Clara?” asked Luke.  He was surprised because Aunt Clara usually just sent a card.

“Not exactly,” said Dad as he disappeared through the open gate.

Luke didn’t know what to think.

When everyone was back, Dad put two boxes on the ground in front of him.  “Happy Birthday Luke,” he said again, and stood back.  “Open them.”

Luke stepped forward and did as he was told.  Inside each box were two red hens.  He stared at them in disbelief. “But you said no.”

“I had to,” said Mum, “we wanted it to be a surprise.”

The chickens climbed out of their boxes and one of them chased Dudley back into the kitchen.

“And that’s not all,” said Dad. “Marian, Jared, Joe, follow me please.”

Joe looked at Luke, shrugged and then followed the rest of them into the garage.  Luke removed the sheep’s harnesses and crouched down to introduce himself to the new chickens.

“Try to herd them to the bottom of the garden,” said Mum, “I’m opening the gate wide.”

Luke did his best but with little success.  He could get one to head in the right direction, but as soon as he returned for another the first one would run back towards the house.  As it turned out, though, that didn’t matter.  What happened next sent them all running towards the damson patch at top speed, closely followed by Curly and Squirt. Through the wide open gate came four people slowly carrying a large, wooden triangular prism. They bent their knees and lowered it onto the concrete base vacated by the old greenhouse.

“It’s a chicken house!” said Mum excitedly, “Dad made it.”

“You made it?” Luke was overwhelmed.  “All by yourself?”

Dad laughed.  “Yes.  It took me a while but, yes, all by myself.”

“It’s marvellous,” said Luke, walking around the new house, running his hand along the smooth wood.  “Absolutely marvellous.”

“Glad you approve,” said Dad.  He looked at Mum and smiled.

“Thanks Dad,” said Luke warmly.  “I love it!”

“Can we see inside?” asked Mum.

“Yes.  Okay.  You unbolt these and then you use these handles to lift this off.”  Dad detached one end of the house so that a person could climb inside if he crouched.  “These shelves are the nesting boxes – you fill them with soft wood shavings – and they can perch on the front of them when they go to bed.  They’ll be able to see out the window from there.”  Dad was proud of the house, Luke could tell.  “Put shavings on the floor as well and then it’ll be easy to sweep out in the mornings.”

“Easy,” Luke agreed.

“When it’s all clean you put the end back on by slotting it in like this.  Here, you have a go.”

Luke tried but it was too heavy.

“That’s alright, I’ll help you,” Mum promised.

“And then, when that’s bolted back on, you leave the hatch open all day so the chickens can come and go as they please.  Close it at night when they’ve gone to bed to keep predators out.”

Luke nodded.  “I will.”  He couldn’t stop grinning.

“Now, about Curly and Squirt,” said Dad, and Luke’s face fell.  “I’ve spoken to Fred and you were right, they can’t go back to the allotments.” Luke held his breath.  “So they’ll have to stay here.”

Luke could hardly believe it.  “Really?”

“Yes. We’ll make the old shed into their stable.”

Luke looked at Joe.  “Good idea,” he said tentatively.

“And the damson patch really isn’t big enough for them so they can share the whole garden with the chickens.”

“Really?  What about your flowers?”

“Well, as your mum pointed out, I’ve still got the front garden.”  Mum squeezed his hand.

“Thank you thank you thank you,” said Luke, “this is the best birthday ever!”

Dad nodded.  “You’re very welcome.”

Luke gazed at the new chicken house.  “How many chickens would fit in here?” he asked.

“The plan said up to twelve,” said Dad.

“Marvellous,” said Luke, “absolutely marvellous.”

And they all lived happily ever after 😀

If you’re late to the party and want to catch up, you can find all the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er chapters here 🙂

Have a great day ❤ 

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vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, juvenile fiction, chickens, sheep, vegan children’s story, animal rescue, birds,

Ten past four

For the whole story click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

Isabel peered through the shed window and smiled.  “Looking good!” she said.

“What time is it?”  Luke was slightly anxious.

“Ten past four,” said Isabel.

“Where the heck is Tania?  She said she’d be here by three!”

“Actually, you told her to be here by three.  What she actually said was, I don’t know how long it’ll take.”

“Well she didn’t say it would take this long!”

Joe came out of the house.  “I’ve just seen Jared from your bedroom window.  He’s at the bottom of the cul-de-sac!”

“Quick! Into the shed!” said Luke, panicking.

Isabel didn’t move.  “We haven’t done anything yet,” she said, “there’s no need to hide.”  At that moment her phone received a text.  “It’s Tania.  She says they’re five minutes out.”

“Joe, go and see where Jared is!”

“You go and see where Jared is.”

Luke went to see where Jared was and got to the back door just in time to hear the front door slam.  He stepped quietly into the kitchen and listened.  Jared’s heavy boots took the stairs two at a time and within seconds of them reaching the top, loud music blared from his room.  Luke ran back to the damson patch.

“It’s alright.  He’s in his room with his music on.“

“What if he looks out his window?” asked Joe.

“He won’t.  Look, his curtains are drawn.  He’s obivlious.”

Isabel resisted the temptation to correct him and smiled.  “I can hear a car!”

They all ran out into the cul-de-sac.  Tania’s dad’s car had just pulled up.  Mr Spriggs and Tania got out and Luke approached them hurriedly.

“Hello.”

“Hello,” said Mr Spriggs brightly, “you must be Luke,” and he stretched out his right hand.  Luke smiled and shook it without saying anything.

Tania was beaming.  “Shall we take the chickens through?” she asked.

“Yeah, quick as we can,” said Luke, “this way.”  Tania handed one box each to her eager friends and they carried them carefully up the drive towards the back garden gate.

“Would you mind if I use your toilet?” asked Tania’s dad.

“Daaad!”

Mr Spriggs ignored his daughter and looked hopefully at Luke.

Luke couldn’t risk anyone going inside and alerting Jared.  “Er, sorry,” he said, “I don’t have a key to the house.”

“You don’t?”

“No.  I did have one, but I dropped it when I was … when I went…” he said, awkwardly.  “I don’t know where I dropped it.”

“Oh.”

Joe felt bad for the man.  “I saw on telly that it’s good for compost heaps.”

Mr Spriggs raised his eyebrows, “and you’ve got a compost heap?”

Luke pointed to the far end of the garden and Mr Spriggs ran down there.

“Oh good grief!” said Tania to her shoes.

Isabel looked at her watch.  Half past four.  “Come on,” she said, “let’s show the chicks their new home.”

They were beautiful.  Three of them were orange and gold, with red crowns.  One of them was a soft grey and the other a dark red-brown with black at the tips of her feathers.  As soon as they were out of their boxes they ran away to explore.  The one with black-tipped feathers seemed to be the boldest.  Wherever she went the others followed, but if any of them got too close to her she reprimanded them with a quick peck to the head.

“We should call her Boudicca,” suggested Tania.

Curly and Squirt were very interested in the newcomers but when they approached for a closer look, Boudicca saw them off with a squawk and a frenzied flap of her wings.  The grey hen kept getting told off too.

“Aw, poor baby,” said Isabel, “they’re picking on her.”

“She’s alright,” said Joe, “Look – she’s keeping her distance from Boudicca and Frosty now.”

“Frosty?”

“The one with the white face.”

“Okay,” Isabel smiled, “and the grey one’s Millie.”

“Why?”

“I just like it.”

“What shall we name the other two?”

Everybody looked at Luke.

He grinned.  “Kes and Neelix.”

“Neelix is a boy’s name,” said Tania.

“Doesn’t have to be,” argued Luke.  “Neelix is the speckled one.  She looks like Neelix.”

Mr Spriggs watched from the other side of the fence.  “A splendid bunch,” he said smiling.  “You’ve got them a nice set-up here.”

“Thanks,” said Luke, “thanks for pickin’ ’em up for us.”

“You’re very welcome.  I hope your mum feels better soon.  Is she back from the hospital yet?”

“Er, no.”  Luke glanced anxiously at Isabel who mouthed ‘ten to five’.  “But I think she might be home any minute an’ she told me in no certain terms that I have to be quiet and not have any friends round when she gets back.”

“Quite right!” said Mr Spriggs, “come on Tania, let’s make a move.”

“Er, can I cadge a lift?” asked Isabel.

“Of course.”

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This chapter concludes on Monday but if you don’t want to wait you can finish it by clicking here now 😀

Have a great weekend 😀 

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vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, juvenile fiction, chickens, sheep, vegan children’s story, animal rescue, birds,

Getting the chickens

For the story so far click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

Tania’s dad pulled in to the car park at Butcher’s Field, the ironically named rendezvous for the chicken rescuers.

“You wait here,” said Tania, “I’ll go and get the chickens.”

“Where from?”

“I’ll ask the woman with the clipboard.”

“Alright.  I’m going to look for the toilets,” said her dad, “I’ll be back in a few minutes hopefully.”

“A toilet Dad, not a tree,” she reminded him.

He laughed and they went their separate ways.  When she reached the clipboard woman, Tania waited a polite distance behind the man who was talking to her, but she still couldn’t help overhearing their conversation.

“You a bit thin on the ground this year?” he asked.

“Yeah, because of the charge,” the woman told him.

“What charge?”

“She’s charging for them now.”

“Really?”

“Yes unfortunately.  She didn’t charge before.  Just wanted to save them.  But now she says she can’t afford to keep letting them go for nothing.”

“Why?  What brought that on?”

“She says she’s losing money ’cause she could get at least 50p each for them if she sent them to slaughter.”

“No!”

“Yep.  Nine thousand birds at 50p each is £4,500!”  The man just frowned and shook his head.  “So she tells us she wants to charge people for them, thinks it’s perfectly reasonable, and who can’t afford 50p?  But of course that’s not what we signed up for.  We don’t want to fund animal farming.  You pay to release one animal and that money’s used to enslave another.”

“Exactly.”

“But if we say no, there’s thousands of birds we could have saved going to slaughter.  So we had a vote and decided, fourteen to six, in favour of going ahead.  The six who voted against it resigned from the group.”

The man shook his head again.  “So you’ve had to raise another four and a half thousand on top of your usual costs?”

Clipboard woman nodded.

“You’re an amazing woman Sheila,” he said, “I don’t know how you work with someone like that.”

“When you have to, you do,” she said, smiling.

He started to turn away but she reached out and touched his arm.  “Er, Mike.”

“Yeah?”

“That’s just between us okay?”

He nodded, “see ya Sheila,” and walked away.

Tania approached.

“Hello love,” said the woman.  She looked tired but she smiled.

Tania smiled back and gave her name.  The woman looked down her list.

“You’re taking five?” she asked.

“That’s right.”

The woman looked around.  “You on your own?”

“No,” said Tania, “my dad’s here.  That’s our car over there.  The red one.”

“Have you brought carriers?”

“No sorry, we didn’t know …”

“That’s okay, we’ve got boxes,” the woman smiled again.  “You wait by the car and someone will bring them over in a minute.”

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Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait, you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, juvenile fiction, chickens, sheep, vegan children’s story, animal rescue, birds,

“You said left!”

For the story so far click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

“No! Not this one!”

“You said left!”

“I said second on the left.”

“All I heard was ‘left’.”

“You’ll have to turn round and go back.”

“I know!”  Mr Walker was in miserable mood.  He pulled in to a lay-by and waited for the traffic to clear.

“Are you going to be like this all day?” asked his wife.

“Like what?  There’s nothing wrong with me.”

She took a deep breath and counted to ten while she looked out the window.  “Did you get through to Fred?” she asked eventually.

“Yes.”

“And?”

“He won’t budge.  Says the committee’s votes are final.  No more animals on the allotments.”

“There you go then, Luke was right.”

“He still shouldn’t have spoken to me like that.”

“No he shouldn’t but put yourself in his shoes.  He was protecting his animals.  You should be proud of him for that.”

“I’m sick of being treated like the enemy.  I do my best for him.  And the animals.  It’d be nice if he gave me the benefit of the doubt sometimes.”

“Okay, maybe he did go off the deep end, but he was panicking.  And he was livid about that horrible boy next door.”

“Did you speak to his mum?”

“Yes but she’s no use.  She thinks the sun shines out of him.  He can do no wrong as far as she’s concerned.  She said Simon says Luke’s a liar and maybe we shouldn’t be so gullible.”

“Ha!  What did you say to that?”

“I admitted Luke can be trying at times but, unlike one child I could mention, he’s not a shallow, slimy, arrogant, little toe-rag.”

“Ha ha ha!  Did you really?”

“No.  But I wanted to.”

Dad made a U-turn and got back on track.

“That’s it,” said Mum, “left, ……… and then left again.  Yes – look: Wixham 36 miles!”

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Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait, you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, juvenile fiction, chickens, sheep, vegan children’s story

A matter of life and death

For the story so far click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

In the garden Luke led Curly and Squirt away from Dad’s flower beds.

“We might not be able to stay here,” he told them apologetically, “but don’t worry, I’ll come with you, wherever you go.”  He stroked the back of Curly’s neck while he considered their options and very soon it came to him.  “We could live at the country park!” he said, “there’s trees to climb and woods to hide in, and plenty of grass for you to eat.  It’d be like livin’ in Sherwood Forest!”  It was a brilliant idea.  He wondered why he hadn’t thought of it before.  “On’y thing is,” he added, “the chickens are comin’ tomorrow.”  He sat on the lawn and pondered.  He was sure he could figure something out but it would require more thought.  Squirt laid down next to him and put his head on Luke’s lap.  Luke looked at him and smiled.  “It’s alright,” he said, “I’ll think of something.”

****

SATURDAY 14 JUNE
C-DAY

When Luke woke up at half past eight the house was quiet.  He was greeted by Dudley when he went downstairs but everyone else was out.  Dad had left a note on the fridge.

Luke called Joe.

“Hello.”

“Can you come round?”

“Now?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

As soon as he put down the phone Luke let Dudley into the garden and checked on Curly and Squirt.  They’d made themselves at home and were enjoying the abundance of dandelions in the damson patch.  Joe arrived five minutes later and Luke took him upstairs to help look for his tent.

“What d’you want the tent for?” he asked.

“To live in.”

“Why?”

Luke put Joe in the picture.

“So you and Curly and Squirt are gonna run away and live at the country park?”

“Yeah.”

“What about school?”

“I won’t go to school.”

“It’s the law.  You have to go to school.”

“I’m an outlaw.”

“Oh yeah.  But how will you live?  What will you eat?  And what about the chickens?”

“Don’t worry,” said Luke with a conspiratorial smile, “I’ve got it all worked out.”  He took his walkie talkies out of the wardrobe, opened the box and handed one to Joe.  “I’ll keep in touch with you on this – channel six – and then if I need anything I’ll tell you and you can bring it.”

“Like what?”

“Food for a start.  You’ve got your own food allowance.”

“It’s only enough for me.”

“Yeah but if you look for stuff that’s buy one get one free, you can give the free one to me.  And if you go to the Co-op at the end of the day when they’re sellin’ things that are goin’ out of date – like bread for 10p a loaf – you can get stuff cheap so your money’ll go further.”

Joe nodded slowly.  “Yeah, I s’pose I could do that.”

“Good.  Oh, here it is!”  He pulled out a bundle of grey nylon fabric from under the bed and spread it out on the carpet.

“You’re not going to be very well camouflaged with that picture of Spiderman on the side,” Joe pointed out.

Luke was unconcerned.  “I’ll hide that with twigs and leaves.”

After checking nothing was missing he rolled the tent back up and went to the airing cupboard for his sleeping bag.

“Your mum and dad are gonna be pretty upset about this,” Joe told him.

“Well they’re not ezzactly givin’ me a choice are they?  My first duty is to protect Curly an’ Squirt.”

Joe nodded.  “Yeah, okay, but what about the chickens? Your mum and dad don’t know they’re coming so if you’re not here to look after them …”

Luke grinned.  “It’s alright, I told you, I’ve got it all worked out.”

“How?”

“I’ll come back when they’re not here.  Simple.”

“How will you know when they’re not here.”

“I already know.  Dad goes to work at seven every mornin’; Jared’s gone before eight; and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays Mum works at the Co-op.”

“What about Tuesdays and Thursdays?  And weekends?”

“Well she’ll have to walk Dudley won’t she?”

“But you don’t know what time she’ll go.”

“That’s where you come in.”

“Whaddaya mean?”

“Well, you can keep watch and then tell me when she leaves, with the walkie talkie.”

“But I’m s’posed to be at school!”

Luke frowned.  “We all agreed to rescue the chickens together.  They’re all our responsibility, not jus’ mine.  We’ve all got to work together.”

“I know but how can I do it on school days?”

“Look, I’m riskin’ prison by not goin’ to school at all,” Luke reminded him, “so the least you can do is risk bein’ marked late!  That’s not askin’ too much is it?  I mean, it’s life and death for the chickens don’t forget!”

Joe nodded.  “Yes, you’re right.  Sorry.”

“It’s okay.  Now then, Tania should be here with the chickens by three.  That should give us plenty of time to get them all settled in to the damson patch before Mum and Dad get home.”

“When will they be back?”

“They said they’d be gone all day so I s’pose that means after five.”

“You suppose?”

“Yeah.”

“What about Jared?”

“We haven’t gotta worry about him.  He always disappears on Saturdays.”

“Where to?”

“Nobody knows.  Skate park prob’ly.”

“So you don’t know when he’ll be back.”

“Late.  He’s always late back on Saturdays.”

“How late?”

“Joe!  Don’t worry about Jared!  We just need to make sure we’re out of here before Mum and Dad get back.”

“Before five?”

Luke nodded.  “Yeah. But I’d like to be away by four.”  The two boys sat in silent agreement for a moment before Luke added “oh, but you’ll have to come back when it gets dark.  I’ll give you a gate key.”

“On my own? Why?”

“To lock the cat flap on the chicken house so a fox doesn’t get ’em.”

“Why can’t you do it?”

“Well I can’t leave Curly and Squirt in the park by themselves can I?  And I can’t bring ’em with me – they’re not ezzactly stealthy!”

Luke stuffed his tent, sleeping bag and walkie talkie into his rucksack.  “I’d better get some rations,” he said, “come on.”  Downstairs he crammed every pocket and crevice of his bag with food and a couple of bottles of water.  “Now let’s go to the allotments and get some straw!”

********************************************

Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait, you can read it here now 😀

***********************************************************

vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, juvenile fiction, chickens, sheep, vegan children’s story

Butler did it!

For the story so far click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

“Where’s Luke?” asked Dad.

“Must be out with Dudley,” said Mum, “I expect he’ll be back soon.”

“Right, well as soon as he gets in, I want to give him his present.”

“You’ve finished it?”

“Yes,” said Dad with a big grin.

“Can I see it?” asked Mum excitedly, starting for the door.

“Not ’til Luke gets here,” Dad laughed and stepped in front of her.

“It’s not his birthday ’til Sunday,” said Jared.

“I know but I’ve got to work on Sunday.”

“Oh no!” said Mum, “didn’t you tell them you had plans?”

“Yeah but they’re desperate.  A lot of people off with stomach flu.”

“Again?!  Lucky for them you never get it.”

“What if you did?” suggested Jared, “tell ’em you caught it and then you won’t have to work.”

Dad frowned disapproval at that idea.

Mum pouted.  “Oh, I don’t want you to miss Luke’s birthday.”

“I don’t want to miss it either.  That’s why I thought we could do it now.  While we’re all here.”

“Luke and Dudley are home,” said Jared, looking out the dining room window, “and they’re not alone.”

Luke greeted his family with a fierce scowl.  “Butler let Curly an’ Squirt out and now they’re not allowed on the allotment!” he told them angrily.

“What?” asked everybody at once.

“Curly an’ Squirt got out and they messed up some o’ the plots and ate some o’ the plants but it wasn’t their fault. An’ I told Mr Tipton it wasn’t my fault either but he said I must’ve forgot but I didn’t an’ I told him I didn’t but he wun’t believe me!  He said there was a new rule and no animals could live on the allotments so I had to bring ’em home!”

“Luke slow down.  What exactly did Fred say?” asked Dad.

“I told you!  He said he wasn’t gonna let animals on the allotments any more coz he couldn’t risk it happenin’ again!”

“The sheep got onto other people’s plots?”

“Yes!”  Luke was exasperated.

“Oh no,” said Mum, “did they do much damage?”

“It’s not their fault,” Luke reiterated, “they were just eatin’.  They didn’t know they weren’t s’posed to.  They didn’t mean to spoil anything.”

“How did they get out?” asked Dad, “did you forget to bolt the gate this morning?”

“No!  I told you!  Butler did it!”

“Simon Butler?  Why d’you think that?”

“I saw him just now – laughin’ with his stupid friends about it!  He shouted at me that I shun’t have left the gate open.  How would he know that if he din’t do it?”

Mum and Dad exchanged serious glances.

“I’ll speak to Fred,” said Dad, “don’t worry.  I’m sure we can work something out.”

“We could put a padlock on the gate,” suggested Mum.

“Good idea ….”

“Won’t work,” interrupted Luke dejectedly, “I already offered to do that.  He said no.”

Dad ruffled his hair.  “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to him,” and he reached for the phone.

“No!” said Luke firmly, “they’re not safe there.  I want them to stay here!”

“They can’t stay here Luke, I’m sorry.”

“Why not?  The garden’s big enough.”

“I’m sorry Luke, no,” Dad insisted, “I’ve worked hard on this garden and I don’t want it ruined.”  He looked out the dining room window.  “Look – they’ve already eaten half my purple mallow!”

“Well they’ve had a rough day!  Give ’em a break!”

“I’ll go next door and speak to Anne,” said Mum, “maybe she can keep her slimy son in check.”

“Okay,” said Dad. “Luke, put the sheep in the damson patch.  I’ll phone Fred.”

“No!  We’re not sendin’ ’em back!  A padlock won’t keep ’em safe!  Anyone could climb over the fence an’ hurt ’em!  I want them here where I can see them all the time!”

Dad spoke low and calm but there was no mistaking his hostility.  “Let me make one thing clear: I am not giving up my garden.  I tolerated the loss of my vegetable patch to your rabbits and you’re lucky I didn’t put my foot down then.  I’m putting it down now.  The sheep are going back to the allotments.”

Luke was infuriated.  “Aren’t Curly an’ Squirt more important than a few flowers?  It’s dangerous for ’em there!  It’s cruel to make ’em go back!  Cruel and selfish!”  He paused for a response that didn’t come.  “If you make ’em leave, I’m goin’ with them!”

Mum put her hand on his shoulder in an effort to calm him down but he pulled away angrily and stormed back out into the garden.

Mr Walker slammed his garage keys down on the table.  “So glad I worked every spare minute to make that child’s birthday present!” he growled.

“He didn’t mean it,” said Mum sympathetically, “he’s just upset.  If he knew what you’d done …”

“He shouldn’t speak to me like that whether he knew or not!”

“I know but …”

“I think I deserve a little bit of respect!”

Mrs Walker reached out to hug him but he walked away.  She sighed.  “I wonder what it would have been like to have daughters,” she thought.

*************************************************

Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait, you can read it here now 😀

***********************************************************

vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, juvenile fiction, chickens, sheep, vegan children’s story

National Food Strategy – Call for Evidence

defra

Don’t forget the closing date for taking part in DEFRA’s survey about the future of food production in this country is this week!  The 25th October!  If you haven’t completed the survey already please do let them know that for the sake of the environment and human health, UK farming needs to transition from animal farming to arable farming.  Subsidies need to taken away from animal agriculture and given instead to plant-food growers and help should be available to farmers who want to transition from animals to plants.

Express your opinion and upload a document of evidence to support your argument.  I used this one but there is so much scientific evidence out there to choose from.

We have to phase out animal farming completely.  It’s the only option makes sense!

 

Wandering off

For all the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er chapters, click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues from Tuesday:

Mum smiled.  “Looking good.  Do you want some furniture?  I’ve got a couple of deck chairs and a coffee table you can have.”

“Yeah, maybe,” said Luke, smiling, “thanks Mum.”

“I’ve got some old curtains as well, if you want privacy,” she offered.

“Why? You can’t see in the shed window from the house can you?”

“No, of course not.”

“Okay, good.”

“So you do want privacy.  Top secret stuff is it?”

“No, course not, well …. we just don’t wanna be watched, that’s all.”

“I quite understand,” said Mum, trying to suppress a smile. “Do you want lunch?  I could bring some sandwiches down here if you like.”

Luke shook his head.  “Thanks, yeah, but no, we’ll come up to the house for ’em.”

******

FRIDAY 13 JUNE

When Luke got home from school there was no one else there.  The house was silent.

“Dudley? D’you want to go outside?” he asked when he stepped into the kitchen.  The clang of an upended stainless steel water bowl was preceded by the sound of four clawed paws hitting the floor.  Dudley was at the back door in seconds.

As they walked to the allotments Luke and his oldest friend talked everything over.  Well, Luke talked, Dudley couldn’t get a word in edgeways.  Luke had always been grateful for good listeners.  The best, he’d found, were those who didn’t try to push their own opinions into the discussion; those who let him get out all his jumbled thoughts and feelings without comment or judgement; those who just listened.  That left Mum out.  And Dad.  At one time Luke’s first port of call when he needed to clear his head or puzzle a dilemma was the damson patch.  The rabbits’ listening skills were second to none.  Sadly Ash and Rusty had grown old and passed away in recent months.  Scratcher was still around but she’d moved into the house for company and was often so busy rearranging soft furnishings that it was hard to get her undivided attention.  That very morning she’d spent half an hour dragging the back doormat into the dining room.  She seemed to prefer it there, no one knew why.  Thankfully Dudley was always ready to lend an ear.

“Tomorrow’s C-Day,” said Luke, as if Dudley didn’t already know.  “Mum an’ Dad are goin’ to London to help Aunt Clara move so that’s perfect timing.  We should be able to get the chickens all tucked in before they get back.  As long as Tania’s dad gets ’em here in time.  She told him to go early but he said it was a long drive so he doesn’t know how long it’ll take.”

Tania had told her dad a white lie.  She didn’t want to but Luke reminded her the chickens would be killed if she didn’t.  She told him that Luke’s mum had an ingrowing toenail and his dad had to take her to hospital to have it removed so they wouldn’t be able to pick up the chickens they were adopting.  She asked him if he’d mind doing it instead and he kindly agreed. Tania’s dad had never met Luke’s parents and with any luck he never would.
Luke arrived with Dudley at the allotments, unlocked the gate and walked between the immaculate plots en route to his own.  The weird thing was, some of them didn’t look quite as immaculate as usual. What was yesterday a neat row of cabbages, now looked as though it had been trampled by a football team.  Some were strewn across the path and a couple of them had rolled under someone else’s bean poles.  The carrots on an adjacent plot had also been rudely and prematurely unearthed.  Dudley attempted to investigate but Luke wouldn’t let him.

“Dudley no!”  Luke wound the lead more tightly around his hand.  “If anyone sees you doin’ that they’ll think you made this mess.  An’ they’ll blame me!”

In fact the blame was fast approaching Luke’s position, as he soon realised.  The trail of destruction led all the way back to his own plot, at which the gate was swinging open.  There was no sign of Curly and Squirt.

“Curly! Squirt!” he called frantically.  He rushed to the shed and looked inside; he looked behind it and under the bushes.  They were gone.  Dudley started sniffing eagerly.  He seemed to be onto something.  “Where are they boy?” Luke let go of the lead.  “Find them boy, find Curly and Squirt!”  Dudley followed his nose across the grass to the open gate, out of the gate and along the path until he arrived back at the scattered carrots.  He loved carrots.

“No!  Stop it Dudley!  We’ve got to find Curly and Squirt!”

“Young man,” Luke was startled by the deep voice behind him.  He turned to face Allotment Committee Man, otherwise known as Mr Fred Tipton.  “I believe these belong to you.”  Mr Tipton offered Luke one end of a long piece of rope.  At its other end stood a very curly haired ewe, accompanied by her son.

“Thank you!” said Luke, “where have you been?” he asked them, “you had me worried sick!”

“Where they’ve been,” said Mr Tipton, “is all over these garden plots.  They’ve done a heck of a lot of damage.”

“I’m really sorry about that,” said Luke, “I’ll put ’em back now.  It won’t happen again.”

“No it won’t because you won’t be keeping them here any more.”

“What?  That’s not fair, it wasn’t my fault!”

“Whose fault was it then?”

“I don’t know.  Whoever opened the gate!”

“Who checked on them this morning?”

“Me.  But I bolted the gate!  I know I did!  I always bolt the gate!”

“You must have forgotten today.”

“I didn’t!” Luke insisted. “Somebody else must have let ’em out!  On purpose to get me in trouble!”

“They’re your responsib…”

“Somebody who wants an allotment!  Whoever’s next on your waitin’ list – they’ve got motive!”

Mr Tipton shook his head.  “I can’t run the risk of this happening again.”

“It won’t,” said Luke pleadingly, “I’ll get a lock, so no one else can open it!  Please don’t make us leave!”

“I’m sorry, the decision’s been made.  No more animals are to be kept on these allotments.”

Luke, Curly, Little Squirt and Dudley walked slowly home.  They cut through the park and Luke racked his brains for inspiration.  Would Mum and Dad let him keep the sheep at home?  After all, the garden was big enough.  And there was nowhere else they could go.  Plus, it wasn’t his fault.  He’d bolted the gate that morning, he knew he had. Someone else had let them out, whatever Mr Tipton said.

Half way across the playing field his cogitation was interrupted by someone calling his name.

“Walker!  Nice sheep!”

A group of boys by the swings laughed but Luke ignored them. He had more important things to worry about.

“Got kicked off the allotments did ya?”  They all laughed again, even louder.  Luke kept walking.

“You should’ve kept the gate shut!”

This voice he recognised.  Luke stopped and looked across at the laughing boys.  At that moment he knew.  Butler did it!

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Story continues on Monday but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

*************************************************************************

vegan, vegan children’s stories, humour, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, vegetarian, animal farming, chickens, birds

Getting ready

For all the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er chapters, click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues from yesterday:

Joe changed the subject.  “How do we tell them we want to adopt some. Is there an email address?”

“Er, … oh no, it says we have to phone this number.  We’ve got to talk to them.”

“The farmer?”

“No, Wixham Animal Action.”  Isabel was concerned.  “They’re not going to let us adopt without parental consent are they?”

“You do it,” said Luke.

“Me?”  Tania was apprehensive.

“Yeah, you’re good at soundin’ grown up.  Like when you did that impression of Mrs Tyler.  You sounded just like her.”

Tania smiled.  “Okay,” she said, picking up her phone, “what’s the number?”

While she waited for the call to be answered her heart beat hard and fast.  She turned away from the others so they wouldn’t make her laugh.

“Hello?” said the woman who eventually picked up.

“Oh, hello,” said Tania in her best Mrs Tyler voice.  “I would like to adopt some rescued chickens please.”

“Oh great, hang on a minute, let me get a pen. ….. Right, how many can you take?”

“Erm,” Tania looked at the others and mouthed ‘how many?’ but they didn’t understand her.  She put the phone on speaker.

“We like people to take at least three,” the woman advised, “because they’re sociable creatures.  Wouldn’t be happy on their own.”

“Oh yes of course,” said Tania, looking at the others for a sign.

“Shall I put you down for three?” the woman suggested, “or have you got room for more?”

Luke held up his open right hand.

“Five?” said Tania uncertainly.

Luke nodded.

“Five?” asked the woman.

“Yes,” Tania smiled, “five please.”

“Good.  Okay, now do you have a garden and a house for them?”

“A house?”

“A chicken house for them to sleep in.”

“Oh yes, a shed.”

“It’ll need nesting boxes and perches.  And it’ll need to be fox-proof,” the woman explained.

Luke nodded at Tania.

“Yes,” she said, “it will be.”

“Okay then, I’ll just take your name, address and phone number and then we’ll get back to you on the thirteenth to give you a pick up location and time.”

“Pick them up?”

“Yes. Is that a problem?”

“No no, that’ll be fine,” said Tania with feigned confidence.  “Absolutely fine.”

******

SATURDAY 7 JUNE

When the doorbell rang Luke rushed to answer it.

“Expecting someone?” asked Mum.

“Joe and the others.”

“Oh.  Will you be going out?” she called after him.  She’d been hoping to have the house to herself so she could give it a good spring clean.

Luke returned from the front door with his friends in tow.  “We’ll be in the garden,” he told his mother as they headed for the back door, “where’s Dad?”

“Working in the garage.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Mum was relieved until she remembered, “oh but you can’t go in there!” she shouted after him as he approached the garage door.  Luke stopped and looked back as Mum rushed down the garden path in her slippers.  “What do you want Dad for?” she asked, “he’s busy, doesn’t want to be disturbed.”

“Just wanted to borrow a screwdriver.”

“Okay, I’ll get it.  Flathead?”

“Phillips.”

“Okay.”  She entered the garage and closed the door behind her.

“Dad’s a bit grumpy,” Luke explained to his friends.  They nodded.  Moments later Mum emerged with the screwdriver and the Society resumed course for the damson patch.  They entered the shed.

“Not bad,” said Isabel.  “It’s solid.  Bit dusty but we can sweep it out no problem.  This’ll make a good chicken house.”

“Let’s put this on,” said Tania, “where do you want it?”

Luke showed her the hole he’d hammered in the wall years ago to make a door for the rabbits.  “Down here,” he said, moving the boxes that were blocking it.

“Perfect, that’s just the right size,” said Tania, holding the new cat flap up against it.  “Once we’ve got this on, the chickens can go in and out during the day and at night you can lock it closed to keep them safe.”

“Great,” said Luke, smiling, “thanks.”  He handed Tania the screwdriver and she got to work.

The others swept the floor, dusted off the cobwebs and cleaned the window.  In less than an hour, the shed was almost fit for purpose.

“What are you going to do about bedding?” asked Isabel.

“I’ll get straw from the bale in Curly and Squirt’s shed.”

“I thought it was better to use shavings.”

“Straw’s all I’ve got, it’ll have to do.”

“That’ll be fine,” said Tania. “What about nesting boxes?”

“Ahh,” said Luke, smiling.  He opened the door and went outside for a moment.  When he came back he was dragging an old rabbit hutch.  “This was what Butler kept Scratcher in before I rescued her,” he explained.  “When he left it out for the dustmen I went and got it.”  It was in good clean condition.  Luke opened the doors.  “I’ll take the doors off and make a straw bed on both sides.  They can lay their eggs in there if they want to.”

“There’s only room for two though,” said Isabel.

“Three,” said Luke, “I’m sure three of ’em could fit comfortably in there, and they’re not likely to all wanna lay an egg at the same time are they?”

“Actually,” said Joe, “don’t take the doors off.  If you open them wide and fix them open, the chicks can perch on them.”

“Good thinking!” Luke agreed, “What can we fix ’em with?”

At that moment Mum put her head round the door.  “Ready for lunch?” she asked. “Ooh, this looks tidy.  You have been busy.”

“Muuum!  This is a private meeting!” Luke escorted her back outside.

“What are you up to in there?” she asked, “is it going to be your HQ?”

“Er, yeah, that’s right,” it was as good a cover as any.

**************************************************************************

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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vegan, vegan children’s stories, humour, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, vegetarian, animal farming, chickens, birds

Emergency Meeting

For all the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er chapters, click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

SUNDAY 1 JUNE

An emergency meeting of the Secret Society was held in Luke’s bedroom.

“Did anybody’s parents say yes?” asked Luke. Everyone shook their heads.

“My dad said they’d ruin the garden,” said Tania.

“Yeah, that’s what my mum said,” agreed Isabel.

“Joe?  What did yours say?”

“Didn’t ask them.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Why not?” Luke was more than a little affronted.

“To keep ’em at mine I mean, I don’t know what my lot would do to ’em.”

Luke nodded.  “There’s on’y one thing we can do then.”

“What?”

“Keep ’em at mine.”

“I thought your mum said no,” said Tania.

“Yeah but the way I see it, I’ve got the perfect place for ’em: the damson patch.  It’s fenced, it’s got a shed, and the rabbits don’t live there any more.”

“But if your mum said no …”

“It’s really overgrown now so I don’t think they’d notice.”

“They’re bound to tidy it up one day,” warned Joe, “they’ll see ’em eventually.”

“Yeah but not straight away.”

“But when they do – what will you do then?”

“By then I’ll have proved that I’m lookin’ after ’em properly, and still gettin’ all my homework done, and lookin’ after the other animals.  I’ll have proved her wrong so she’ll have to let me keep ’em.”

The others shook their heads again.

“You’ll never get away with it,” said Isabel, “even if you do at first you’ll be in a heck of a lot of trouble when they do find out.”

Luke shrugged.  “I’ve been in trouble before.”

“Ookaay.  It’s your funeral.”  Isabel opened her laptop.  “What’s that address again?”

When they reached Wixham Animal Action’s website, the chicken re-homing appeal was on the front page.

“It says here there’s nine thousand!”

“Nine thousand?  That’s a big farm!  Is it closing down?” asked Tania.

“Erm …. no.  They’re just getting new hens.”

“Why?”

“Says here it’s the law.  Hens can’t be more than seventy two weeks old because after that their eggs aren’t good enough for supermarkets.”

“So they replace them with new ones?”

“Yeah.  Look, it says they would normally go to slaughter at seventy two weeks but this farmer doesn’t want them to be killed.”

“Why is he a farmer then?” asked Luke.  Isabel continued to read silently.  “Why is he a farmer if he don’t like killin’ animals?” Luke asked again.

“She.  Well, they.  It’s a family farm,” explained Isabel.  “Look at this picture – it’s an organic free-range farm.  The chickens look happy don’t they?”

“Yeah but they’re still gonna be killed.”

“Well she’s trying to get them re-homed so they won’t be killed.”

“Let me get this straight,” Luke’s hackles were up.  “These are nice farmers who don’t want their chickens to be killed so every seventy two weeks – what’s that, a year and a half? – they’ve got to find homes for nine thousand birds?”

“Yes.”

“But if they can’t find enough homes they go to slaughter anyway?”

“Yes but that’s why …”

“And then they breed another nine thousand new chickens who are gonna need homes the next year otherwise they’ll go to slaughter as well.”

“Yes.”

“So this’ll happen every other year.”

“Erm, I guess so – yeah, it says here they’ve done it eight times before.”

“And in all that time it never occurred to ’em that the best way to make sure your birds don’t get slaughtered is to stop bein’ chicken farmers!”

Isabel did her best to zone him out while she continued to read.  “Well, the farmer says that most people won’t go vegan so if she closed down her high welfare, organic, free range farm, people would just buy their eggs from low-welfare factory farms and that would be much worse for the chickens.”

“That’s a rather defeatist attitude,” said Tania.

“She says you should blame the consumer not the farmer,” added Isabel, “if consumers didn’t buy them the farmers wouldn’t produce them.”

“Of course,” said Tania, “the farmers are blameless!” and she winked at Luke.  Luke sighed.

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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vegan, vegan children’s stories, humour, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, vegetarian, animal farming

Luke Walker Chapter 24 starts here!

For all the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er chapters, click here 😀

Chapter Twenty Four:
Rescue

SATURDAY 31 MAY

“Can I wait for you at the park?”

“No.”

“Can I wait at the library?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not going to be long.”

“I won’t be long either.”

“Luke.  I’ve just got a couple of things to get in here and then we’re going straight home.  I haven’t got time to run around after you.”

Luke hated shopping.  It was so boring.  “I’m waitin’ outside then.”

“Fine.  But don’t go anywhere.”

The health food shop was small and crowded so he was glad that at least he didn’t have to follow Mum in.  However, time never passed quickly for a person waiting.  After standing there for a couple of minutes he decided to read the posters on the window.  One in particular interested him very much.

As soon as Mum came out of the shop Luke rushed to help her.  “I’ll carry that for you.”

“Oh. Thank you.”  They walked back to the car.  “I got a big peanut butter this time.  You boys get through it so quickly.”

“Great.”

“And I found some mushroom and leek pies that look good.  They’re organic and gluten-free.”

“Great.”

“The shop lady says they’re lovely.”

“I bet they are.”

Mrs Walker was pleased that Luke seemed in a better mood than he was ten minutes earlier but there was something odd about him.  “You alright Luke?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said absent-mindedly, “jus’ thinkin’ about … the pies.”

“Really?”

“Mmm?  Yeah. ….. Er, Mum?”

“Yes?”

“Can we rescue some chickens?”

“No.”

“I’d look after ’em – you wouldn’t have to do anything.”

“Don’t you think you’ve got enough on your plate?”  He shook his head but she continued.  “You’ve already got Curly and Squirt to look after, and Scratcher, and Dudley.”

“I could do it!”

“Plus you get a lot more homework than you used to.”  She started the car.

“Please!”

“No.”

“They’ll kill ’em if we don’t take ’em!”

“I said no!”

When her son dropped the argument Mrs Walker assumed the matter was settled.  But really, she should have known better.

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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vegan, vegan children’s stories, humour, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, vegetarian