Chapter 7 continues (For the first 6 chapters click here 🙂 )
“…. She belongs to ‘erself. I think she should be allowed to keep belongin’ to ‘erself, don’t you?” He looked at Joe earnestly.
Joe looked back, wide eyed.
“Yeah, I do.”
Luke smiled, Joe was with him. But now he really had to think. Where would the sheep be safe? If they just left her to wander, someone else was bound to discover her and return her to the farm. No, he couldn’t let that happen. He had to get her to a place of safety where the farmer wouldn’t find her. Joe gently stroked the sheep’s forehead. Luke was thinking hard. There had to be a way. There was always a way if you thought hard enough. And then it came to him.
“I’ve got it!” said Luke, “I know how we can save her!”
“What? What will we do?” asked Joe eagerly.
“You wait here with her,” Luke instructed, “keep ‘er here, out of sight. I’ve got to go somewhere and I’ll be back quick as I can.”
“Where are you going?” asked Joe, a little nervous about having sole custody of the refugee.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be quick,” Luke assured him as he turned to run back along the lane towards the village.
Joe continued to stroke the sheep, telling her softly that it would be ok, that Luke had thought of something and he wouldn’t let her down. Obviously comforted by this, she resumed munching the grass.
It started to rain. Just a few drops at first and then it settled in to a steady drizzle.
“Hurry up,” thought Joe as he became gradually wetter.
The sheep didn’t seem to mind. Eventually, after almost an hour by Joe’s reckoning (seventeen and a half minutes), Luke returned. He was smiling and had with him a piece of rope.
“Where ‘ave you been? What are we gonna do?” Joe asked as Luke tied the rope carefully around the sheep’s neck so that he could lead her.
“I’ve got a place where we can take ‘er,” Luke told him, “come on.”
The rain ensured their independence by keeping other people indoors. They walked back half way along the lane until they came to the back entrance of the allotments. Luke opened the gate with a key and they went in. He led his old friend and his new friend past many well-kept plots full of rows of cabbages and turnips and carrots and leeks and all sorts of plants that Luke didn’t recognise. The sheep was keen to try a few.
“No! Stop ‘er!” Luke half-shouted as she bent her head to some turnip tops.
Joe stopped her just in time and the boys quickened their pace. After a while the plots began to look a little untidy and, the further they walked, the more unkempt they became. They stopped alongside Luke’s dad’s plot which was one of the unkempt because he hadn’t had it very long.
“Here we are!” said Luke happily to the sheep, “welcome to your new home Curly.”
“Really?” said Joe.
“Yeah!” said Luke, “I think it suits her.” Joe shook his head.
“Not the name, the place! Won’t your dad go mad?”
“Why would he?” Luke asked, a little irritated that Joe was being so negative.
Then Luke realised that from where he was standing, Joe couldn’t see what he and Curly could see.
“No, not here,” he said, “there!”
And he pointed to something behind his dad’s ramshackle shed.
Joe stepped forward to look. The plot behind Luke’s dad’s plot had been abandoned some time ago and was quite overgrown. The former tenant had erected post and rail fencing all around it so that she could keep her Shetland pony there. And there was a big shed that she’d used as a stable. Luke beamed.
“This is my plot!”
Joe’s jaw dropped.
“But how? …. When?”
“That’s where I went. To the ‘lotment committee man’s house. To rent this ‘lotment.”
“But how … I mean, don’t that cost loadsa money?”
Joe knew the answer to his question almost before he’d finished asking it. Luke was so happy as he led Curly to her new home.
“Won’t ‘ave time for bike rides now anyway,” he said.
The first eight chapters of Luke’s adventures sticking up for animals – only £4! Click the pic!
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