Killer robot or submariner in a hurry? You decide.

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find all the episodes here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – concludes today:

vegan children's story
vegan children's comic

We love a happy ending, don’t you? 😀

If you missed the beginning you can read the whole episode here.

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Violet’s Vegan Comics – creating funny, enlightening and sometimes action-packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages, since 2012.

Shazzam! Maybe.

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find episodes 1 to 4 here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – continues from Friday:

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vegan children's story

Thank goodness! 😀

But that’s not the end, come back tomorrow for the conclusion of the pretend detectives’ deliberations 🙂

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Violet’s Vegan Comics creates funny, enlightening and sometimes action packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages.

Since 2012

If in doubt, get cake!

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find episodes 1 to 4 here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – continues from yesterday:

vegan comic
vegan children's story

Join us on Monday to hear the rest of the detectives’ deliberations – you won’t be sorry 😀

And in the meantime, have a great weekend!

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

Violet’s Vegan Comics creates funny, enlightening and sometimes action packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages.

Since 2012

A cousin with a cactus

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find episodes 1 to 4 here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – continues from yesterday:

vegan comic
vegan children's story

What?! No robot?!

Could this be true? Come back tomorrow to find out 😀

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Violet’s Vegan Comics creates funny, enlightening and sometimes action packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages.

Since 2012

Trail of clues

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find episodes 1 to 4 here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – continues from yesterday:

vegan comic
vegan children's story

A potted plant?!!! Gosh – whatever next!

Come back tomorrow for more from this witness 😀

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

Violet’s Vegan Comics creates funny, enlightening and sometimes action packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages.

Since 2012

Maybe it got wet

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find episodes 1 to 4 here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – continues from yesterday:

vegan comic
vegan children's story

Curiouser and curiouser 😉

Come back tomorrow to see what the detectives discover next 😀

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

Violet’s Vegan Comics creates funny, enlightening and sometimes action packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages.

Since 2012

New Sherman & Geynes starts today!

For those not familiar with Sherman & Geynes [pretend detectives], you can find episodes 1 to 4 here 🙂

Episode 5 – Missing a shoe, presumed dead – begins here:

vegan children's comic
vegan children's story

😮

Yes, why would someone leave one shoe behind? Come back tomorrow to see what the detectives make of it 😀

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

Violet’s Vegan Comics creates funny, enlightening and sometimes action packed vegan children’s books for readers of all ages.

Since 2012

Luna’s Voice by Jania Williams

Jania contacted me recently and asked if we would share her vegan children’s book about a little girl with selective mutism.

vegan children's book

With beautiful illustrations by Olin Tri Djasfar, this delightful little rhyming story explains how hard it is for Luna to talk to people outside her own family. Except cows. She feels relaxed and happy, talking to cows.

vegan children's book

But when she witnesses the heart-breaking scene of a baby being wrenched from his mother, she determines to find the courage to speak out and tell all her friends about the horror of the dairy industry.

vegan children's story

This is such a beautiful story of empathy and courage which shows that, with kindness, everybody wins.

Luna’s Voice is available in paperback on Amazon but you can also read it for free right here 😀

What a busy day!

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, concludes.

For the story so far, click here

I love a happy ending!

That’s the end of that story, but there are plenty more vegan stories where that came from, so have a browse and see what you fancy.

We missed you!

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Oh that is a relief! I hope they’ll all be safe now.

Come back soon to see what happens next!

If you like vegan children’s stories and comics, you’ve come to the right place. But you don’t have to be a child to read them, they are all delightful, thrilling or exciting no matter how old a vegan you are.

Vegan stories with vegan characters having vegan adventures.

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

The game he said we couldn’t play

Vegan children’s story, Luke Walker and the Halloween Party, concludes today:

Luke decided to change the subject.

“Where shall we put these then?” he asked.

“Not here,” said Mr Beardsley, “or they might get eaten.  Put them on my desk behind the screen.”

The boys did as they were told and made their way through small huddles of various royalty, warriors and poets, a couple of Shakespeares and a Jesus.  No sooner had they placed the food on the desk than Mr Beardsley asked Joe to give him the treacle scones and string so that he could set up the game.  They would be starting in about ten minutes he told them.  Music was already playing and a few people danced self-consciously in the middle of the room.

“This one’s for you Joe,” came a familiar voice through the speaker when the record changed.

Luke and Joe looked around to see Simon Butler behind a turntable across the room, dressed in a short blonde beard; a gold fitted jacket zipped up to his neck; short gold trousers fastened below the knee; long socks and large-buckled shoes.  He thought he was so cool because Mr Beardsley had let him be the DJ.  The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum by Fun Boy Three filled the room and Butler laughed excessively at his own joke.  Luke and Joe paid him a visit.

“So glad you took my advice Joe,” he said privately, “you look even more like a loon than usual!”

“I’m Pythagoras,” said Joe, holding up the right-angled triangle he’d made out of three rulers.

“Oh, yeah, I know you think so, lunatics often think they’re somebody famous,” he chuckled smugly.

“I’m not a lunatic! I am Pythag…”

“What are you s’posed to be anyway?” Luke interrupted their pointless argument to draw attention to Butler’s ridiculous ensemble.

“Sir Walter Raleigh,” Butler confessed without shame.

Luke cast his best contemptuous glance at his arch enemy and said nothing.

“Okay, switch the music off now Simon, it’s time for the games to begin,” Mr Beardsley called across the room.

Mr Beardsley and Thomas had put out four small tables at intervals around the room.  They were set up with different traditional Halloween games.

“Take it in turns to play the games at each table,” Blackbeard instructed, “have fun!”  He was the kind of teacher who didn’t believe in too much control.  He liked to give the children enough room to find their own way and, since he’d already explained the games in class, he chose not to recap.  “You can put the music back on now Simon,” he added.

“This table is for apple bobbing,” said Thomas who, unlike his colleague, preferred to make sure things were being done properly.  “One at a time.  Katia – you go first.”

Luke and Joe decided to come back later for apples and wandered over to see what was on the next table.  Joe’s treacle-covered scones, with long lengths of string tied to them, were suspended above the table and dangled at different heights.  Queen Elizabeth I and Boudicca were already tucking in.  With hands held behind their backs, Tania and Isabel tried to bite the scones and every time they got a nibble, the sticky pendulums swung away and then back, bumping their noses, their chins, their cheeks and their hair.  Boudicca, being less concerned about her appearance than the Queen, finished her scone first and bowed her grinning, sticky head in gratitude for the applause of her peers.  Queen Liz, dignified in defeat, shook her opponent’s hand and went to the sink to wash her face.

“Us next!” said Luke, standing beside the table and leaning forward.  “Go!” he shouted before Joe was ready, and tried to grab an untouched scone in his teeth.

Joe hurried to join in but found himself at a disadvantage when one scone stuck to his thick beard, just below his bottom lip, and prevented him from getting close to any other.  Thomas laughed and reminded Joe that he couldn’t use his hands but he needn’t have said anything because Joe was not a cheater.  Luke was the clear victor, finishing his scone in just four bites, and afterwards Joe was allowed to manually detach his scone from his beard and eat it normally.  There were less hairs on it than one might expect.

At the next table were small plates with chunks of barm brack on them, cut from the fruit breads that Luke and a couple of other people had made.

“I’ve got a coin!” said Isabel as she broke up her piece with a fork, “that means I’m going to be rich!”

“I think you’re s’posed to just bite it,” said Joe, “it might not work if you pull it apart like that.”

“I don’t wanna risk choking!” Isabel explained sensibly.

“Plus it’s dirty,” added Tania, “money’s really dirty you know.  Just think how many people have touched it without washing their hands.”

Joe had already bitten into his chunk of barmbrack and discovered that he too had a coin.  He spat it quickly into his hand.

“It’s not dirty,” Luke assured him, “don’t ya think I washed ’em before I put ’em in?”

“Is this the one that you made?” Joe asked, a little relieved.

“Yeah,” said Luke confidently, “well, it looks …, yeah, definitely.”

Luke bit into his piece of bread and found only currants and orange peel.

At the next table were three large dishes of colcannon, accompanied by a stack of small bowls and spoons.  The game was the same.  If you found a coin it meant you would be rich; if you found a ring it meant you would find true love.  Luke hadn’t had any rings to put into his baking, and he’d put all his spare coins into his barm brack, so he loaded his bowl from the colcannon he’d made himself, knowing that the only thing he was in danger of finding was a pile of delicious grub.  Thoughtful as always, he didn’t spoil the game for the others by telling them that.

A few minutes later, Luke, Joe, Tania and Isabel, all happy in spite of finding nothing but cabbage in their mash, found their newly stimulated appetites craved more and made their way to the long table.  It was a good job they hadn’t left it any longer as many of the other children were already digging in and the good stuff was going fast.  Luke took a large paper plate from the pile and filled it with roasted sweetcorn, monkey nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, bonfire toffee and … oh no, Joe got the last toffee apple.

“Oh, do you want it?”  Joe offered when his hand reached it just before Luke’s.

“Nah,” said Luke, trying to sound casual, “it’s yours.”

“We’ll share it,”  Joe decided.

Luke smiled.

“Okay.”  This was a good party.

Then he noticed something bad on the table.  Something not in keeping with the celebration.  Something odious.  Something which was in shockingly bad taste: Scotch eggs.

“Hey!  They can’t have them on Halloween!  Who brought them?” he asked, pointing with disgust at the flesh food and surveying the faces around the table.

“What’s wrong?” asked Isabel.

Luke didn’t hear her.  He angrily snatched the plate from the buffet, intending to dispose of the offending items.

“Mr Beardsley said it’s a Halloween tradition to be vegetarian,” Joe explained to Isabel, “so Luke is cross that somebody’s not doin’ it right.”

“So I see,” said Isabel as she watched Luke trying to move through the crowd holding the large plate of Scotch eggs above his head with both hands.

“Hey!  Where you going with those?”  Butler asked as Luke passed the music centre on his way to the toilets.

“Gettin’ rid of ’em!” said Luke, “they’re not Halloween.”

“Hey! Bring them back!  My mum made them!  Bring them back!”

Luke hurried through the cloakroom door with Butler close behind him.  The music stopped and everyone could hear the two boys arguing loudly on the other side of the door.

Mr Beardsley hurried after them.

“Don’t come any nearer or I’ll drop ’em,” Luke threatened, forcing Butler to back off.

“You’ve got no right to throw away other people’s stuff!” he shouted angrily, “you think you’re better than everybody else!  You think you’re so good but you’re not – you’re a thief!  Give them back!”

“It’s no meat for Halloween!” Luke asserted, “dint your teacher tell you that?!”

“We don’t have to do what you say!  Some of us want to eat meat – most of us actually – coz it tastes good!  Mmm, I’d love a nice bacon buttie right now, or a nice bit of fish and chips, or a big juicy burger.”

His infuriating smirk pushed Luke to the limit and he lunged for the toilet door.

“Stop!”  The boom of Mr Beardsley’s voice did not encourage disobedience.

Luke froze, plate in hand, his back to his teacher and his adversary.

“Could someone please tell me what on Earth is going on here?”  Mr Beardsley asked more calmly.

Both boys talked at once: “He’s throwing my mum’s food in the toilet” / “Meat’s not allowed on Halloween!”

“Stop!”  their teacher said again, “Luke, what are you doing out here with that plate of Scotch eggs?”

“They shouldn’t be here!  You said people dint eat meat on Halloween!  It’s tradition!”

“Yes, that’s true, I did, it is traditional not to eat meat on All Hallows’ Eve.”

“But my mum made them!  He’s got no right to throw them away!”

“Simon!” Mr Beardsley quieted him, “no one’s going to throw away your mother’s food.  Go back in to the party please and get the music going again.”

Simon reluctantly did as he was told and Mr Beardsley turned back to Luke.

“Give me the plate please,”  he instructed.

“But they’re not …”

“Luke, now please.”

Luke handed him the plate.

“But you’re not gonna put ’em back on the table are you?   They’re not s’posed to be …”

“Luke, I know you feel strongly about this and I respect that but you can’t force your beliefs on other people.  Everyone has to be free to make their own choices.”

“Yeah right!  Tell that to the chickens and pigs they’re made out of!  If they’d had free choice they would’ve said NO THANK  YOU  VERY  MUCH, I DON’T WANT TO BE A SCOTCH EGG!”

“Yes, alright Luke you’ve made your point.  Now kindly return to the party and stay away from Simon Butler.”

Back in the classroom Luke found his plate and his friends and told them the whole story.

“You’re right,” said Tania, “Simon knew he was supposed to make something from the traditional vegetarian recipes Mr Beardsley gave us.  He should’ve been reprimanded for not doing it right.”

“Typical!” added Isabel, “look at that, Beardsley’s just putting the scotch eggs back on the table.  That flies in the face of everything he taught us!  What’s the point of teaching us about historical tradition and saying you want to have a traditional party if you’re just going to let people be inauthentic?”

“Yeah!  It’s fraudulent!”  Tania concurred.

Luke hungrily polished off his sweetcorn while he listened to the impressive but unfamiliar vocabulary being employed by the girls and was in no doubt that they agreed with him.

“I think we should boycott this party!”  Isabel declared.

“Whaddaya mean?” asked Joe.

“On the grounds that it’s a sham.”

“What?” said Luke and Joe at the same time.

“She means it’s bogus,” Tania explained, “spurious, phoney, false, fake.”

“Oh, yeah, it’s fake alright,” said Luke, catching up, “he’s ruined it.  It’s not thentick at all now!”

“If we want a truly educational, authentic, realistic, traditional Halloween experience, we’ll have to do it ourselves,” Isabel went on, “we should go now and play the other game he told us about.  The one he said we couldn’t play.”

The others gasped and then grinned.

“That’s ezzactly what we should do,” said Luke.

***

A noisy, activity-filled party with only two adults in attendance was easy to sneak away from.  It hadn’t even been difficult to get the matches from Mr Beardsley’s desk drawer.  Fortunately there had been no rain for a couple of weeks so it didn’t take long to find ample dry twigs and fir cones in the churchyard over the road.  Now all they needed was a big stone each and that would be no problem either because Luke remembered seeing some different coloured pebbles, curiously arranged in the shape of a fish, close to the church entrance.  They’d just been left there.  No one was using them.

It was just after nine o’clock and very dark in the churchyard.  Two owls hooted back and forth.  Every so often bats flew overhead between the bell tower and the vicarage.  Now it really felt like Halloween.  The children made themselves comfortable on the ground near the oldest gravestones they could find.  Covered in lichen, the writing on them was almost illegible. 

Making sure there was nothing flammable nearby, Luke built a small fire with the twigs and fir cones on the crumbling horizontal stone base of one of the graves.  He had no trouble getting it going with the few scraps of paper found in Mr Beardsley’s desk drawer earlier.

As their teacher had told them, the game was simple.  On Halloween night, participants made a fire and when the fire burnt out they placed a ring of stones in the ashes, one for each person.  The following morning they would check the circle and if they found any stone displaced, it was said that the person it represented would die before the year ended.

Luke drew a circle in the ash with another stick.  Their pebbles were easy to distinguish from each other.  Luke’s was the biggest and the darkest.  He put it in the twelve o’clock position, closest to the gravestone.  Joe’s was a little smaller and had a notch on one side.  He placed it at nine o’clock.  Isabel’s looked like it had a nose, hers was placed at six o’clock and Tania’s, the smallest of them all, was placed at three o’clock.

“What was that?” Isabel turned suddenly to look behind her.

“Just a rabbit prob’ly,” said Luke, “or a badger.”

“Or a fox,” added Joe.

The boys looked around eagerly, hoping to see some majestic nocturnal wildlife.  They weren’t so lucky.

“We’d better get back,” said Tania, looking at her watch, “it’s nearly five to ten.”

“Wait!” whispered Luke as he ducked behind a tree, “that’s my dad!”

The churchyard was a short-cut between the school and Luke’s road so he might have known his dad would come this way to meet him.  Everyone laid low until he’d passed.

“My mum’s probably at the school by now too,” said Tania.

“They’ll all be there, waiting outside the classroom for us,” said Isabel anxiously, “how will we get back in without them seeing us?”

Luke and Joe smiled at each other.  For seasoned outlaws like them, this wasn’t going to be a problem.

“Follow us,” said Joe, and they led the girls to a little known entrance to the school which was always left open when the caretaker was around so that he could duck out quickly for a smoke without going past the kitchens or the offices.  The door led to the school hall which had a connecting door to Mrs Tebbut’s classroom which shared a cloakroom with Class 5A.

“Don’t tell anyone about this,” Joe added as an afterthought.

Without raising suspicion all four of them rejoined the rest of their class as they emerged from the party. They parted with a secret promise to meet early Saturday morning and check on the fire circle.  Each agreed to wait until they were all together before they looked.

When all children had been collected Mr Beardsley and Thomas returned to the classroom to clear up the mess.  They were tired but it had been fun; they were glad they’d done it.

“Excuse me,” Mrs Butler put her head round the door.

“Oh, hello,” said Mr Beardsley, “are you looking for your plate?  It’s in a stack in the sink.  I’ll wash it up and send it home with Simon on Monday.”

“Er, thank you, no, I’m looking for Simon.  Did he leave with someone else?”

Mr Beardsley’s jaw dropped.  Filled with dread he looked at Thomas.  Thomas shook his head.  At that moment the classroom door opened again and Simon walked in.

“Simon!  Where have you been?” his mum asked, awash with relief.

“Looking for you,” he lied, “shall we go?”

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

Ooh, – if you didn’t read the beginning of this vegan Halloween story, you won’t understand the ending 😀

Fancy some more vegan children’s stories? There’s plenty to choose from here 😀

Happy Vegan Halloween Everybody 😀

Fancy Dress

Vegan children’s story, Luke Walker and the Halloween Party, continues from yesterday:

Friday’s party was eagerly anticipated by everyone.  It was going to be historical.  They were going to play traditional games and eat traditional food – which they would have to make from scratch over the next couple of days.  Mr Beardsley had given them recipes to take home.  And they needed costumes.  There was a lot to do and very little time in which to do it.  Luke and Joe talked about it while they put on their coats and boots at the end of the day.

“I’m going to be a pirate,” said Joe.

“You can’t be a pirate, it’s not historical.”

“Isn’t it?”

“No, it’s made up.  Like in Peter Pan.”

“Pirates are real,” Isabel couldn’t help pointing out when she overheard their conversation.

“Not Long John Silver, or Captain Hook, or someone with a parrot on ‘is shoulder,” Luke clarified.

“What are you comin’ as then?” asked Joe.

“William Wilberforce’s ghost,” said Luke proudly.

“Ooh, good one,” said Tania as she returned to Isabel the scarf she’d borrowed.

“I’m coming as Queen Elizabeth I,” she added, shaking her auburn curls.

“Who can I be?” Isabel wondered aloud.  The girls walked away in deep discussion.  Luke and Joe were not far behind.  Joe was disappointed that he couldn’t go as a pirate.

“What can I go as then?” he asked his friend.

“Go as a lunatic from one of those old asylums,” suggested Simon Butler who’d appeared from nowhere, “then you wouldn’t need a costume!”  And he laughed so loud on his way out that Mrs Tebbut shouted ‘PIPE DOWN OUT THERE!’ from the classroom next door.

Luke scowled.

“Idiot Butler!  Not even s’posed to be in this cloakroom,” he hissed under his breath.  “Don’t worry,” he told Joe, “you’ll be somethin’ better’n ‘im!”

***

“Not Mr Darcy!  Mr Wilberforce!” Luke insisted.  “I don’t want to look like some posh bloke from Priden Precipice!”

Mrs Walker pulled the black trousers, white ruffled shirt and long black coat from The Village Players’ costume trunk.

“William Wilberforce would have dressed like Mr Darcy Luke, these will be just the thing,” she assured him, “I’ll just give them an iron.”

“Okay,” Luke tentatively agreed, “but what about Joe?  Is there anythin’ in there that Joe can wear?”

Luke’s mum set up the board and plugged in the iron.

“Who’s he going as?” she asked.

“Depends what costumes you’ve got,” said Luke, keeping an open mind.

Mum had only recently joined the local amateur dramatics group so she wasn’t sure what costumes they’d got.  Most of them were a bit worse for wear but they were lucky to be allowed to use them.

“See for yourself,” she suggested, “have a rummage and see if anything captures your imagination.”

Luke rummaged.  Pink tights, brown tights, knickerbockers, caterpillar costume, spider costume, Cheshire Cat costume, blue dress with white pinafore.  So far not so good.  Red ball gown, green ball gown, yellow ball gown, purple tutu, red clown shoes.  Really not good.

“Rubbish!” said Luke ungratefully, “it’s all rubbish!”

Mum sighed and switched off the iron.

“Luke – don’t just throw them around like that!  You’re lucky we’ve been allowed to borrow these,” she said, exasperated.

Luke was sorry.  He just wanted to find something good for Joe to shut Butler up.  He helped Mum pick up the costumes and re-fold them.

“Sorry,” he said.

She pressed her lips tight together and looked him in the eye.

“That’s alright,” she said.  Then, just as she was about to put the folded pile back in the trunk, she noticed a couple of things Luke had missed.

“What about these?” she said.

“A nightgown and a Father Christmas beard?” said Luke, unimpressed.

“Not a nightgown, a robe,” she explained, “men used to wear these in the olden days, especially in hot countries.”

Luke’s blank expression indicated he needed another clue.

“Who’s that maths guy you like?”

Still blank.

“Vegetarian?  Triangles?”

“Pythagoras!”

“Yes!” Mum smiled, “I bet he would have worn something like this.  And he probably had a long white beard when he got old.”

“Yeah!” Now Luke was excited, “We’ll both be veggietareun people from history!  Joe can be Pythagoras and I’ll be William Wilberforce’s ghost!”

“Why not just William Wilberforce?  Why do you have to be his ghost?”

“Coz it’s a Halloween party.  Ya know: Ha-llow-een.  It’s all about ghosts and scary stuff.”  He thought his mum would have known that.

“Yes, but you’re all going as people from history.”

“Yes.”

“So they’re all dead.”

“Yeah.”  There really was nothing confusing here.

“So why doesn’t Joe go as Pythagoras’s ghost?”

“It’s supposed to be someone who’s dead.  So he’s Pythagoras.  The man.”

“Yes, I see, so why aren’t you the man?”

“I’m going to be William Wilberforce’s ghost.”

“Not man?”

“No.”

“But if you’re a ghost why isn’t Joe going to be a ghost.  Or if he’s the man, why aren’t you the man…?” She caught sight of her own reflection in the mirror and paused, wondering why she kept asking questions to which there could be no satisfactory answer.

“Can you iron this one as well please?”  her son asked, handing back the white robe, “I’m goin’ to phone Joe and tell ‘im.”

***

On Friday 31st of October at 7.08 pm, Luke and Joe said goodbye to Luke’s dad at the school gate and walked towards the classroom carrying their contributions to the party food.  Luke had followed the Halloween recipes given to him by Mr Beardsley for barm brack (a kind of fruit bread) and colcannon (mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage).  Mum had helped a bit.  Joe brought the treacle-covered scones he’d made with Janet’s assistance, using another of their teacher’s traditional recipes.  He’d also remembered the string.

Mr Beardsley’s classroom was almost unrecognisable.

Hanging from the ceiling were two large imitation crystal chandeliers, covered in cobwebs and emitting a very dim, creamy light.  Long dark-purple velvet curtains replaced the Venetian blinds that usually hung in the windows, the bottoms of which sat in folds on the floor around large pumpkins carved with grotesque gargoyle faces.

The boys approached a long table at one end of the room.  It was draped in a ragged, dark red table cloth whose dusty hem skimmed the dusty parquet.  On it fifteen white candles stood tall on three candelabra, complete with realistic-looking orange and yellow tissue paper flames and untidily littered with long drips of dry wax.  Various plates and bowls of food, brought by the children, were set upon the table.  Luke and Joe added theirs.

“No, not on there boys,” Mr Beardsley startled them, suddenly appearing as he did.  “Those are for the games, remember?”

Luke and Joe looked at their teacher and then at each other and laughed.  Mr Beardsley had really pulled out all the stops for this party.  His already lofty frame appeared even taller than usual, and his apparently-severed head rested in front of his chest, supported by his left arm.  Atop the severed head sat an enviable black hat, with wide upturned brim and a sinister-looking white skull and cross-bones on the front.

“Who are you supposed to be?” asked Luke.

“Can’t you guess?” teased his teacher, rubbing his brand new coal-black beard.

“No,” said Luke.  Joe also shook his head.

Mr Beardsley tutted.

“Boys, boys boys,” he said, shaking his head, “don’t you ever listen to my lessons?” he asked rhetorically. “I’m Blackbeard.  Remember?  The famous pirate who was beheaded in 1718?”

“Pirate?” said Joe, looking daggers at Luke.

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

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of this vegan children’s story,

or read the whole story here now

Halloween Approaches

And so we will tell a vegan Halloween story over three days. You may have heard it before:

Luke Walker and the Halloween Party

Luke, Joe, Isabel and Tania looked at the circle and gasped.  They hadn’t believed it could happen.  Now that it had, they were scared.

“That’s it then,” said Luke eventually, “I’ll prob’ly be dead by Christmas.”

***

Three days earlier everything had seemed so ordinary.  Boringly so.  Class 5A were doing History.  History was sometimes interesting, sometimes exciting and often-times boring.  This particular lesson seemed like it was going to fit into the last category.  Mr Beardsley was talking whilst writing on the board, which meant he had his back to the class, which meant very few people were even pretending to listen.

“… historians believe that many of these traditions originate from Celtic harvest festivals, but others are of the opinion that it has always been a Christian ….”

“T,” whispered Luke.

“No,” said Joe, as he drew a diagonal support on the gallows.

“F,”

“Yes,” said Joe and filled in the Fs.

“Ooh, two Fs!  Is it coffee?”

“No,” and he drew the noose.

Mr Beardsley rambled on and Luke found it disturbed his concentration.  He felt sure he was close.  There couldn’t be that many words with double F.  Then the teacher said something that caught his attention.

“… Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, which is why it was traditional to eat certain vegetarian foods on this special day.  In particular they ate apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.”

“What’s he talkin’ about?” Luke asked Joe.  Joe looked at him blankly.  Isabel Jessop tapped him on the shoulder and passed him a note which said ‘Halloween’.

Luke nodded a thank you to her.  He pushed the note across to Joe.

“Halloween is a veggietareun day!  We’d better listen coz he might want us to explain things to the others.”

Joe nodded and smiled uncomfortably.  He’d never been called upon to explain anything to anyone and the idea didn’t appeal to him.  However, realising that if any explanations were needed his friend would certainly provide them, he regained his composure.  The boys watched their teacher and listened.

All Hallows’ Eve, otherwise known as All Saints EveAllhalloween or, nowadays, just Halloween, begins the three days of Allhallowtide during which people remembered saints and martyrs and other dead people.”

“Oh my gosh!” thought Luke, “it seemed like it was gettin’ int’restin’ so we stopped playin’ an’ now it’s borin’ again!”

“… such as roasted sweetcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, toffee apples,…”

“Toffee!  Is it toffee?”

“No,” said Joe, drawing the condemned man’s circular head.

“… and they would enjoy these foods at Halloween parties where they’d also play some fun games.”

Mr Beardsley had their attention again.

“So I thought we could have a Year 5 Halloween party.  We’ll invite class 5B and play some of these traditional games.”

A buzz of excitement filled the room.

“When?” someone shouted.

“On the 31st of October of course.  The day after tomorrow.  Friday.”

“Where?”

“Here.  At seven o’clock ’til ten.  I’ll send a note home to your parents today.”

Mr Beardsley was so disorganised.  Luke liked that about him.

“Will it be fancy dress?”

“Indeed it will, but stop shouting out and let me finish.  I’ll answer any questions you still have at the end of the lesson.”

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

Come back tomorrow for the next part of this vegan children’s story,

or read the whole story here now 🙂

ps you might be interested to know ….

We have now shown that until 1847 all uses the word ‘vegetarian’ came from people associated with Alcott House School, on Ham Common, south west of London. And they used it to mean a 100% plant food diet – a ‘vegetarian’ was simply someone who lived on vegetation. There were, of course, many other people following variations of the ‘vegetable diet’, most of them adding eggs/dairy products. But we can find no indication of any of them using the word ‘vegetarian’ before 1847.”

https://ivu.org/index.php/blogs/john-davis/29-vegetarian-equals-vegan

Always go back for your bits and pieces

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

What a good team they are! Let’s hope that luck doesn’t run out for Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins.

Come back soon for the next part of the story!

There’s plenty more vegan stories where that came from. Which story will you read next?

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

In the river and on the river bank

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Great, he’s gone. That’s a relief! Gertie’s not wrong, so we’d better hope Mildred’s right.

Come back tomorrow to see what happens next.

If you like vegan children’s stories and comics, you’ve come to the right place. But you don’t have to be a child to read them, they are all delightful, thrilling or exciting no matter how old a vegan you are.

Vegan stories with vegan characters having vegan adventures.

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

Let’s hope we don’t walk straight into him

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Quick thinking, Mildred! She’s always prepared. Come back tomorrow and see what happens next!

There’s plenty more vegan stories where that came from. Which story will you read next?

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

Good teamwork

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Hurry everyone, before he gets back!

Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.

If you like vegan children’s stories and comics, you’ve come to the right place. But you don’t have to be a child to read them, they are all delightful, thrilling or exciting no matter how old a vegan you are.

Vegan stories with vegan characters having vegan adventures.

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

Hopefully there’s an off switch somewhere.

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Hold on Toby and Trevor, Mildred and the gang are coming to save you! Again.

Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.

If you like vegan children’s stories and comics, you’ve come to the right place. But you don’t have to be a child to read them, they are all delightful, thrilling or exciting no matter how old a vegan you are.

Vegan stories with vegan characters having vegan adventures.

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

Hey, look! What’s it doing?

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

It’s not over until it’s over, just when you think everything is fine and dandy, an automatic contraption goes haywire! It’s up to Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout twins, our vegan children’s story heroes, to save the day and stop it before it’s too late! Hurry, hurry, hurry!

Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.

If you like vegan children’s stories and comics, you’ve come to the right place. But you don’t have to be a child to read them, they are all delightful, thrilling or exciting no matter how old a vegan you are.

Vegan stories with vegan characters having vegan adventures.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is reading-the-two-little-pigs-vegan-storybook.png
There’s plenty more vegan stories where that came from.
Which story will you read next?

Let’s start at the top and work our way down

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Oh what a relief! Let’s hope Mildred and the twins can get finished before the Flat-Capped Menace returns! Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.

There’s plenty more vegan stories where that came from. Which story will you read next?

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

That’s a good idea Mildred

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Goodness me! Will he make it? I’m glad our vegan heroes Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are on the case. Come back tomorrow to see what happens next.

There’s plenty more vegan stories where that came from. Which story will you read next?

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

Back under water again, Trevor is looking for Toby

Vegan children’s comic, Marvellous Mildred episode 3, continues.

For the story so far, click here

Oh dear oh dear! I hope they can stop it in time. Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.

What’s a vegan storybook? you may ask. Well, basically, it’s like any other storybook except the central characters – the heroes – are vegan 😀

How many times have you had your enjoyment of a good story spoilt when the heroes – the people you liked, the people you were rooting for – ate meat or went fishing or bought a leather jacket?

When these things happen in children’s stories they send a message – they tell the child that it’s okay to do these things. The good guys do it so it must be okay. It’s normal.

Well, vegan storybooks do not pretend it’s okay to use, abuse and consume animals. Vegan storybooks create a new normal.

So a vegan storybook is not necessarily about veganism. It is simply a story in which animal exploitation is not normalised.

If you browse the front page you will see we have all sorts of vegan children’s books.

There are picture books and rhyming stories for little ones – one about an alien visitor to Earth, another about making a birthday cake, another about two little pigs trying to get home, another about a panda trying to find the right food and, yes, one about what it means to be vegan. ❤

We have some exciting series of vegan adventure comics for readers aged 8 and up. For example, Reflecto Girl who holds an ancient magic mirror in front of wrong-doers to give them a taste of their own medicine. Venus Aqueous is a champion swimmer who develops the supernatural power to hear and understand the marine animals who call for her help. Megan & Flos are telepathic eco-warriors and one of them is not of this world. Sherman and Geynes are pretend detectives who investigate mysteries of their own invention. The English Family Anderson are a nomadic family who meet an angry ghost. And Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins are fearless, and funny, animal rescuers.

For those who prefer their stories in prose we have the funny short stories of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – a rebellious eight year old boy who sticks up for animals at every opportunity, regardless of the trouble he gets into with parents and teachers. And there’s the thoughtful diary of a nine year old home-schooler.

There’s even a collection of fairy tales!

All our books are printed by lulu.com on demand to avoid waste, and the paper used is Forest Council Certified. None of the materials used for printing are animal by-products or animal-tested.

We hope you enjoy these stories as much as we do – you can read them all for free here at Violet’s Vegan Comics – and keep coming back because we’re adding more all the time. We just can’t help ourselves!

Marcus’s Wishes read aloud

Click here to hear more fairy tales read by Pnina 😀

Or if you prefer, you can read them yourself 😀

Marcus’s Wishes is one of four fairy tales in the Little Chicken Book of Fairy Tales available from our shop. Click the pic!

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vegan, vegan fairy tales, vegan audiobook, vegan books for children, vegan children’s stories, animals, animal rights, children, vegan children, vegan family,

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter 8 read aloud

More chapters out loud coming soon! 😀

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here !

*****

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books, animal rights,

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter 7 read aloud

More chapters out loud coming soon 😀

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here !

*****

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books, animal rights,

AudioBook: Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter six

More Luke Walker chapters coming soon!

Have a great weekend! 😀

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here !

*****

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books, animal rights,

AudioBook – Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter four

See you next week for more stories on ‘tape’! 😀

Have a great weekend! ❤

[All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here ]

**********

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books, children’s stories, vegan children’s stories,

AudioBook – Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter three

Come back tomorrow for chapter four! ❤

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here 😀

********

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books,

AudioBook – Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter two

And the story continues …

Come back tomorrow for chapter 3! ❤

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here 😀

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

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books,

AudioBook – Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter one.

Let me tell you a story ….

Come back tomorrow for chapter two! ❤

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here 😀

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

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books,

Reflecto Girl loves Vego!

If you haven’t tried Vego you are missing out!

It is chocolatey deliciousness at its most exquisite.  It’s vegan, organic and fair trade: pure guilt-free indulgence.

You should be able to find them at a health food store near you but if you can’t, pop over to the VeganKind Supermarket to mail-order them 😀

As well as the whole hazelnut vegan mylk chocolate bar (pictured), Vego make a dark chocolate nuts and berries bar, a white chocolate bar, a chocolate spread, and chocolate nougat pralines.  It’s all absolutely heavenly and, the best part – the company is totally vegan owned and vegan run.  So you know when you spend money on Vego, it’ll only be used for good things 😀

So go on – do as Reflecto Girl does: have a Vego! 😀

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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vegan, vegan children, vegetarian, vegan children’s books, vegan stories, vegan story books, Christmas, Christmas gift ideas, vegan Christmas

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.”

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

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,

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 😀

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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

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 😀

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Getting ready

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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.

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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Emergency Meeting

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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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Feet off the seats!

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Story continues from yesterday:

When they arrived at the station the ticket office was closed but the side gate to platform one was open.  Joe cupped his hands around his eyes and peered through the waiting room window.  A man sat on one of the benches, reading. Above him on the wall was a large painting of a steam train.  Nothing else.

“Better check the other platform,” said Luke.

Over the bridge, at platform two, a four coach train sat idle and empty.  The doors were all open so Luke climbed aboard.  After looking over his shoulder to make sure no one was watching, Joe followed him.

The girls checked out the waiting room and found a large rack full of leaflets.  They removed and bagged everything advertising zoos, aquariums and farm parks before dividing a huge pile of Action Medical Research leaflets and sitting down to add some unemotional statements of fact.  When they were about half way through they were startled by an announcement that the train now standing on platform two was the 13:55 service to London Euston. Tania stood up and looked out the window.

“Are they there?” asked Isabel.

“Can’t see them but they must have heard that.  Mustn’t they?”

***

“I can’t reach.”

“Stand on the seat.”

Luke checked the carriage was still empty before doing as Joe suggested.  “There,” he said, “that looks good doesn’t it, as though it was meant to be there.”

A fast repeating pinging sound preceded the whoosh of the closing doors.  “This is the Urban City Link service to London Euston, calling at Antsworth, Merton Abbot, Furling, Furling Airport Parkway and London Euston.”

“Uh oh,” said Luke.

Joe rushed to the door and repeatedly pressed the OPEN button.

“It’s not gonna open now,” said Luke, “the train’s moving.”

“I don’t wanna go to London!” said Joe, “what shall we do?  Pull the cord?”

“It’s alright,” said Luke, “we’ll just get off at the next station and catch another train back.”

“But we haven’t got a ticket!  Have you got any money?”

“No.”

“Nor have I!  So we can’t buy a ticket!”

Luke laughed.  “Stop panickin’.  There’s prob’ly not even a ticket checker on here.”

“Isn’t there?”

“I haven’t seen one, have you?”

“Well I didn’t see a driver either but I’m guessin’ there’s one of them on here.”

“First thing’s first,” said Luke, “we need to check the other three carriages for ads like that one.”

They walked from the fourth to the third carriage where a woman sat with her dog at one end, and a man watched telly on his computer half way down.  There were no ads that needed fixing so they continued on to the second carriage.  The second carriage contained a family of four at a table in the middle and a couple of teenagers at the far end.  Again there were no ads that needed fixing so they continued on to the first.  As they opened the connecting door the automated announcement informed them that they were now approaching Antsworth.  Luke saw an ad the same as the one in the fourth carriage so he pulled out his stickers and labelled it while the train slowed down and the platform came into view.

“Come on, we’d better get off,” said Joe, very relieved that there hadn’t been a ticket checker and a little embarrassed that he’d panicked for nothing.  When the train stopped the OPEN button lit up and Joe pressed it. They were about to step off when Luke noticed another of the same ads at the front of the carriage and rushed down there to deal with it.

“Luke!”

“Don’t say my name!”  Within seconds Luke was up on the seat affixing a sticker.

“Hey!”  The conductor appeared out of nowhere.  “No feet on the seats!”

“Sorry,” said Luke, jumping down.

“Quick!” called Joe.

Luke ran back to Joe as the fast repeating ping told them the doors were about to close.

“No running!” commanded the conductor.

“Sorry,” said Luke again before exiting sideways between the closing doors and landing safely on the platform.

Joe took a deep breath and exhaled.

“When’s the next train back?” asked Luke.

“I dunno, we’ll have to go over the other side.”

There was a twenty three minute wait for the next train to Belton which was put to good use in the Antsworth waiting rooms.

“You know they have CCTV cameras on trains,” said Tania when they finally got back.

“Really?” Luke scratched his chin. “Oh well.”

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vegan, vegan children, vegan activists, animals, animal rights, short story, children’s story, juvenile fiction, vegan children’s story

The importance of being not loud

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Story continues from yesterday:

On Sunday at midday the Society met outside the bus station.

“If you get spotted, just walk away,” said Tania, “they can’t stop you.”

“Can’t they?”

“No, that would be assault.  All they can do is tell you to leave and ban you from coming back.”

Luke and Joe weren’t worried.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to get caught,” Isabel reminded them, “if anyone sees you they’ll just peel the stickers right off and we want them to stay on as long as possible.  We’ve got to be discreet.”

“You’re very bossy for someone who’s new to bein’ sneaky,” said Luke.  “Don’t worry about us, this is right up our wheelhouse.”

Tania and Isabel looked at each other uneasily.

“Mmm,” said Tania, tapping her fingers against her bottom lip, “but sometimes you’re loud.”

Luke grinned.  “On’y when I need to be.”

Armed with eight strips of stickers each, the Society marched into town.  First to get stuck was a BHF ad on a bus shelter.  Luke put a sticker under the slogan “Fight For Every Heart Beat”.  Next was a CRUK ad in front of the supermarket.  Joe put a sticker under the slogan “This Is Race For Life”.  Then there were three more bus stops.  They displayed ads for Diabetes UK, BHF and Kidney Research UK.  The Society made all of them more transparent.

“This street is looking decidedly more honest,” said Tania smiling.

When they got to the shops they decided to work in pairs.  Joe and Isabel went into the British Heart Foundation, while Tania and Luke went two doors up to Cancer Research UK.

BHF wasn’t very busy and there was only one member of staff behind the counter.  Joe tried to look like a normal shopper, picking things up, looking at them, deciding against them and putting them back down.  Every time a customer approached the cashier, he took the opportunity to place a sticker somewhere – on a shelf in front of the books, on a price tag, on a rack of birthday cards.  He made sure he wasn’t in view of any other customers first, but there weren’t many so that wasn’t difficult.  Isabel, meanwhile, grabbed a couple of dresses off the rail and went straight to a changing cubicle.  Safe behind the curtain, she affixed one sticker to the bottom right hand corner of the mirror and another to the poster on the wall.  Then she decided against the dresses, returned them to the rail, chose an alternative and retreated to the second cubicle to do it all again.  Emerging to find a woman waiting to try something on, she decided it was time to leave.  Joe was already outside having successfully labelled the leaflet stand and the open door.  He wanted to sticker the shop window too but Isabel shook her head.  It wasn’t safe.  Too many people around.

They got to the CRUK shop, which had several stickers on the window, just as Luke and Tania were coming out.  The looks on their faces indicated their mission had been equally successful.  The four of them walked away together in a slow, relaxed, unsuspicious manner.

“It’s cool being an activist,” said Tania.

“Yeah,” said Isabel, “I wanna do it again.”

“I don’t think there are any more bad charity shops here.  Unless – what about Marie Curie?”

Isabel looked at the list.  “No, Marie Curie’s on the green list – it does say they belong to the Association of Medical Research Charities which makes them say they support animal research on their website but they don’t actually do any.”

“I’ve seen charity ads on trains,” said Luke, “let’s go to the station!”

So the Society walked briskly to the railway station, passing as they did a big red British Heart Foundation collection bin begging for a couple of unarguable truths.

“I need some more,” said Luke.

“Why, how many have you got left?” asked Tania.

“One.  How many have you got?”

“Forty two.”

Luke grinned.  “Can I have some of yours then?”

Joe laughed.  “How have you got through fifty five stickers?”

“I put ’em on the price tags.”

“On the clothes?”

“Yeah.”

“All of them?”

“As many as I could.  I couldn’t do the last one coz the man was starin’ at me.”

The others looked at him without saying a word.

“What?  I wasn’t loud,” he said defensively.

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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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Unarguable

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Story continues from yesterday:

When they found the stall, which was always in town on Saturdays, only one person stood behind it and it wasn’t Kris.

“Hello you lot,” said Andy, “long time no see.”

“Hello,” said Tania.

“Hello,” said Isabel.

“Hello,” said Joe.

“Have you got any stickers?” asked Luke.

“No,” said Andy.

“Is Kris here?”

Andy looked under the table.  “Erm, no, I’m afraid she isn’t.”  He stood back up, “anything I can help you with?”

“Can I have one of these?” asked Joe, reaching for the red and green charities lists.  Andy nodded.

“Oh, get one for me as well,” said Tania.

“And me,” said Luke.

“Anything else?” asked Andy.

They all shook their heads.

“No thanks,” said Isabel, “see ya.”

They hadn’t expected Andy to have what they were looking for but, still, they were disappointed.

“Maybe there’s a website we could order some from,” wondered Joe.

Luke’s eyes lit up.  “Or,” he said, “we could do it with a marker pen!”

Joe wasn’t opposed to that idea but Tania and Isabel were.

“It’d take too long to write on every poster – much greater chance of being seen,” said Tania.

“Hang on a minute,” said Isabel, looking across the street at something. “I’ve got an idea!”

Tania knew what she was thinking and the two of them grabbed the boys’ arms and dragged them into WHSmith’s. They walked towards the back of the shop until they reached the stationery section and, more specifically, the printer paper.

“We don’t need ready-made stickers,” said Isabel, “we can make our own!”

****

Tania switched on her laptop, clicked Google Chrome and searched for how to print labels with OpenOffice.  Isabel sat at her laptop which was connected to Tania’s dad’s printer.  The boys stood behind her and watched.

“Open OpenOffice Writer,” Tania told her.

Isabel opened OpenOffice Writer.

“Click FILE, point to NEW and then select LABELS from the drop-down menu,” said Tania.

“Done,” said Isabel after a couple of seconds.

“Click the LABELS tab.”

“Okay.”

“Now you need to choose the labels’ brand from the drop-down list where it says BRAND.”

“Okay.”

“And then choose the label code from the list marked TYPE.”

“What’s our label code?”

“erm,” Joe pulled a sheet of sticky labels from the printer, “it says software code – is that it?”

“Let’s see,” said Isabel and she searched the list for the code he read to her.

“Got it.”

“Okay.  Under OPTIONS select ENTIRE PAGE.”

“Done.”

“Now click NEW DOCUMENT.”

As soon as Isabel did that, a page of blank labels appeared on the screen.  Everyone smiled.

“That was easy,” said Luke.

“So far so good,” said Isabel.  “Now, what do we want to put on them?”

“British Heart Foundation experiments on animals,” said Tania.

“And Cancer Research UK experiments on animals,” said Luke.

“Okay,” said Isabel, “let’s go down the red list and do a sheet for each charity that’s got a shop in town.”

“Right,” said Tania, picking up the list.

“Why don’t we just do one for all?” asked Joe.

“What d’you mean?”

“Well it’s not just shops we need ’em for.  You never know when you’re gonna see a poster or an ad for any of these charities, so we need to always be prepared.  We should have one sticker that’ll work for all of them.”

“Good idea,” said Tania, “something like ‘WE ARE VIVISECTORS’.”

“Yes!” said Luke.

Isabel shook her head.  “We don’t want it to sound like name-calling.  It’s got to be unarguable.  An unemotional statement of fact.”

Everyone nodded.

“WE FUND EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS,” said Joe.

Everyone nodded again and Isabel typed.

“Centre it,” said Tania, “and enlarge it to fill the label.  Good.  Now copy and paste it onto all of them.”

Isabel clicked SAVE and PRINT. “They can’t argue with that!”Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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Luke Walker chapter 23 starts here!

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Chapter Twenty Three:
Activists

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.  Good luck with it.  I’m glad someone’s finally taking them to task for this,” the old lady smiled and continued on her way.

“How many does that make?” asked Luke.

“Seven hundred and eighty one.”

“That’s pretty good.”

“Yeah but I’d rather have a thousand.”

“When we’ve got a thousand we should send it to ’em.”

“Yeah.  Then they’ll have to listen.”  Tania put the petition clipboard into her bag and the Society made their way back along the pedestrianised precinct.

“Sponsor us to do the fun run?”  Two small boys dressed in Cubs uniforms sat at a table behind a pile of sponsor forms.

Isabel smiled.  “What are you raising money for?”

“Hearts Foundation,” answered one of them.

“The British Heart Foundation,” their Akela corrected him.

Isabel looked at her list.  “Oh, I’m sorry,” she told them, “the British Heart Foundation is on the red list.  We can’t support them.”

“What’s the red list?” asked the other boy.

Isabel showed him.  “Charities on the red list do experiments on animals.”

“What kind of experiments?”

“They poison ’em, give ’em diseases, cut ’em up and then kill ’em,” Luke explained.

The boys looked shocked.

“Why’d they do that?” asked one of them.

“They say they do it because they’re trying to find cures for human diseases,” said Tania, “but it’s pointless because human bodies are not the same as other animals so they don’t react the same to diseases or medicines.”

“I’m not doing it!” said one of the Cubs firmly.

“Nor am I,” agreed the other one.

“Are you sure?” asked the Akela, “The British Heart Foundation?  Surely they already know what causes heart disease, and how to prevent it.”

Isabel showed her the list.

“My goodness, there’s a lot of them on here,” she said, making a mental note to cancel her standing order to the Wellcome Trust.

“Shall we pack up?” asked a Cub.

“There’s a list of good charities on the other side,” said Isabel, “you could support one of them instead.”

The woman turned the leaflet over and looked at the green list.  “Oh yes, there’s a lot to choose from .…… Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research …… ooh there’s a heart one – Heart UK, the Cholesterol Charity.”

“Let’s do that one!”

The Akela picked up the sponsor forms and thought for a moment.  “Okay,” she said, “this is actually an easy fix. We’ll get some new sponsor forms printed at the library with Heart UK on them instead of British Heart Foundation and then we can come back here and pick up where we left off!”

The boys were slightly disappointed, having reasoned that the abandonment of BHF would mean they could pack up for the day, but they were very pleased that at least they wouldn’t be supporting animal cruelty.

“Where can I get one of those by the way?”

Isabel looked at the small print at the bottom of the list, “Animal Aid makes them,” she said, “animal aid dot org dot UK.”

“Right.  Thank you for telling me.”  The Akela smiled and escorted her Cubs to the library.

****

“That’s the third time that’s happened to me,” said Isabel.

“Cubs asking you for money?” asked Joe.

“No, someone thanking me for telling them about a charity that’s experimenting on animals.  And they all said they won’t support them again.”

“It just goes to show,” said Tania, “most people don’t want their money spent on animal torture.”

“Yeah!  So it should be the law that when charities ask for money they have to tell people exactly what it’ll be used for.”

“Yeah,” said Joe, “they should put it on their posters.”

“And on their shop windows and their collectin’ tins and their adverts,” added Luke.

“Yeah!” said Tania, “let’s have some real transparency!”

“If only!” said Isabel.

“If wishes were horses,” said Luke, without really knowing what that meant, “we could make a horse of a different colour!”

“What?”

“We should do it!”

“Do what?”

“Put the truth on their posters.”

“You mean stickers,” said Joe, the only person who could follow Luke’s train of thought.

“I do.”

Isabel and Tania looked at each other and smiled.

“On’y thing is,” said Luke, “where do we get the stickers?”

 

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, animal rights, children, vegan children, vegan activists, short story, humour, juvenile fiction, veggie kids, vegan stories, vegan children’s stories

Mufti Day

Story continues from yesterday.  For the story so far, click here 😀

The following morning everyone arrived at school in clothes of their own choosing.  Some had clearly taken ages with hair and make-up; some wore ridiculously impractical shoes; some wore the latest High Street fashions; most wore jeans and T-shirt.  Nine wore school uniform.  Joe Currant, Luke Walker, Isabel Jessop and Tania Spriggs, all in year seven, wore school uniform because they were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in.  Kristin West in year eleven, Jake Guest and George Broughton in year ten, and Ellie Baxter in year nine, wore school uniform because they’d read Isabel’s email.  Nigel Salter in year eight wore school uniform because he’d forgotten it was Mufti Day.  None of them paid £2 to their form tutors.  Between them they collected £21 for Animal Free Research.

PLEASE DON’T GIVE DONATIONS TO CANCER RESEARCH UK BECAUSE THE CHARITY WASTES SUPPORTERS’ MONEY ON CRUEL AND POINTLESS EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS WHICH DON’T HELP HUMAN CANCER SUFFERERS.

The following are just a couple of examples of the horrible things CRUK has done:

Researchers funded by CRUK conducted experiments on nude mice in order to give them bone cancer [nude mice are bred in laboratories with a genetic mutation which causes a deteriorated or absent thymus, resulting in an inhibited immune system and no body hair].

The baby mice had cancer cells injected into their hearts. The male mice received prostate cancer cells and the female mice received breast cancer cells. These cells were made to glow so that tumour growth could be identified while the animals were alive. This was also confirmed after their deaths. Over several weeks the animals developed tumours in their bones and some, who had been injected wrongly, developed tumours in their hearts. The animals were killed at various times after the injection into their hearts.

Relevance to humans:

  • Researchers admit that as the animals had no thymus, they could not determine the role of the immune system in regulating the bone cancer spread.
  • Researchers admit that their method of creating cancer in these animals is very different to how humans develop cancer. In these experiments, the males were injected with approximately 100,000 cancer cells and the females with approximately 75,000 cells in one injection.

CRUK co-funded a complex study on rats and mice designed to investigate whether disrupting a particular network of proteins could help treat bile duct cancer.

Three different types of animals were used:
Nude mice were injected under the skin with tumour cells from people with bile duct cancer. After three weeks some of them were given treatments to reduce the severity of the tumours.
A second group of genetically modified mice were chemically poisoned for around six months so that they would develop cancer.
Rats were subjected to the same chemical poisoning regime as the mice. After about five months, some of them were given substances designed to target the tumours. One of these was the treatment that depleted levels of some white blood cells (macrophages) and therefore damaged their immune system.

Relevance to humans:

  • Researchers are unclear as to the exact cause of bile duct cancer but contributing factors can include a rare type of liver disease, abnormalities of the bile duct and parasitic infections. Being forced to ingest an industrial chemical for six months, therefore, does not provide an accurate ‘model’ of how the disease develops in humans.
  • Genetically modifying mice to develop cancer is no more reliable than injecting them with human cancer cells. It is an over-simplistic approach, since human cancers are usually caused by multiple mutations in co-existent cells, and depend on a highly individualised cellular environment.
  • The researchers admit that only a small proportion of bile duct cancer patients have the mutation inflicted on the GM mice they used.

While being very secretive about the specific details of the animal research they fund, CRUK states:

“At the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, we only use mice.  We breed some strains ourselves and obtain others from suppliers who are licensed to supply animals for research.  Most of the mice we use have altered genetics”

When considering this one should be aware that the creation of GM mice generally involves several painful and invasive procedures, including major surgery and mutilation.  Creating just one ‘founder’ mouse with the required genetic alteration can entail the deaths of hundreds of others. These unwanted mice are often killed by being gassed or having their necks broken.

It is incomprehensible that CRUK continues to waste its supporters’ money on animal research despite the fact that pharmaceutical companies acknowledge the failure of animal-based research in their drug development process and write about this openly and often in the scientific literature.

A leading oncologist, voted one of America’s Top Doctors, Dr Azra Raza, made the absolute failure of mice models of cancer the focus of her
TED-x talk: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=07rgtBzN4Qo

She said:
“The fact of the matter is, that we cured acute myeloid leukemia in mice back in 1977 and today, in humans, we are using exactly the same drugs with absolutely dreadful results.  We have to stop studying mice because it’s essentially pointless and we have to start studying freshly obtained human cells.”

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
SEND THE SCHOOL’S DONATIONS TO AN ETHICAL CHARITY SUCH AS
ANIMAL FREE RESEARCH UK
(animalfreeresearchuk.org)
WHICH IS DOING SCIENTIFICALLY VALID, HUMAN RELEVANT RESEARCH THAT WILL HELP HUMAN SUFFERERS.

SOURCES:

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Summons

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

The first lesson on Thursday afternoons was P.E.  Tania and Isabel were getting changed for hockey.

“Oh no!” said Isabel as she tipped out the contents of her kit bag, “I forgot my socks!”

Tania laughed.  “Oh well, you’ll just have to wear your other socks.”

“What other socks?”

“The socks you came to school in.”

“I wore tights.”

“Oh.”

Isabel slumped down on the bench.  “I’m going to have to wear my boots with bare feet.  I’m gonna get blisters! Have you got any spare socks?”

“Sorry.”

“Isabel Jessop!”  Miss Stremp’s voice preceded her.

“Ooh, ask Miss Stremp,” suggested Tania, “she’s bound to have some spare kit around.  See if she’ll lend you some socks.”

Isabel wrinkled her nose at the prospect just as Miss Stremp caught up to her voice.

“Off you go girls – three laps of the field!” she ordered the class.  “Not you Miss Jessop.”

Tania shrugged apologetically at her friend and followed the rest of the girls outside.  Isabel pulled her boots onto her bare feet.

“Get dressed please Isabel, Mr Strang wants to see you in his office,” said Miss Stremp.

“Me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I imagine you’ll find out when you get there.”

Isabel thought she’d be glad of an excuse to avoid running around a cold, wet field but she wasn’t.  When she got to his office, Mr Strang wasn’t alone.

“Miss Jessop,” he said, “I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“No sir,” said Isabel apprehensively.

“I presume you know Mrs Oakley.”

“Yes.  Hello.”

Mrs Oakley’s stone cold face remained silent.

“Mrs Oakley wanted me to speak to you regarding the email you sent this morning.  Were you aware that students are not permitted to send messages to All Users?”

“er, no, I didn’t …”

“That facility is for senior staff only.  For the purpose of informing staff and pupils of rule changes, procedure changes, or snow days.  Things like that.”

“Oh, sorry, well …”

“And I have to say, aside from that infringement, you have upset a lot of people with your email.”

“How dare you be so insulting about people who dedicate their lives to helping others?” Mrs Oakley found her voice and there was a painful edge to it. “They’re good people!  Working hard to cure this horrible horrible disease!”

“Well, they …”

“Mrs King has only just died and there was nothing I could do to help her.  I had to watch … and she never complained.”  Mrs Oakley was overcome with emotion.

Mr Strang handed her a tissue and took over.

“What Mrs Oakley means is that this is not the time for political debate.  Emotions are running high at the moment, a lot of people are hurting, and you have just rubbed salt in the wound.”

“I’m sorry, I …”

“Up until now I have heard nothing but good things about you Miss Jessop.  At the end of last term all your teachers wrote glowing reports about the quality of your work, and more than a few of them noted that you were a pleasure to have in the classroom.  So I’m very surprised that you would do something so thoughtless, so inconsiderate and so offensive.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m sorry I upset people,” said Isabel, “that was the last thing I wanted to do.  I’m sorry Mrs King died, I really liked her.  And I’m sorry for anyone who has cancer.  That’s why I had to tell everybody now.  So that you’d give the money to a charity that does human-relevant research.”

“How dare you?” said Mrs Oakley angrily, “this charity has been working for decades to help end cancer!  Are you an expert?  Are you a scientist?  Are you a doctor?”

Isabel shook her head.

“So how come you think you know better than people who are?”

“I’ve read …”

“Let’s not get into this now,” interrupted Mr Strang, “this issue is highly contentious and there are a lot of points of view.  My point of view is simply this: the school intranet is not your own personal soapbox.  You are not permitted to send messages to all users.  Is that understood?”

“Yes sir.”

“You may return to class.”

Isabel was in no hurry to get back to P.E. so she dawdled miserably through the empty corridors.  She walked to the top floor and looked out the window at the hockey players chasing the tiny hard ball across the muddy pitch.  It was difficult to see who was who.  They were too far away.  She swallowed hard to stop herself crying.  She knew she’d done the right thing.  So why did she feel so guilty?

She didn’t head back to the changing rooms until she saw her class leave the field.  By the time she got there, Tania was dressed and ready.

“Where have you been?” she asked with concern.  “What happened?”

“Mr Strang and Mrs Oakley had a go at me for sending the email,” Isabel told her.

“Oh no, what did they say?”

“Only teachers are allowed to send messages to all users.”

“Oh.  Is that all?”

“No, but it doesn’t matter, it’s done now,” said Isabel, putting on a smile.  The bell went. “Come on, let’s go to music!”

Tania chatted cheerfully as they moved through the crowded corridor to the music room.  She made Isabel laugh.

“… and she said, ‘not if I can help it’ and she picked up the ball and threw it as far as …”

“I thought you were a nice person,” Madame DuBois stepped in front of them and interrupted.  “How could you do this thing?  You care more about a little mouse than a living person?  Je suis très déçu de toi.”

Tania watched in stunned silence as the French teacher walked away.  Then she turned back to Isabel.  “What’s her prob… hey, Izzy, what’s the matter?”

Isabel rubbed her watery eyes and forced a grin.  “I’m okay.”

“What did you put in that email?”

“Only the truth.”

******

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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, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Telling the truth

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

Isabel, meanwhile, had arrived at school a few minutes early and was making her way to the I.T. lab while it was still empty.  Entering the corridor at one end she saw a cleaner leaving the computer room at the other and disappearing into the stairwell.  There was no one else in sight.  She had timed it perfectly.  Within moments she was sitting at one of the desktop computers.  It took a worryingly long time to start up but once it was running she inserted her memory stick and opened the document she needed to copy.  She clicked Select All, and Copy, before signing in to the school intranet network.

Then she clicked Compose;
selected To All Users;
selected High Priority from the drop down menu,
and typed in the subject bar:  BOYCOTT CANCER RESEARCH UK

Just as she was about to paste in her message the screen froze.  The school bell declared the time to be half past eight and Isabel frantically moved the mouse in circles on its mat, trying to get the cursor to reappear.  But nothing happened.  She tapped Ctrl, Alt, Delete and opened a Task Manager.  She selected the only task running and clicked End Task.  She could hear footsteps out in the corridor and tried desperately to make her shaking hands behave.  She told herself to focus and began again.

Compose
To All Users
High Priority
Subject: BOYCOTT CANCER RESEARCH UK

She right clicked in the message box but there was nothing to paste.  Her text was no longer on the clipboard. Desperately she pulled out the memory stick and re-inserted it.  She double clicked on the icon, opened the document, selected all and copied.  Again she right clicked in the message box and this time was able to select Paste. With great relief she clicked Save and was rewarded with the notification Sending … at the top of the screen just as the door opened and the IT teacher walked in.  Before turning to face him, Isabel swiftly clicked Start, Shut Down and then switched off the monitor.

“Hey!  What are you doing in here?” asked Mr Frakes suspiciously.

“I left my memory stick here yesterday,” Isabel told him with a smile, “just came to collect it,” and she held it up to show him.

Mr Frakes, noticeably relieved to see that it was only Isabel, congratulated her on remembering where she’d left it and encouraged her to get to registration.  It was done.  She could breathe again.

Isabel slipped into her form room where Tania waited expectantly.  Her eyes asked the question and Isabel nodded.  So far so good.

“I answered to your name on the register,” Tania told her, “so you won’t be marked late.”

“Thanks,” said Isabel.

“So, how did it go?”

“Good I think.”

“Did you send it to all the teachers?”

“All users.”

“All users?  That’s everybody!  Staff, students, everybody!”

Isabel grinned. “Yes indeed!”

“Well done,” Tania grinned back, “very very well done.  So now what?”

“We’ll see.”

****

Mr Flanagan closed the register and told his form to head out to afternoon classes.  Luke and Joe walked against the tide and approached the teacher’s desk.

“Problem boys?” Mr Flanagan asked.

“We can’t sell these,” said Luke, putting his ten concert tickets down on the desk.  Joe did the same.

Mr Flanagan looked disappointed in them.  “Well you haven’t tried very hard, you’ve only had them a couple of days. Give it a couple of weeks before you give up.”

“No,” Luke explained, “we mean we won’t sell them, not if they’re gonna give money to CRUK.”

“Cruck?”

“Cancer Research UK.”

Mr Flanagan looked from Luke to Joe and back again.  “Why? What have they done to deserve your disapproval?”

“We think the school should give the money to a good charity that won’t waste it on animal testin’,” Luke explained.

Mr Flanagan looked at the ceiling, took a deep breath and then looked at his watch.  “I’ve got a class waiting boys and you’re supposed to be in your next lesson.  We’ll talk about this later.”

“When?” asked Luke.

“I don’t know.  Tomorrow,” he suggested brusquely.

“Tomorrow’s too late.  We need you to tell ’em before Mufti Day to give the money to a different charity.”

“I’m not going to do that,” said Mr Flanagan firmly.  “Cancer Research UK is a very worthwhile cause.  They do a lot of good work.  They help a lot of people.”

“Maybe they do,” Luke conceded, “but they also do a lot of bad, cruel work and you never know what your money’s gonna go on.”

Mr Flanagan shook his head despairingly, as if he’d heard it all before.  “They’re not cruel Luke, they’re doing vital research.  It’s not a happy fact but they have to use animal models to see how the disease grows and spreads in a living body.”

“But it’s not the same in animals as humans,” argued Luke, “so it’s pointless.  They’re killin’ ’em for nothing.”

“You’re talking about highly qualified scientists.  Why would they do it if it didn’t work?”

Joe read aloud from one of the leaflets.  “’There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientists who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money out of it.’  Dr Werner Hartinger wrote that, in 1989.  He was a German surgeon.”

“What have you got there?” asked Mr Flanagan, taking the leaflet out of Joe’s hand.  “An animal rights leaflet. Surprise surprise.  Don’t you think this might be a little bit biased?” he asked condescendingly.  Immediately regretting his irritated response, he took a breath and tried to be patient.  “Look, boys, I really don’t have time for this now.  Let me lend you one of my biology textbooks.”  He picked through the pile on his desk.  “Here you go,” he offered them a copy of Animal Models For The Study Of Human Disease.  “Take this home with you and read the first chapter.  I think it’ll help you understand the issue better and if it doesn’t we can set aside some time to talk more.”

Joe shook his head.  “No thank you,” he said.

“We don’t need to read that,” said Luke.  “We already understand the issue.  We already know for a fact it’s wrong to poison animals, and give ’em diseases, and cut ’em up and kill ’em.  Even if it did help humans that wun’t make it right.  But it don’t help humans coz animals are different to humans and different animals give different results in the experiments so why would they think humans would give the same results?  And how would they know which animal results would be the same as humans?”

“Ibuprofen causes kidney failure in dogs,” said Joe, “and Aspirin causes birth defects in mice and rats.”

Mr Flanagan put the textbook back down on his desk.  “Time to go boys,” he said flatly.

“Adverse drug reactions to medicines that were proved safe in animal tests, kill a hundred thousand people every year in America,” recited Luke.

“Leave!”

Luke tentatively stretched out his hand to retrieve the leaflet from his tutor’s grasp, before both boys did as they were told.

****

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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, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing