For all the Luke Walker stories so far click here 🙂
Chapter 12 continues from yesterday:
“Oh no! He prob’ly dint tell no one he’d locked the sheep up without food ‘n’ water, and if he’s dead, no one’ll know they’re here, and they’ll starve to death!” His eyes were wide with alarm.
“Call the RSPCA!” said Joe suddenly, “this is cruelty to animals, lockin’ em up without food or water! The RSPCA’ll rescue ’em!”
“Yesss!” said Luke and the two of them rushed back to his house.
Luke found the number in the phone book and decided, for privacy, to use the phone in his mum’s bedroom. He put it on speaker so that Joe could hear. It rang for a few seconds before being answered by a recorded message.
“Thank you for calling the RSPCA. Please note some calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes. To proceed press 1 now.”
Luke pressed 1.
“Thank you. Please say your postcode.”
Luke was flummoxed.
“What’s my postcode?” he mouthed to Joe.
The recording tried again.
“Please say your postcode out loud or key it into the keypad.”
Luke pressed some random keys.
“Thank you. Now please key in your house number.”
He pressed the seven and the one.
“Thank you. Your address is 71 Broomhill Drive, Glasgow, Scotland. If this is correct press 1; if this is incorrect press 2; press 3 to return to the main menu.”
Luke was exasperated. No, it wasn’t correct but he wasn’t going to tell them that or he’d have to start all over again. He pressed 1.
“Thank you. Now say your name out loud.”
“Thank you. If you have called because of an animal in distress, please choose between the following options: If you’re worried about a dog in a hot car, press 1. If you’ve found an abandoned …”
Luke threw his head back in frustration.
“We ‘aven’t got time for this! Jus’ let me talk ta someone!”
“It’s a good job you’re not on a mobile,” Joe agreed, “Janet’s always runnin’ out of credit on hers.”
The machine listed several options before concluding with:
“For anything else, please hold for an operator.”
“Finally,” Luke mouthed and the ring tone began again. After a minute or so, a live person answered.
“Thank you for calling the RSPCA. How may I help you?”
“There’s some sheep locked in a muddy paddock with no food or water,” Luke told her.
“Are they in distress?”
“Wun’t you be distressed if you hadn’t eaten anythin’ for a whole day an’ night? Or drunken anythin’?”
“It’s only been one day?”
“And a night. More ‘n that now,” Luke said.
“Are they injured? Do they look like they’ve been abused or neglected.”
“Well, no, they don’t seem to be injured.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t think any of our inspectors will come out if they’re not injured or in distress.”
“They haven’t had anythin’ to drink or eat since yesterday! They’re really hungry and they’re locked in there! You’ve got to let ’em out!”
“I’m sorry. Perhaps you can ask the farmer to check on them. Do you know who the sheep belong to?”
“We think the farmer might be dead.”
“Who are you talking to?” Mum stood in the doorway.
Luke disconnected the call.
“Nobody. We was jus’ pretendin’,” he thought it best not to involve Mum.
“I heard a woman’s voice. Who were you talking to?” she persisted.
“Somebody. Don’t matter who.”
“I beg your pardon? You’re in my room, using my phone and I insist you tell me who you were speaking to!”
Luke looked momentarily at the floor and then back at her.
“Joe’s mum,” he lied again, “she said Joe could stay for tea. We’re goin’ to check on Curly and Squirt.”
Mrs Walker decided to pretend she believed him.
“Okay,” she consented, “back by six please. And in future, ask before you use the phone.”
While Mum stayed in her room to sort the laundry, Luke and Joe rushed downstairs.
“We’ll feed ’em ourselves!” Luke decided.
He handed a shopping bag to Joe and opened the fridge. Luckily, Mum had just been shopping.
“Take these,” he said, “and these, and these,” and he handed him about twenty carrots, two cucumbers, a cabbage, a lettuce and sixteen apples. The bag was heavy. Luke grabbed another one to share Joe’s burden and they left.
The story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here now 🙂
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