Three months later …

Big Blue Sky continues:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

Oh no Luca! Wake up!

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

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Are you sure there’s a way out?

Clarence’s story continues:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

Will Clarence get to see the Big Blue Sky?

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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Clarence’s story begins today

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

 

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

Clarence’s story continues tomorrow

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“We’re doomed!”

The End 😀

If you missed the beginning you can read the whole story here

And if you like rhyming stories generally, there are more on this page 😀

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“We’re doomed!  We’re doomed!”  cried a pink panicked pig.

The other was mute in distress.

“Listen to me,” came a voice down a tree,

“I’ll get you both out of this mess.”

***

“The answer is simple, you need to be brave,

Keep going, walk on, don’t look back.

The forest will feed you and shelter you too.

You will find that for nothing you’ll lack.”

***

So the two little pigs changed direction at last

As they chose to live and be free.

Their salty tears dried on their pink rosy cheeks,

Ever after they lived happily.

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At last they found it!

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

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Oh no!  Poor piggies 😦

Join us tomorrow to see how the story ends 😀

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At last the pigs found it, the place of their dreams,

Their home with the farmer they loved.

But their joy was short-lived when they saw what she did.

Just in time her true face was revealed.

***

“What’s wrong?” asked a magpie who watched with her mate,

“Tell us what makes you so sad.”

“The farmer,” said one pig with tears in his eyes,

“We thought she was good but she’s bad.”

***

“Ah yes,” said the magpie, “we’ve seen it before.

She’s lovely to piggies like you.

She keeps them well fed and happy and fat

Till she sends them to him, two by two.”

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Before long the two pigs met two robins

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Join us on Monday to find out what happens next 😀

Have a great weekend ❤

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

Before long the two pigs met two robins

Sitting atop a green bush.

“Help us please, to find our way home,

We can’t stand here long so please rush!”

***

“I wouldn’t do that, oh no, oh no,”

The robins were both in agreement.

“You should look for a place of your own,

Unless you want more of this treatment.”

***

The pigs were confused but could not wait,

The butcher was still close behind them.

The big bad butcher still huffed and still puffed,

Still annoyed that he still couldn’t find them.

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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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Ten past four

For the whole story click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

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

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

“Ten past four,” said Isabel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Joe, go and see where Jared is!”

“You go and see where Jared is.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hello.”

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

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

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

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

“Daaad!”

Mr Spriggs ignored his daughter and looked hopefully at Luke.

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

“You don’t?”

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

“Oh.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We should call her Boudicca,” suggested Tania.

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

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

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

“Frosty?”

“The one with the white face.”

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

“Why?”

“I just like it.”

“What shall we name the other two?”

Everybody looked at Luke.

He grinned.  “Kes and Neelix.”

“Neelix is a boy’s name,” said Tania.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Of course.”

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

Have a great weekend 😀 

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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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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

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

Chapter 24 continues from yesterday:

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

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

“The farmer?”

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

“You do it,” said Luke.

“Me?”  Tania was apprehensive.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luke held up his open right hand.

“Five?” said Tania uncertainly.

Luke nodded.

“Five?” asked the woman.

“Yes,” Tania smiled, “five please.”

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

“A house?”

“A chicken house for them to sleep in.”

“Oh yes, a shed.”

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

Luke nodded at Tania.

“Yes,” she said, “it will be.”

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

“Pick them up?”

“Yes. Is that a problem?”

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

******

SATURDAY 7 JUNE

When the doorbell rang Luke rushed to answer it.

“Expecting someone?” asked Mum.

“Joe and the others.”

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

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

“Working in the garage.”

“Okay, thanks.”

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

“Just wanted to borrow a screwdriver.”

“Okay, I’ll get it.  Flathead?”

“Phillips.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I thought it was better to use shavings.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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

A Handsome Fellow

Here is the fellow

I met yesterday,

I don’t know his name,

He didn’t say.

But he was so handsome,

So elegant was he,

I quietly admired him,

Or was he a she?

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

Can somebody tell me – is he a partridge?  And is he a he or a she?

Such a beauty 😀

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bird, birds, animals, wild animals, wildlife, garden, garden birds, poem, poetry

Animal Sanctuary Poem Week: Day 4

Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Frettenham, Norfolk

Wendy Valentine’s amazing

Her firey compassion don’t stop blazing.

Her sanct’ry is home to many a horse,

It goes without saying, she’s vegan of course!

There’s chickens and ducks and budgies and turkeys,

And sheep and cows and llamas and donkeys.

There’s rabbits and emus, alpacas and deer,

There’s even some chipmunks and goats live here.

But rescuing’s not all that Hillside does,

They also investigate farms because

They need to make public the horror that’s hidden

Behind the farm gates of those animal prisons.

❤ 🙂 ❤

Hillside is now home to over 3000 animals and is one of the UK’s most successful campaigning organisations for the animals’ cause.  They have always known that one of the main reasons animals are left to suffer in factory farms is because people have little or no idea about the immense cruelty involved in their food production.

Animal Sanctuary Poem Week: Day 2

Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary

Dallington, East Sussex

Imagine a place where cows can live

Their whole lives out in peace.

They’re rescued from the dairy hell

But now live free from cheese.

Big and strong and vulnerable

They’re right where they should be,

A home of love with Wenda and Matt,

They’re even pleased to meet you and me.

Hugletts Wood is a vegan farm,

They grow vegetables and fruits.

The sale of these provides the funds

For their compassionate pursuits.

❤ 🙂 ❤

 

Hugletts Wood Farm provides sanctuary to cows and their friends.  A home for life to farm animals and birds, rescued from the misery of the meat and dairy industry and the horrors of the slaughterhouse.

Hugletts Wood farm is the only farm animal sanctuary in the UK that operates a dedicated Cow Protection Program.  It is also the only vegan farm in the UK that runs such a sanctuary.

They try to self-fund as much as possible, growing vegetables and fruits and producing a whole range of woodland products and natural Ahimsa compost but always welcome your support in whatever form it may take!

More about turkeys

vegan Christmas story

and there’s lots more interesting facts about turkeys here, including the fact that, in the wild, baby turkeys stay with their mother all year and, though turkeys habitually roost (sleep) in trees, safe above ground level, babies are unable to fly for their first couple of weeks so their mother stays with them on the ground to keep them safe and warm until they are able to fly up into the tree with her.

Love them, don’t eat them ❤ ❤ ❤

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birds, animals, turkeys, Christmas, vegan, vegetarian, Christmas story, vegan Christmas story

Big Blue Sky revisited

vegan Christmas book

Big Blue Sky has been digitally remastered (I don’t really know what that means but it sounds good 😉 ) – actually it’s got a new font and a new illustration and some new cover art – so I thought, seeing as it’s that time of year again, we’d re-tell Clarence and Luca’s story.  It begins here:

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

continues tomorrow 🙂

or you can read the whole digitally remastered 😉 story here now 😀

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vegan children’s story, vegan Christmas story, turkeys, animals, birds

Snow White and Rose Red remembered.

children's story

Once upon a time there were two beautiful girls called Snow White and Rose Red.  They were very unhappy because they were imprisoned in a large windowless shed with thousands of others like them.  They were cramped and miserable; they never saw daylight or felt the wind on their faces;  and the prison guards were rough and cruel.  Then one night, everything changed.

children's story

As the wind blew and the rain poured down, someone came and lifted them out of their prison and carried them out into the night.

children's story

The beautiful girls were scared at first.  They tried to shelter their heads from the wind and rain, instinctively ducking under the chin of the person carrying them.  What was this cold, dark, wet outside world?  They had never seen it before and didn’t know what to think.

children's story

After hours and hours of jostling and jolting in the wind and rain; after feeling cold and wet and very very nervous; they arrived somewhere.  Somewhere new.  Somewhere unfamiliar.

children's story

They explored with care.  They didn’t know what to make of it.  They didn’t know who to trust.  But they were curious.  They weren’t so desperate to get away anymore.  They started to wonder if this was, after all, something good.

children's story

As they settled in to their new surroundings they were approached by other individuals.  One of whom in particular, Mrs Teapot, became their devoted friend.

children's story

children's story

children's story

children's story

And so they lived happily ever after 😀

Up before dawn …

For the story so far click here

vegan comic for children

I was up before dawn on the morrow and found a strangled vixen outside my door, the poor wee lass was intended to teach me a lesson.  I knew they wouldn’t stop killing whatever I did so, for the sake of their future victims, I still had to try to save those I could.  Leaving Donnan at home to protect the others, I made my way to the Viscount’s estate and tried to scare as many grouse away as I could, before the “sport” began.  I saw his guests arriving and said a prayer for the innocents who would cross their paths.  I stayed out of sight and got ahead of them to the woods.

vegan comic for children

Such brave and noble men who would, five of them, gang up to slaughter a little bird.

vegan comic for children

I tried to stay out of sight whilst rushing to pick up the injured before their dogs got to them, but I’m sure it was inevitable that someone would see me.

“Miss Allaway, I thought my man had spoken to you about this.  Ah well, I suppose if you want something done right you have to do it yourself – isn’t that what they say?” The Viscount himself stood over me but I didn’t look up.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the bird whose tail had been clipped by a shot which almost missed him.  He was flapping and gasping and panicking.  I reached out to him as the Viscount spoke again.

“Miss Allaway, I see you cannot be reasoned with.”  I heard a click and that was it.  That was the end of me.

To be continued …

T is for Turkey

Turkey    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  1. large originally American bird bred for food.  2. Its flesh.

Our definition:

  • Turkeys are known to exhibit over 20 distinct vocalisations.  Including a distinctive gobble, produced by males, which can be heard a mile away.
  • Individual turkeys have unique voices. This is how turkeys recognise each other.
  • Turkeys are intelligent and sensitive animals that are highly social. They create lasting social bonds with each other and are very affectionate, rather similar to dogs.
  • Turkeys have outstanding geography skills. They have the ability to learn the precise details of an area over 1,000 acres in size.
  • Like peacocks, male turkeys puff up their bodies and spread their elaborate feathers to attract a mate.
  • Baby turkeys (poults) flock with their mother all year.  Although wild turkeys roost in the trees, as poults are unable to fly for the first couple of weeks of their lives, the mother stays with them at ground level to keep them safe and warm until they are strong enough to all roost up in the safety of the trees.
  • Wild turkeys are able to fly at up to 55 mph for short distances. Most domestic turkeys however are unable to fly due to being selectively bred to be larger than would be suitable in wild circumstances.
  • The male is substantially larger than the female, and his feathers have areas of red, purple, green, copper, bronze, and gold iridescence. Female feathers are duller overall, in shades of brown and grey.
  • The area of bare skin on a turkey’s throat and head vary in colour depending on its level of excitement and stress.  When excited, a male turkey’s head turns blue, when ready to fight it turns red.

For the rest of the T page, click here; for the whole vegan dictionary click here 😀

O is for omelette

Oo

Omelette    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  beaten eggs fried and often folded over filling.

Our definition:  Omelettes are made from eggs laid by birds (usually chickens) kept in unnatural, confined conditions, more often than not in over-crowded barns with no access to the outside and no natural light or fresh air.  Their miserable lives are short, ending when they begin to lay less eggs at about 12 to 18 months of age (naturally, healthy chickens could live into their teens if not taken by a predator, though those rescued from chicken farms don’t usually live longer than 4 years due to their harrowing start in life).  Contrary to popular opinion, buying free range is not the cruelty free option since these birds’ lives will also end in brutal slaughter by the tender age of 18 months.  NB farms can label their eggs free range if there is access to an outdoor area from the chickens’ barn even though most of the birds in the overcrowded barn are never able to reach the door.  Male chicks are horribly killed en masse shortly after hatching.

Buying tofu, on the other hand, is the cruelty free option and if you love eggs, you’ll really love tofu 😀

Spinach Tofu Scramble. Photo by Evelyn Oliver

Spinach Tofu Scramble. Photo by Evelyn Oliver

For the rest of the dictionary, click here

F is for Falcon

F is for falcon

Falcon    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Small hawk trained to hunt.

Our definition:  A falcon is any one of 37 species of raptor in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica.

Adult falcons have thin tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly.  Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which makes their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing.  This makes it easier to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults.

Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth.  Other falcons include the gyrfalcon, lanner falcon, and the merlin.  Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels.

As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.

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Click on the pic for the F page of our vegan dictionary, or see the link in the sidebar to your right

Click on the pic for the F page of our vegan dictionary, or see the link in the sidebar to your right

Chickens Are People Just Like Dogs

chickens are people

Chickens are people

Just like dogs.

They enjoy dust baths

And jumping on logs.

  chickens are people

Chickens will play games

Like ‘chase’ and ‘steal your smalls’.

They’ll splash you in the paddling pool,

Though not keen on fetching balls.

chickens are people

Some of them are gentle, 

Some of them are tough.

Some of them are bossy, 

Some timid and soft as fluff.

  chickens are people

They all have personality

And every one is different.

Just like Rover and Fido and Max

They might be quiet or exuberant.

chickens are people

Knit A Jumper For A Chilly Chicken

chilly chickensAt least twice a year Raystede (where Miranda volunteers) rescues ex-egg laying chickens who would otherwise be sent to slaughter at the tender age of 72 weeks.  Unfortunately, these girls have had it rough and some of them arrive with very few feathers intact.  So, at this time of year, they are very chilly and need a little help keeping warm until their feathers grow back.

So, if you feel like doing something lovely with your spare time and spare yarn, why not make some chicken-knits?

STOP PRESS:  Thankfully Raystede received so many chicken knits after they put out an appeal on local television that they’ve got all they need at the moment and they’ve taken the downloadable pattern down, so before you put yarn to needle, contact them to ask if they need any more, or find out if any other sanctuaries need them 🙂

And if you’d really like to do this but don’t know how to knit, there’s a couple of brilliant videos below to get you started:

For right handed knitters:

And for the left handed: