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 !

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

15% off! Offer ends Friday!

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/violetsvegancomics

Shop now to get 15% off on all purchases from the Violet’s Vegan Comics bookshop!

Use code TREAT15 at the checkout.

Hurry! 😀

Offer ends Friday 23 October at 23:59 UTC

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vegan, vegan books, vegan children’s books, vegan books for children, vegan storybooks, books, discount books, special offer,

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 😀

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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 😀

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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 😀

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

The Two Little Pigs in hardback

I’m sure I must have told you that The Two Little Pigs is available in paperback but what’s new is that you can now get it in hardback!

This would make a beautiful vegan birthday present for a little one who likes stories about animals 😀

And with that we wish you many happy storytimes ❤

The Two Little Pigs

is available in hardback for £12.50,

*

in paperback for £3.50,

*

and can be read for free right here 😀

Have a great day! 😀

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Prices correct at time of writing.

vegan, vegan storybook, vegan books, vegan children, vegan children’s books, juvenile fiction, vegan fiction, vegan rhyming story, books, stories, vegan children’s stories, animals, animal rights,

 

Sunday. London. Be The Future Vegan Market. Be there!

The Be The Future market is back!

Full of stalls selling exclusively vegan products – eg toiletries, make up, clothes, chocolates, food and drink, and of course VEGAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS!

The prices of our books range from £2.50 to £10

but they’re free to book fairies! 😀

So come on, spend Sunday with lots of other lovely vegans!

Head over to Stoke Newington and treat yourself!

Abney Public Hall, 73A Church Street, Stoke Newington, LONDON, N16 0AS

Sunday 16th August 2020

10 ’til 5

Click here for more info and how to get there

and go to @bethefuture_market on Instagram to see who’s going to be there 😀

See you soon!

Educational colouring book

Here is a wonderful educational colouring book:  Colour By Nutrients.

It is at once a resource for artistic indulgence and an educational tool.  Divided into chapters of different vitamins and minerals, the book illustrates which foods contain significant amounts of each.  The authors are happy for teachers and parents to photocopy the colouring pages for use in the classroom.  All in all a delightful way to learn about nutrition.

This 120-page book is approximately 19 x 25 cm.

You can buy it here, it’s not expensive 😀

Or if you’d rather get the e-version and copy or print the pages yourself, it’s free to download here:  Colour By Nutrients pdf 


We think that learning about good nutrition to build a strong immune system is more important than ever, so we’re thrilled to be able to do this.

Stay well.  Stay clean.  Stay compassionate

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vegan, plant-based, vegan children, nutrition, school, home-education,

Reflecto Girl #7 – OUT NOW!

Reflecto Girl #7 is now available in paperback!

And not only does it have a great story,

there’s the added bonus of a yummy cake recipe at the end 😀

Get yours now while stocks last! 😉

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vegan comics, vegan storybooks, vegan children’s books, animal rights comic,

40% off!

Our butch friend, Kurt, is eager to share the new Maddicts paperback with you 😀

This portable little A5 book is available from our Lulu shop and, for a limited time only, you can get 40% off!

It can be yours for just £3!!!!

Ok, gotta run – I know a few library shelves that are screaming out for these babies! 😀  Thanks Kurt, you were great 😉

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ps  When you go to our Lulu shop, if the prices are not displayed in your country’s currency, just click on the Cart at the top right of the screen and then you can click the flag and select which country you’re shopping from 🙂

Maddicts is a vegan graphic novel, suitable for readers aged 12 and up, also available to read here.

vegan, vegetarian, animals, animal rights, satire, horror, thriller, vegan books, vegan children’s books, vegan story books, books, vegan comics,

 

Vegan Story Time #8: The Two Little Pigs

Listen to The Two Little Pigs 😀

Want more stories?  Check out the Story Time page 😀

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vegan, vegan story, vegan story books, vegan children’s story, read aloud, audio books, books, children’s books, animals, pigs,

Come to Brighton!

Tomorrow, 23rd November,

10 ’til 4

at Brighton Unitarian Church,

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

What fun! 😀

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

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

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

Maybe we’ll see you there?

 

The Two Little Pigs in paperback

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

It’s very cute 😉

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

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

Have a lovely weekend 😀

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

The two little pigs met a heron

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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The two little pigs met a heron,

A wise and dignified bird,

“Help us please, to find our way home,”

And she listened to every word.

***

“That’s not what I’d do,” said the heron,

“If I had a dilemma like yours.

If I were you I’d get off by myself,

Don’t get stuck behind closed doors.”

***

The butcher was near so the pigs ran on

While the heron tried to distract him.

He paused for breath, returning her gaze

And she prayed he would never catch them.

An Unordinary Lion (an unthinkable truth)

Here is another bright and fun rhyming story for little children from Dragana Vucic Dekic (author of The Not-So Crazy Cow).

It’s about a lion who, unable to hunt due to an injured paw, is forced to sit still and watch the world go by.  In doing so he notices that the other animals around him, those he used to call prey, fuel their bodies with plants.

The more he watches his neighbours, the more he admires them.

So much so that he decides to follow their example and adopt a plant-based diet himself 😀

An Unordinary Lion  is a very enjoyable happy story, beautifully illustrated by Szucher Agnes.

Of course the writer doesn’t believe that a lion could just choose to go vegan, but by using the lion as the central character in this story she makes the subliminal point that, unlike natural carnivores, we can choose.

I woke up this morning with this story in my head and it struck me – the reason we find it so hard to convince the human population to go vegan, despite the fact that doing so would solve so many world crises, is because those in charge, those in control of education and mainstream media, consider the idea unthinkable.

In 2006 Al Gore, former American Vice President, made the film An Inconvenient Truth about the human impact on climate change.  In the same year the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation published the results of an investigation which concluded that animal agriculture produced more greenhouse gases than all transport put together.

The preface to the UN FAO report begins:

“The in-depth assessment presented in this document of the various significant impacts of the world’s livestock sector on the environment is deliberately termed Livestock’s Long Shadow so as to help raise the attention of both the technical and the general public to the very substantial contribution of animal agriculture to climate change and air pollution, to land, soil and water degradation and to the reduction of biodiversity.  This is not done simply to blame the rapidly growing and intensifying global livestock sector for severely damaging the environment but to encourage decisive measures at the technical and political levels for mitigating such damage.”

Of course there have been no decisive measures taken at the political level.  No one wants to touch it.  An Inconvenient Truth doesn’t mention animal farming or suggest transitioning to a plant based diet, but perhaps that’s because Al Gore didn’t know then.  Perhaps he hadn’t read the UN report yet.  People were hopeful, therefore, that the issue would be front and centre in his 2017 sequel  An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power.  Tragically it isn’t.

Rachel Krantz, lead writer for Mercy for Animals, criticised Gore for not highlighting the easiest and most effective thing people could do to save the planet:

“The link between our diet and the environment is both direct and strong.  To give you an idea, if every American committed to just one meat-free day a week, the impact would be equivalent to switching all our gas-powered cars to hybrids. … Important facts about the link between animal agriculture and the environment are left out of the documentary.  Perhaps the filmmakers thought that mainstream viewers couldn’t handle the truth,”

According to a discussion between plant-based advocates which I saw on television some years ago, that’s exactly right.  One of them met Al Gore, who himself went vegan for environmental reasons, and he asked him why he hadn’t drawn attention to animal agriculture’s devastating effects on the environment in the film.  He was told – because people wouldn’t be able to handle it.

So that’s it?  The planet must die because people cannot conceive of a bacon-buttie-less world?

Come on Al Gore, make a new film – a completely honest one.  You could call it  An Unthinkable Truth.

I understand that lions, except the Unordinary Lion, can’t live without meat.  But humans?  Come ohn!  Many of us have already proved that we can.  And if the rest of us don’t do it, that’ll be the end of that.

Let the Unordinary Lion be your inspiration.  Eat plants to save the world 😀

New Book: Chickpea Runs Away

Here is a gorgeous children’s book by Sarat Colling, with beautiful illustrations by Vicky Bowes and published by Vegan Publishers

Chickpea is a darling baby on a dairy farm who has been taken away from her mother and kept confined in a barn with others like her until it’s time for a frightening journey to somewhere bad.  Inspired by numerous real-life tales of cows fleeing captivity, Sarat’s story describes Chickpea’s split second decision to leap the fence and run for her life.

This heart rending story ends happily when Chickpea finds new friends and embarks on a new free and natural life.  A touching tale which shines a light on the harsh reality of animal farming without being too graphic, and inspires compassion for all animals.

This copy is available to borrow at Oh My Goodness vegan cafe library, Eastbourne 😀

Available in hardback (40 pages) and as an eBook

Price: $17.99 hardback, $7.49 eBook

Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940184487
ISBN-13: 978-1940184487

Available from Vegan Publishers and all good booksellers.

The Not-So Crazy Cow

Here is an adorable book for little ones: The Not-So Crazy Cow by Dragana Vucic Dekic.

The Not-So Crazy Cow is a humorous, rhyming story about a cow who believes that the grass is greener somewhere else. Despite having royal treatment in her homeland of India, she longs to discover the big world. One day, she packs her bags, puts on her best hat, and sails from India to Europe. One wise stork tries to warn her of the upcoming challenges, but the cow follows her adventurous spirit to discover this for herself. Her journey is full of unexpected situations and very soon, the cow starts missing her homeland. This amusing book also presents an important question: who is crazy here? The cow or the world who treats her as if her life doesn’t matter?

This bright and colourful, energetic tale, told entirely in rhyme and filled with beautifully quirky illustrations by Szucher Agnes, is an absolute delight.

A gem for tiny tots who will love the funny, happy pictures and pick up the subliminal message that cows deserve to be valued and esteemed the whole world over.  Don’t worry, the not-so crazy cow returns home safely at the end 😀

I think this book would make an ideal gift for little non-vegans because the story’s not overtly vegan but it sows a precious seed that might inspire them to question the choices of their non-vegan caregivers in the future.

You can find out more about the author and her humorous picture books that bring across a positive message by encouraging empathy between all living beings, by going to her website: momthemuse.com

Author:  Dragana Vucic Dekic

Illustrator:  Szucher Agnes

Genre:  picture book/stories in rhyme

Recommended for pre-schoolers

Published July 2019

Format:  Paperback (43 pages) and Kindle Edition (20 pages)

ASIN:  B07VD6YGN5 (Kindle)

ISBN-10: 1077863551
ISBN-13: 978-1077863552
Paperback Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.3 x 21.6 cm

Paperback Price:  £8.22

Available from Amazon 😀

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vegan, vegan book, vegan children’s book, vegan picture book, vegan rhyming story, vegan children, animals, animal rights, cows, humour, illustration, books

What are you doing?!!!

If you want to read this chapter from the beginning, click here 🙂

Story continues from yesterday:

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“What are you doing?” said an angry man.

“What are you doing?” returned Luke.

“Did you move my horse?”

“She’s your horse?” asked Luke, “you should look after her better! She don’t like it by the road!”

The man slammed his car door and climbed over the fence. “I know she doesn’t like it,” he said angrily, “that’s why I tied her there, so she can get used to it!”

“Why does she have to get used to it?” asked Luke, equally angry.

“I’m training her to pull a buggy,” said the man, “and if she’s easily spooked by traffic she could get us both killed!”

“You shun’t make her pull the buggy then!” said Luke, stating the obvious, “you shun’t make ‘er do anything she don’t wanna do!”

The man was livid. “Shouldn’t you be in school? What have you done with her bridle?”

“Don’t you tie her up again, that’s illegal!” said Luke, desperately, “an’ I should know, coz me mum and dad are police!”

“What?”

“Yeah, an’ they just arrested someone last week for leavin’ his horse tied up by the road!”

“What? That’s ridiculous!”

“Oh, is it?” said Luke with increasing confidence, “I’d have to disagree with you on that coz it happened. They arrested him on charges of ….. bad animal welfare.”

“The Animal Welfare Act?”

“Yes!” said Luke, thankful for the help. “The Animal Welfare Act makes it illegal to tie horses by the road because they don’t like it and it’s cruel!”

“I would never …!” the man was offended. “I have always taken exemplary care of my horses,” said the man, a little quieter, “I’ve done this training many times and none of them have ever been hurt.”

“Well, I wun’t do it again if I were you,” said Luke, “coz they’re crackin’ down.”

The man was uncertain whether to believe him but the boy seemed confident of his information. He decided to test him. “What police force do your parents work for?”

“Belton,” said Luke without hesitation.

“What are their badge numbers?”

“My mum’s is 2357, and my dad’s is 111317.” Mrs Cassidy was right, it is important to remember the prime numbers.

“I’ll check,” threatened the man.

“D’you wanna borra a pencil?” asked Luke.

The man shook his head and commenced retrieval of the bridle. “Stupid law!” he grumbled, “how am I supposed to train her now?”

“Well, I mean, who’d look after ‘er if you got arrested?”

The man didn’t answer, he just put her bridle back on.

“Has she got any friends?” Luke asked, sad that she wouldn’t be able to go to the horse sanctuary.

“I’ve got two other horses,” said the man, which was something of a relief.

“Bye Cocoa,” said Luke as the man led her into his trailer.

Luke watched wistfully as his new friend departed before his mind was brought sharply back into focus by the sight of his school bag on the ground. He looked at his watch. It was 9.25. The bell had gone almost an hour ago and his plight seemed hopeless. School was still half an hour away. Hopefully that was enough time for him to think of something.

He walked briskly, coming up with ideas and then dismissing them almost immediately. When he was just ten minutes away he was annoyed by a plastic carrier bag in the hedge.

“Flamin’ litter bugs!” he said with disgust, “I am sick an’ tired of clearin’ up other people’s mess!” He yanked the bag angrily from its roost and stuffed it into his pocket. Then he had an idea. A good one. He smiled. No need to worry. He wouldn’t have to stay after school today.

Twenty five minutes later Luke entered the school gates and made his way directly to the Deputy Head’s office. The Deputy Head, Mr Paxton, had been a teacher at Graywood Comp for over thirty years. He’d been there when Mum was there. She remembered him. According to her he was just as horrible in her day. He was one of those teachers who sorely missed corporal punishment. Inflicting it, not receiving it. He told them that every time someone talked in Assembly. Another important thing to note about Mr Paxton was his bad memory. He was always forgetting things – even things that had only just happened half an hour earlier – and he was very embarrassed about it. He seemed to think it would show weakness if he admitted his lapses so he never did. He always pretended to remember, even when it was obvious he didn’t. Luke knocked on his door.

“Come in!”

Luke entered with a carrier bag full of litter. “I’ve done it sir,” he said.

“Done what?” Mr Paxton scowled.

“Picked up the litter.”

Mr Paxton had no idea what Luke was talking about but, assuming he must have forgotten, he faked understanding. “Ahh, good!” he said gruffly, “and I hope you’ve learned your lesson!”

“Yes sir,” said Luke.

“Alright, go on with you, get to class!”

“But sir, ….” said Luke with feigned timidity.

“What? What now?”

“Well, you said you’d write me a note for Mr Flanagan. To explain why I was late.”

“Ahh, yes, quite right, I did,” said Paxton, almost remembering it himself. “Quite right,” he said again as he began to scrawl a brief explanation for Luke’s form tutor. “And your name? Come on come on, a thousand kids in this school and they expect me to remember all their names!”

“Luke Walker.”

“Yes, of course,” he said, finishing the note. “Here you go – now get to class!”

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For more Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

 

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, horse, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, humour,

 

An unusual amount of traffic

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 18 continues from last week:

He stepped off the bus and looked up just in time to see Joe peering down at him from the top deck asking inaudibly what was going on. When the bus pulled away Luke felt like going home to bed. Why not? he thought. After all, he’d made every effort to catch the bus; it wasn’t his fault the driver was unreasonable. If he went to school now he’d be in trouble for being late whereas if he called in sick he could avoid that and have a day in bed. It was very tempting. However, today was woodwork and he didn’t want to miss that. It was the final day for working on his toolbox. Next week they’d got to start making picture frames. His toolbox was brilliant. He already had a padlock for it. It would fit his walkie talkies, the wire cutters he’d bought with his Christmas gift voucher and Jared’s Swiss Army knife for which he was currently in negotiations. With obvious effort, Luke hitched up his heavy rucksack and set off at a brisk pace. It was quarter past eight. If someone gave him a lift, he might still make it before the bell.

As he walked past the village shops, the pub, the cemetery and the allotments, he noticed that there was an unusual amount of traffic coming through the village, but his hoped-for offer of a lift didn’t materialise. Normally, since the dual carriageway had been built, the only vehicles entering the village belonged to residents or delivery vans. It was quicker now for drivers to bypass Gingham if they were headed anywhere else. But as Luke approached the northern edge of the village it was clear that today, for some reason, the main road was closed. Not only cars but vans, lorries, even ambulances, were taking the slower route, too fast, through the village. It was noisy and smelly. Luke kept walking.

When he crossed the boundary into the adjacent town he saw, across the road, a horse, tethered on the grass verge. She recoiled every time a vehicle rushed past her and if it was something big like a lorry she tugged and pulled at her reins, trying desperately to get away. She was tied to a wooden fence on the other side of the grass verge. She had no room to retreat from the traffic and was in considerable distress. Luke, no longer caring how late he was, crossed the road towards her at the first opportunity.

“Easy girl, easy,” he spoke soothingly in an effort to calm her and carefully took hold of the reins under her chin. Thanks to a brief lull in traffic she calmed and watched Luke as he smilingly whispered these same words to her over and over. He rested the heel of his left hand between her nostrils and softly stroked her beautiful nose. The next few passing cars were considerate, giving the horse a wide berth and driving slowly. Now that she was more relaxed, Luke took the opportunity to drop his bag to the floor and rummage in it for his apple. When he turned to look back up at her he was startled by a huge lorry that came out of nowhere. The horse panicked again, pulling her head up and back, trying desperately to free herself. Luke knew he had to get her away from the road. On the other side of the fence was a meadow. No crops, no animals. She would be much happier in there. Luke unbolted the gate and pushed it wide open. Then he stood with the mare, stroking her and talking to her to keep her calm while he waited for the traffic to die down again. Once he was sure she was calm, he untied her from the fence and encouraged her to come with him. Happy to move away from the road she followed him into the field.

“This is better isn’t it?” he smiled, “you’re safe from the traffic in here. The grass is short but there’s plenty of it. Oh, and there’s this,” he offered her his apple and she took it eagerly.

As the traffic built up again Luke was relieved to see that she remained relaxed. When she’d finished the apple, she bent her head to the grass at her feet and grazed comfortably. In this position her reigns dragged on the floor so Luke was worried she might trip on them. Best to take them off, he thought. He gently unfastened all the straps and lifted the bridle over her ears. She dropped the bit from her mouth and was free. Luke disposed of the tack over the fence, out of harm’s way. Now she looked happy and so was he.

He wondered how someone could just abandon her on the side of the road.

“I should think of a name for you,” said Luke, “erm, how about Cocoa? Yeah, that suits you.” He realised he was going to have to come up with a very persuasive argument to get his parents to let him keep her. Then again, maybe that wasn’t the best idea because she’d be lonely without another horse to keep her company. A better idea would be to ask the horse sanctuary to take her. The one that Isabel had told him about. Yes. Then she would have friends.

Just as Luke was deciding that he couldn’t possibly go to school now, a car pulled up at the gate.

“What are you doing?” said an angry man.

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

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, animals, horse, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, humour,

Luke Walker chapter 18 starts here!

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 18:  Late

“Katie Treacle.”

“Yes.”

“Michael Vickers.”

“Yes.”

“Justine Waits.”

“Here.”

“Luke Walker.” Mr Flanagan looked up from the register. “Luke Walker,” he said again.

Luke still hadn’t gotten used to catching the bus to school. He didn’t like rushing but he also didn’t like getting up early, and one or the other was now necessary. Graywood Comprehensive began its day at an uncivilised 8.30 am. What was even worse was that everyone was supposed to be on the premises ten minutes before that. The school bus, therefore, arrived at Gingham village square at 8 am every weekday morning and thirty two eager minds were supposed to meet it there. It was rare that all of them did. Luke, for one, would have preferred to make the two and a half mile journey by bike, but Mum said no because the roads were dangerous at that time of day. Then he thought he might walk, but when Dad told him he’d have to leave home at quarter past seven he was forced to reconsider and accept his fate on the noisy, smelly, crowded bus. The biggest problem with buses was that they amplified lateness. Luke had always had trouble getting out of bed but he’d found that if he hurried his breakfast, didn’t have a wash, and cut through the vicar’s garden instead of going the long way round, he was rarely late for school. That wasn’t possible any more. If he was just one minute late for the bus, he would be an hour late for school.

On Monday his form tutor, Mr Flanagan, told him that, from now on, every time he was late he would be forced to stay late at the end of the day. This motivated him more than anything else had to make sure he was on time. Luke had things to do after school, he couldn’t afford to get stuck there. So, for the first time ever, he decided to use the alarm clock Auntie Jane bought him for his last birthday. He set it for 5.30am.

It was cold and dark on Tuesday morning when Luke was rudely provoked into consciousness. He reached for the alarm but couldn’t find the off button so he pulled it under the covers and held it tight in an attempt to mute the noise. After a few very long seconds of fumbling he found the off switch and relaxed again. He closed his eyes and started to drift back to sleep. Luckily Dudley, who had also heard the alarm, started scratching at his bedroom door. Luke opened his eyes again and forced himself to sit up. He was determined not to stay late at school today. He had plans to watch Unacknowledged with Joe on Janet’s computer while Janet was at Judo. Janet only went to Judo on Tuesdays and by next Tuesday Joe’s free trial of Netflix would have expired. It had to be today. Luke had to be on time.

He dragged himself out of bed feeling very hard done by. It was true that he often missed the bus but he was rarely late for school. There was usually some friend of Mum’s, or some mum of a friend, who took pity on him and offered him a lift as he hurried on foot lugging his heavy book bag. So on average he wasn’t late to school more than twice a week.

By the time the rest of the family came down to breakfast, he was rinsing his cereal bowl in the sink.

“My goodness,” said Dad, looking out the kitchen window.

“What?” asked Luke, “what are you lookin’ at?”

“The flying pigs,” said Dad.

“Oh ha ha,” said Luke sarcastically, “you’re so funny!”

“Groan,” said Jared, “that’s such a dad joke.”

Mum walked in and headed straight for the pantry. “Who wants toast?”

“Me!”

“Sorry Jared, what was that?”

“Me please.”

“Oh, and me, thanks love,” said Dad.

“Okay. Luke? Toast?”

“No thanks,” he said, turning to leave the kitchen, “I’ve finished my breakfast.”

“Well,” said Mum, pausing absorb the moment, “I never thought I’d see the day! My youngest son, all dressed and breakfasted before seven. What’s the special occasion?”

“Nothing,” said Luke, “just wanted to walk to school.”

Mum nodded slowly. “Or, … you could walk Dudley before school for me and then catch the bus as usual. I’ve got a lot on today,” she appealed with a smile, putting her hands together as if in prayer.

Luke tilted his head back and looked blankly at the ceiling. “Alright,” he said begrudgingly, “I’ll catch the bus, as usual!”

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

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan book, vegan children’s books, humour, creative writing, vegetarian, veggie kids

Stickers!

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-erchapter 17, continues from yesterday:

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Inside the busy department store Luke and Joe headed to the food hall at the back. It was like a supermarket only posh. High on the walls were colourful photographs of grazing animals alongside stylish pictures of meat and fish dishes with captions like “Committed to Animal Welfare” and “RSPCA Freedom Foods”.

Luke turned to Joe.  “The leaflets said this shop is sellin’ ducks from factory farms so stick these on anythin’ with ducks in,” he said, handing Joe half the stickers. Then he reconsidered and took them back. “No, it’s busy so we’d better stick together. You pretend to be shoppin’ – get a basket – an’ I’ll put the stickers on.”

Joe fetched a basket and the two outlaws headed for the chilled section. They walked along the large glass-fronted cabinets and whenever they saw anything labelled ‘duck’ Joe reached up and pretended to be rummaging, picking things up, looking at them, putting them back, choosing something else. All the while Luke, screened from onlookers by his friend’s authentic movements, commenced putting stickers on plastic-wrapped trays of duck spring rolls, duck breasts with plum sauce, and duck legs with Hoisin sauce. Then they moved on to the freezer section and Luke stickered a pile of whole ducklings with giblets while Joe casually kept watch. After that they progressed to the tinned meat aisle but there was a man restocking the shelves. Luke whispered something to Joe who shook his head.

Luke frowned. “If you won’t do it, I’ll have to do it and you’ll have to do the stickers on your own!” he whispered.

Joe accepted the commission, preferring that to the alternative, so Luke approached the shelf-filler.  “’Scuse me,” he said politely, “I’ve lost me mum, can you put an announcement out for her?”

“Sure,” said the man, helpfully, “come with me.”

As soon as Luke and the man were out of sight Joe, as fast as he could, began stickering stacks of tinned duck cassoulet, duck confit and duck liver pãtè. He had to keep pausing, trying to look casual, every time someone entered the aisle, but as soon as they left he resumed. Sometimes the stickers were frustratingly difficult to peel off their backing paper but he took deep breaths to calm himself and persevered. When he heard the announcement for Mrs Kathryn Janeway to meet her son at the customer service desk he knew his time was up. With only one sticker left, he made his escape before the shelf-filler returned. The two boys rendezvoused in the toy department and left the shop unhindered, but not before Luke affixed their last remaining sticker to a yellow toy duck.

****

“What’s your name?” asked Isabel.

“Andy,” said the suited man, “what’s yours?”

“Isabel. Why do you dress like that?”

“In a suit you mean?”

“Yeah.”

“To look respectable.”

“Like an estate agent?”

Kris laughed.

“Well, that wasn’t exactly what I was going for,” said Andy.

“Oh, sorry,” Isabel apologised. “Like a bank manager then? Or a teacher?”

Kris laughed again.

Andy sighed. “Not like anything in particular,” he said, “just a regular upstanding citizen as opposed to a scary, pierced, tattooed, hippy dippy punk, like someone I could mention.”

“Heyyy!” Kris was mock-offended.

“I think she looks nice,” said Isabel.

“Yeah, she’s cool,” Tania agreed.

“Thanks guys,” Kris smiled.

“Yes yes yes, she’s very cool,” said Andy, “but she looks like a weirdo. If we want to persuade ordinary, mainstream people to take us seriously they have to be able to relate to us. We have to look ordinary. Approachable, respectable, non-threatening.”

At that moment a policeman arrived.

“Afternoon folks, have you got a permit for this stall?”

“Don’t need one officer, we’re not collecting money,” Andy replied.

“How long have you been standing here?”

“Got here about twelve o’clock didn’t we?”

“Yeah,” said Kris.

“And you’ve been here the whole time? All of you?” Kris and Andy nodded. “What about you two?” he asked Tania and Isabel.

“We got here about quarter past one,” Isabel told him.

“And where were you before that?”

“The library,” said Tania, deciding that their brief time in front of the RSPCA shop wasn’t worth mentioning.

“Nowhere else?”

“No.” The girls felt their faces flush.

“Can anyone vouch for that?”

“Is there a problem officer?” Andy intervened.

“Spittles have found stickers on a lot of their duck products. They’ve had to take a couple of hundred pounds worth of stuff off the shelves.”

Everyone behind the stall tried to keep their faces expressionless.

“Any stickers here?” the policeman asked as he browsed the stall, “you’ve got leaflets about Spittle’s factory farm duck. Did you do it?”

“Certainly not,” said Andy truthfully, “we’re just here to provide information.” The policeman looked sceptical. “Look,” Andy gestured to all the literature on the stall, “no stickers.”

“Nevertheless,” the policeman continued after a moment’s pause, “Spittle’s would like you to move away from their store.”

“We have every right …” Kris began to object.

Nevertheless,” the policeman repeated with emphasis, “I would like you to move your stall away from this store.”

“No problem officer,” Andy replied, “we can do that. No problem at all.”

Wearing a serious, ‘don’t mess with me’ expression, the policeman looked hard at Andy and Kris before nodding and turning away.

“This is exactly the kind of thing I was trying to avoid!” complained Andy. “Now they think we’re thugs.”

Kris shook her head. “I call that a win,” she said, “we weren’t going to get that duck off the shelves by just standing here handing out leaflets.”

“We’re playing a long game here Kris,” Andy argued, “we have to keep to the high moral ground. We can’t force the issue or it won’t stick. We’ve got to persuade people to do it for the right reasons, so they won’t renege later on.”

Kris shrugged as she continued piling leaflets into her battered shopper on wheels. The girls, who could see both sides of the argument, quietly exchanged glances before retrieving their clipboard. Andy folded the table and all four of them relocated outside the Arndale Centre.

“D’you think Luke and Joe will be able to find us?” Isabel asked Tania.

“I hope so,” said Tania, “if they don’t get here soon we’ll have to go. Our bus leaves in ten minutes.”

“Are you all going home together?” Kris asked.

“No, we don’t live in the same village,” said Isabel.

“Don’t worry then, if you’ve got to go, you go. I’ll explain it to them when they get here. If they get here.”

“Thanks.”

“Did you reach your target?”

“Nearly,” said Isabel, smiling, “Two hundred and ninety four.”

“Not a bad day’s work then,” said Kris.

The girls thanked her, said their goodbyes and made tracks for the bus station.

****

At the public toilets Luke was having trouble with the automated hand-washing machine. He’d been dispensed liquid soap, no problem, but after covering his hands with it he’d been unable to get any water. He moved his hands from left to right, trying to activate the sensor, but nothing happened.

“Don’t bother,” said Joe, wiping his hands on his trousers, “it doesn’t work.”

Luke was annoyed at the sticky mess. “We’d better get back to the others,” he said, grabbing a handful of toilet tissue.

“They’ll be gone by now,” said Joe, “their bus was at three.”

“Oh. Shall we go then?”

“Okay. Unless you wanna see the new Spiderman.”

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For more Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapters 17 to 24 are available in paperback:

Luke Walker and the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers

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vegan, veggie kids, animals, animal rights, children’s story, children’s book, books, juvenile fiction, creative writing, vegan children’s book, vegetarian

Luke Walker chapter 17 starts here!

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – the story continues two years later:

Chapter 17:  Cognitive Dissonance

Two years later:

“Luuuke!” Jared was angry.

Luke returned the now half empty book of stamps to Mum’s purse. “It wasn’t me!” he lied.

“Who else would put a sticker over my webcam? I want to skype and I can’t get it off!”

“I jus’ needed to borra it for a minute an’ I dint want anybody spyin’ on me.”

“No one can spy on you, idiot! You have to turn the webcam on yourself!”

“You’re the idiot if you think they can’t turn it on and watch you when you don’t know they’re watchin’ you. I saw it on that film about the man who had to escape from the government.  And it was on that programme about the lawyer whose daughter was bein’ spied on coz she didn’t close her laptop and they switched on her webcam from somewhere else not in her house!”

Jared wasn’t listening. He’d heard it all before. He referred the problem to a higher power.

“Mum,” he called downstairs, “Luke’s been messing with my computer again and I can’t get the sticker off! He’s not supposed to touch my stuff!”

Mum’s hands were immersed in hot water.  She didn’t have the energy or the inclination to referee her sons’ squabbles so she pretended she hadn’t heard.  Jared turned back to his brother.

“The next time you touch my stuff I’ll take your walkie talkies and smash them with a hammer!”

Luke, secretly thankful to Jared for reminding him, stuffed his walkie talkies into his rucksack and went downstairs. He had a bus to catch.

When he got to the bus stop the bus was already there. Joe was trying the driver’s patience by rummaging slowly in his pockets for his fare, bringing out one small coin at a time in an effort to delay the bus’s departure. When Luke stepped on behind him he found his two pound coin and put the driver out of his misery. Luke did the same and the boys ascended to the empty top deck and sat down on the front seat.

“Happy New Year,” said Joe.

Luke was frantically searching his bag. “Yeah, happy …. did you bring your notebook?”

Joe nodded.

“I forgot mine,” said Luke, annoyed. “Did you write down where we’re s’posed to be meetin’ the others?”

“No,” said Joe, “but I remember. We’re meeting them at the library.”

Luke frowned with uncertainty.

“We always meet at the library,” Joe reassured him, “the first Saturday of every month. At the library.”

Luke shook his head. “I know that’s what we normally do, but last time that woman kept watching us and Tania thought she was trying to listen to our plans so we said next time we’d meet somewhere more private. I wrote it down. Don’t you remember?”

Joe’s recollection went further.

“Yes, I remember that, but then Isabel said she didn’t think the woman was listening and Tania was just paranoid and there wasn’t anywhere else we could meet that was warm and dry and she thought we should meet at the library as usual.”

Luke still looked uncertain.

“Twelve o’clock. At the library. As usual,” Joe reiterated.

“Okay,” said Luke, finally giving up the search for his notebook, “good.” He leaned back in his seat and put his feet up on the window ledge in front of him.

The boys hadn’t seen each other since Christmas so the half hour bus ride was a good time to catch up. Luke pulled an impressive-looking, hard plastic case out of his rucksack.

“I got these from me Mum and Dad,” he told Joe, and opened the case to reveal two walkie talkies. They were green, brown and black in a camouflage pattern, with buttons under a screen and a short antenna sticking up on one side. In addition the case contained a charger, ear pieces, belt clips, and survival bracelets with built-in compass and whistle. “They work as far as three kilometres apart, so we’ll be able to talk to each other if we’re on a mission and we’re doin’ different bits of it and we have to keep watch and tell the other one if someone’s comin’.” Joe hesitantly reached for one of the bracelets. “Oh yeah, and we’ll both wear one of these – go on, try it on,” encouraged Luke, “and then if we get lost, or if the walkie talkie battery dies, we can survive with these coz there’s a whistle so we can blow it and hear where each other is and know if it’s north or south.”

“They’re brilliant,” said Joe, obviously impressed.

Luke carefully retrieved the bracelet and put it back in the case. “What did you get?” he asked.

Joe reached into his bag and pulled out a smart pair of binoculars. “I like bird watching,” he explained.

“Score!” said Luke, “these’ll be good for missions too coz we’ll be able to see if someone’s comin’ from a long way away before they see us.”

“I use ’em for looking for UFOs too,” said Joe, lifting the binoculars to his eyes and looking through the window at the skies ahead.

“Spaceships?” asked Luke, interested.

“Yeah, I saw a documentary about aliens coming to Earth and it said they were real and they’ve been coming to Earth for years and they’re watching us to make sure we don’t send bombs into space and they stopped the Americans when they did try to send some up there.”

“Really?” asked Luke, wide eyed, “so they’re good aliens?”

“Yeah, they’re good, stopping bad people with bombs. But the people who make the bombs are trying to keep the aliens secret because they want to keep making the bombs because they get a lot of money from it. So they want to make people scared of aliens by making fake alien ships to attack Earth so that the Earth people will want them to attack the aliens,” Joe took a breath. “But really it’s not the aliens because the aliens are peaceful and we shouldn’t be attacking them we should be making friends with them coz they could help us save the environment.”

“Wow,” said Luke, “sounds like a good film. D’you think it’s true?”

“Oh yeah! It’s true. They had lots of evidence and lots of people have seen them and some people have been killed to shut them up or blackmailed to change their stories. I know it sounds made up but it’s not. You should see the film.”

“Yeah. What’s it called?”

Unacknowledged.”

“Have you got it on DVD?”

“No, it’s on Netflix.”

“We haven’t got Netflix.”

“Neither have we but I signed up for a month’s free trial on Janet’s computer and there’s a week left so you can watch it at mine.”

Luke nodded.  He really wanted to see it.

“Come round after school on Tuesday.”

“You’re lucky Janet lets you borra her computer. Jared gets in a right hump when I borra his.”

“Janet won’t be there,” explained Joe.

The boys got off the bus at the radio station and walked through the pedestrianised High street to the library. It was only ten to twelve. They were going to be early for once.

The January meeting of the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers commenced thirteen minutes later.

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The story continues on Monday 😀

but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here 😀

and if that doesn’t satisfy you 😉 the next eight chapters are now available in paperback:

Luke Walker and the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan fiction, juvenile fiction, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, animal rights, activism

The Dragons of Durga

The Dragons of Durga is an epic novel by Simone Spearman.

It’s a slow, gentle tale, beautifully told with detailed, poetic descriptions that transport you to a magical, imaginary world.  The story takes place in an ancient time. Long before anyone can remember, long before history was recorded, back when magnificent dragons still walked the Earth.

Spearman describes the different species as tribes – the Human tribe, the Dragon tribe, the Feline tribe, – all of whom live in co-operation and harmony.  The Dragons have a special relationship with Human children whom they teach and mentor, but this only lasts until they come of age.  Humans of age only get to commune with Dragons at the Midsummer celebration, to which every tribe of Durga is invited.  The picture is wonderfully idyllic until the unthinkable happens and a vision of the future reveals a world without dragons.

A myriad of characters – Dragons of all shapes and sizes, a winged Cat, an unpredictable Rat, a Human girl who can change into any animal, a Human boy who blames the Dragons for a past tragedy – embark on an epic adventure, all working together to ensure the survival of the Dragon tribe.

And it’s a big hunk of a book – 538 pages!!!  It took me a good few weeks to finish it because unfortunately I only have time to read at the end of the day, just before I go to sleep, but it certainly made me look forward to bedtime.  I loved this book.  It’s wonderful to have quality literature in which the protagonists are plant-eaters who fight for peace, harmony and equality among species.  I love the dragons, I love the children, I love the weird and wonderful names they had and the innovative use of capital letters.  Thank you Simone L Spearman.

Author:  Simone L Spearman

Illustrator:  Jason Weaver

Genre:  Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy & Magic

Recommended for readers aged 8 and up

Published in August 2017

Format:  Paperback (552 pages) & Kindle

ISBN-10: 0999278207
ISBN-13: 978-0999278208
Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.5 x 20.3 cm

Available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s story, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan children’s books, animal rights, vegan fiction, books

Are they railway bandits?

Sherman and Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p9S&G2 p10

Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, vegan cafe, let’s get something to eat,

Cunning criminal masterminds

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p3S&G2 p4

Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story

Healthy Eating for Life FOR CHILDREN

From the Foreword by Neal Barnard, M.D.:  The writing of this book was motivated by the observation that many parents are unclear about how best to nourish their children at different stages of development.  Well-intentioned parents like you want to do the very best for the long-term health and well-being of their children.  They need help knowing where to begin.

Our hope is that by assembling an expert panel of doctors and nutritionists and by providing well-researched, easy-to-read information on healthy eating during childhood, we can help you promote excellent health for your children throughout their lives.

**********

Boy I wish I’d had this book when my children were little, then I wouldn’t have been misled by my GP who pleaded with me not to make my baby vegan, saying that children need dairy for at least their first five years!  I was very young, inexperienced and, since it was way before the internet, there was no one else to ask.  It was another eleven years before we had enough information to understand that he was wrong, and our transition from vegetarianism to veganism left us feeling better than ever.

But that didn’t prevent us being misjudged by another GP when I took my youngest to the doctor when she was about 11 because she was getting recurring headaches.  I’d assumed she was suffering from migraines but as soon as the GP heard we were vegan she sucked in her breath over her teeth and said with confidence

“Calcium deficiency!”

I insisted that that wasn’t it, we get enough calcium from our fruit and vegetables, but she would not be dissuaded from her conclusion and sent us away after telling us to take some multi-vitamins, without doing any tests or examination.  Some months later, thanks to a good  GP advising us to go the optician and see if the headaches were due to a need for glasses, it was discovered that there was haemorrhaging behind her eyes caused by a benign brain tumour.

The world and medical practitioners are so much more enlightened nowadays though aren’t they?  Thanks to the internet and such widely available information shared online by vegan individuals, groups and organisations.  So you’d think that no one would be in danger of getting the kind of bad advice we got back then.

I was shocked to discover a few weeks ago that that’s not true.  A friend of mine took her eleven and a half month-old baby for her ‘one year review’ by a Health Visitor at a children’s centre in Brighton and was told she should be transitioning her baby off breast milk and onto cows’ milk – for the calcium!!!!!!!

Thankfully my friend knows better but lots of people, like me all those years ago, will be swayed by this shockingly bad advice.  That’s why this book is brilliant.  Because it comes from the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, written by Amy Lanou, Ph.D. who is Nutrition Director of the Physicians’ Committee (or she was when this was first published back in 2002 – oh I wish I’d had it then!) and got her doctoral degree from Cornell University, readers can rest assured that the book can be relied upon.  And it’s got so much!  From a healthy pregnancy to healthy breast feeding to healthy nutrition for your child for the rest of his or her life, this book tells you everything you need to know 🙂

And it even provides you with a ton of healthy delicious recipes:

I bought this one for my friend, but now I’m going to get another one for me!

Author:  Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with Amy Lanou, Ph.D.

Genre:  Non-fiction, Plant-Based Nutrition

Recommended for teens and up

Format:  Paperback (272 pages) and Kindle Edition

Published:  February 2002

ISBN-10:  0471436216

ISBN-13:  978-0471436218

Dimensions:  15.5 x 1.9 x 22.7 cm

Available from the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine and Amazon

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nutrition, health, vegan, vegetarian, books, non-fiction, plant-based nutrition, children, raising healthy children, healthy pregnancy, nursing mothers, healthy breastfeeding, raising vegan children, food, healthy eating, healthy recipes, healthy recipe book, vegan recipe book

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

We love Louis Sachar (whose name rhymes with cracker – in case you were wondering) and after reading Fuzzy Mud I decided that it qualified as a vegan book for children 🙂 It doesn’t use the v-word but the main protagonist seems to be a plant-eater (there is no mention of any meat/fish/egg or dairy in her diet) and the grippingly entertaining story is wrapped around a vitally  important environmental message.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that Louis Sachar was veg*n but I have no idea whether he actually is.  Anyway, this book qualifies so I wanted to share it with you 🙂

The story is about Tamaya who has a scholarship to a posh school and walks there every day with Marshall who is a year older than her (they’re pre-teens I think). They never go through the woods because there are creepy rumours about a strange guy who lives there.  And they’ve been told not to.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the woods a laboratory is developing a new “green” fuel, made of artificially engineered living micro-organisms, aka ‘fuzzy mud’.  Well,  one day, after being challenged to a fight by the school bully, Marshall decides, for his own safety, to go home via the woods.  Tamaya doesn’t want to go that way but she’s not supposed to walk home alone so she follows him.  And that’s when it gets really scary!

I’m not going to tell you anymore (and don’t spoil it for yourself by reading the Amazon blurb because it gives too much away) because you should get the book and enjoy the whole thing from the beginning 🙂

Author:  Louis Sachar

Genre:  Juvenile fiction/thriller

Recommended for readers aged 8 and up

Format:  Paperback (256 pages) and Kindle Edition and Audio Download

Published:  August 2016

ISBN-10:  1408864754

ISBN-13:  978-1408864753

Dimensions:  19.7 x 1.3 x 13.1cm

Available from Amazon and undoubtedly other bookshops and libraries 🙂

Chickpea runs away!

This story really needs to be told.  Pre-order the book here to help with production costs ❤

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animals, farmed animals, cows, animal rescue, animal rights, books, children’s books, vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s books, illustrated books, illustrations

 

Planetwise at Bridlington

If you happen to be anywhere near to Bridlington on the East Yorkshire coast, you might like to pop in to a lovely vegan shop called Planetwise at 12 Prospect Street 🙂

They sell all sorts of vegan staples in the way of food as well as clothes and other essentials like story books 😉

Ok, that picture’s a bit blurry, hang on, let me find another one ….

There, that’s better – look at those lovely books to browse and buy.  Don’t they look familiar? 😉  Ooh, is that an ice cream freezer in the background there? Vegan ice cream on a hot day.  What could be better?

So, Planetwise looks like a great place to visit doesn’t it?  Food, clothes, quality reading material, and perhaps a bit of yoga?  Oh, I forgot to mention, Planetwise is also a yoga studio!

If you’re nowhere near East Yorkshire you might consider taking a trip up there on Sunday August 5th for Bridlington’s first ever vegan festival!  There’ll be delicious vegan food, live music, speakers, holistic therapies, cookery demonstrations, local vegan crafts, children’s entertainment and activities, and lots of stalls selling ethical, vegan, eco-friendly products like clothes, books, toiletries and food.  Tickets available from the Bridlington Spa website 🙂

Check out our new What’s On page to find out more 😀

New Bookshop Open Now!

We’re very excited to tell you that we’ve just opened our new bookshop, right here at Violet’s Vegan Comics! 😀

We do have quite a lot of titles now you know 😉

So,  if you’re in need of some new bedtime stories, or you’ve got some adventure-loving kids who are partial to exciting comics and stories, or maybe they’d prefer a colouring book, or a notebook, or someone’s birthday’s coming up, you don’t have to go to Amazon, you can get them right here at Violet’s Vegan Self-Service Bookshop 🙂 “What d’you mean, self-service?” I hear you ask.

Well, our bookshop is a little old fashioned for a web shop, in that nothing’s automated.  There’s no basket and no one’s going to add up your total for you, you’ve got to do it yourself.  It’s what you might call a minimalist shop.  No added extras, just a load of book images with prices on, a contact form, and a paypal button at the bottom 😀

You’ll see when you get there, it’s all explained and very straightforward, but basically you just choose which books you want, add up the total in your head, add £2.50 shipping to your total and pay the Grand Total through Paypal after telling us what you want using the contact form.  Simple.

The other thing that makes our shop rather old fashioned is that there’s no NEXT DAY DELIVERY.  In fact there’s unlikely to be a next week delivery.  Remember the days when you were told to allow 28 days for delivery?  That was normal right?  That was to be expected.  Well, when you remember that you’ll be pleased to learn that when you order books from us they’ll probably be with you in a couple of weeks 🙂

They’re printed on demand you see, in America.  So if you’re ordering from America they might be with you the same week.  It just depends how far they’ve got to travel.  We’ve found that our orders reach us in the UK in about two weeks. Yes, in fact, every order we’ve placed has been with us two weeks later.  I don’t know how long they’ll take to other countries, but hopefully we’ll find out soon 🙂

So you’ve got to wait a bit longer than you’re used to.  But so what?  What’s your rush?  These books are worth waiting for 😀

And the up-side?  Well, the up-side is that you can order them from anywhere in the world.  You can only get them from Amazon if you’re in America or Europe but we’re happy to send them anywhere 😀

So, next time you’re looking for vegan children’s books, give our selection a browse  – there’s something for everyone 🙂

See the bookshop link in the top menu 😀

The Rebel Gang and the Number Ciphers book trailer

Ooh, The Corporation is investigating a group of people they suspect of trying to overthrow the government!

Check it out! 😉

You can read The Rebel Gang and the Number Ciphers here,

and if you want the book, you can buy it here 😀

The raw material of bones

‘One farmer says to me, “You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;” and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw material of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plough along in spite of every obstacle.’

Henry David Thoreau, in Walden.

 

Animal Advocacy Pop-Up Library

Molly the cow who escaped the slaughterhouse and ran into the forest

The above is the gorgeous profile picture of HART: Hornby Animal Rights Team, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to animal advocacy and education, on Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada.

On Friday March 30th, just two days from now, HART will be holding their first event – a community vegan potluck at New Horizons.

In addition to the vegan feast and short film, HART’s first event will also launch their animal advocacy pop-up library.  The library books will be on display for browsing and borrowing, and people will have the opportunity to become library members.

The pop-up library is a brilliant idea! 😀

They are planning to cycle from place to place with a trailer full of wonderful animal-friendly books, fiction and non-fiction, for children and adults, and be the most eco-friendly mobile library you can imagine.  You can read their books at the event or take them home and return them later 🙂

Quite a few of our books are among the HART Animal Advocacy collection, I’m very excited to tell you, so if you’re in the area, take the opportunity to get over there and borrow something, and make some new friends while you’re at it 🙂

If you’re not in the area, as most of us aren’t unfortunately, why not think about setting up your own Animal Advocacy Pop-Up Library in your community?  It’s such a brilliant idea don’t you think?  You can contact HART via their website or email them at hornbyhart@gmail.com for more info about how they’re doing it.

The witch’s spell and how to break it

Wicked Witch

The Wicked Witch’s Plan To Get Rid Of Everyone, a new version of the fairy tale The Wicked Wicked Witch and the Ruinous Manipulation by Maud Earnshaw, illustrated by Beatrice Wilberforce, includes instructions about how to break the witch’s spell at the back 😉

Available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, USA and Canada

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

A wink and a smile

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here

For the whole of chapter 12 click here 🙂

Story continues from Friday:

At half past three, all the Year Fives who wanted to be in the Christmas concert went to the hall to audition for Ms Robinson and Mr Beardsley.  There were more parts available than actors to play them so Luke felt confident he’d get something.  He was expecting to have to get up on stage and recite a line or two from the play, as he’d seen done in a movie once.  However, when Ms Robinson saw how few people had turned up she simply asked for a show of hands for each role.  If only one person raised their hand for a particular role, they got it.  If more than one person raised their hand, Mr Beardsley drew one of their names from a hat.  Luke felt this diminished the accomplishment somewhat.  He was the only applicant for the role of Third Spirit so the part was his, in addition he was pressed to play Jacob Marley which he was happy to do.  Simon Butler would play Ebenezer Scrooge as an old man, a young man and a child.  Katia got the parts of young Scrooge’s sweetheart and Mrs Cratchit; Kenny got Bob Cratchit, Fezziwig and the coachman; Tania wanted to play Scrooge’s nephew and Scrooge’s sister because she thought it would add realism to have some discernible family resemblance between those characters.  Her wish was granted.  And so it went on.  Children were permitted to leave after their roles were assigned and by a quarter past five only a few minor roles remained to be cast.  Joe and Luke were the only children left in the hall.  Luke was waiting for Joe who, for almost two hours, had waited patiently for an opportunity to ask if he could paint the scenery.  He had brought with him some preliminary sketches of ideas for backdrops and costumes but when he approached Ms Robinson, she misunderstood his reason for being there.

“Okay Joe, that leaves us with Scrooge’s Servant, the Gentleman Visitor, the Cook, and the Butcher.  Do you think you can handle those?”

Joe went white in the face.

“er, no, he don’t want them,” said Luke, stepping in.

“Excuse me, I was talking to Joe,” said Ms Robinson, quite testily. “Come on Joe, they’re only small parts, you can do those for me can’t you?”

Joe looked at the sketchbook in his hands.

“I brought these …” he mumbled nervously.

“What was that?  You’ll do it?  Thank you Joe,” and she wrote his name next to the character names on her clipboard.

Joe looked at Luke with panic in his eyes.

“No, he’s not doin’ the actin’, he’s good at paintin’ scenery.  He’ll be too busy paintin’ to do any actin’,” said Luke persuasively.

Ms Robinson looked at Luke as if her patience was at an end.

“This is nothing to do with you.  If Joe didn’t want to do it he would have said so.  Please credit him with enough intelligence to speak for himself and stop interfering.”  She turned back to Joe.  “Okay Joe?”

Joe nodded his assent.

Ms Robinson closed her clipboard and began to pack up her things.  Luke knew full well that Joe was only there because he’d asked him to be.  He couldn’t let him get lumbered with this.

“No,” he said with determination “Joe don’t wanna do it.  That’s not why he came.  He daren’t say it coz you’re in a mood, but he definitely don’t wanna do it!”

Ms Robinson glared at him in that all too familiar way.

“Luke. Walker,” she said slowly as if something had just occurred to her, “you’re the one Cathy Tebbut warned me about.”

At this point Mr Beardsley, who had witnessed the entire interaction, decided it was time to intervene.

“Can I have a word Ms Robinson?” he asked.

She glared again at Luke and then stepped aside to speak to her colleague.  Luke sat down on the floor next to Joe.

“Sorry,” he said.

“S’oright,” his friend replied.

After a few minutes of hushed discussion Ms Robinson left.  Mr Beardsley walked over to the boys.

“Ms Robinson and I have been thinking,” he said, “it doesn’t work very well to have an odd number of pupils in a class because when we need you to work with a partner, there’s always an odd one out.”

The boys nodded.  That was true.

“So,” Mr Beardsley went on, “it’s better to have twenty six or twenty four pupils in a class than twenty five.”

The boys nodded again.

“So, Ms Robinson has agreed that it would be a good idea for you to transfer to my class Joe, if that’s alright with you.”

Joe’s now very enthusiastic nod was accompanied by a wide smile.  Luke smiled too.

“Okay then,” said Mr Beardsley, smiling back at them, “I’ll see you both, ten to nine, on Monday.”  He started to turn away before adding, “oh, and Joe, Ms Robinson said she’d be delighted to have your help with the scenery because she’s going to give some of the Year 4 kids the opportunity to audition for the minor roles.”

He winked and walked away.

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vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books

Luke Walker paperbacks:

  

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (the first eight chapters); More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (chapters nine to sixteen); and Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er: my privut notebook are available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada 🙂 but if you’d prefer to mail order them through us, get in touch 😀

 

Panic and retreat

For the stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 11 continued from yesterday:

Luke stood still, his face flushed hot.

“They know!” he thought with horror.

It got worse.  He watched as two police officers walked up to the organisers’ table.  After a few moments a man there pointed in Luke’s direction.  The police officers started to walk towards him.  He ran.  All he could think was that he needed to get out of there.  They might know his name but would they know his address?  He didn’t look behind, that would be suspicious, he just ran as fast as he could.  The wheelbarrow was slowing him down.  He had to leave it.

He climbed the low post and rail fence and jumped down into the car park.  His first instinct was to find Grandad’s car, but then he thought that if they knew his name, they might know who his grandparents were, they might be waiting for him there.  He hesitated, crouched between a Mini and a Fiesta, and tried to see Grandad’s car without being seen.  Yes, that was it, and there was Grandad.  With another policeman.

There was nothing for it, he had to go back into the market, he had to try to be invisible in the crowd.  But he was scared and wanted an ally.  He made a beeline for the black-haired lady’s stall.

The lady, who was just beginning to pack up her stall, putting leaflets back in their boxes, was surprised to see Luke racing towards her, all red in the face and out of breath, looking like he feared for his life.

“Hide me!” said Luke desperately, and sunk to the floor behind the biggest box.

The lady was alarmed.

“What’s wrong? What are you …?”

“Shhh!” said Luke in a vehement whisper, “don’t talk to me!  Don’t look at me!  They might be watching!”

“But …”

“Excuse me Miss,” another woman’s voice interrupted her.  She turned to face a policewoman.

“Is this your stall?” she asked.

“Yes it is.”

“And your name is?”

“Jessica Rabbit.  Would you like a leaflet?”

“I would like to have a look, yes, thank you,” and the policewoman began to paw the various piles.  “Is this all you’ve got?”

The black-haired lady casually dropped her jacket on top of Luke as another officer stepped around the stall to look in the boxes.

“I’ve got these as well,” she answered, “as you can see,” and she lifted the boxes onto the table so that they wouldn’t need to rummage around the other side.

The policewoman found what she was looking for – three different anti-dairy leaflets.

“Is there any reason you were hiding these?” she asked.

The lady laughed.

“I wasn’t hiding them, I was just in the process of packing up,” she explained.

The police officers exchanged cynical glances and while the male picked up the box of leaflets, the female addressed the stall-holder.

“I am arresting you on suspicion of offences under section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971.  You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something you later rely on in court.  Anything you do say may be given in evidence.  Do you understand?”

“Not remotely,” the lady replied, “what am I supposed to have done?”

Luke stayed motionless under the lady’s jacket.  He felt bad that she was getting blamed for what he’d done, but was somehow unable to move or speak.  He just sat still until he couldn’t hear them any more. He waited till they’d gone.

When he stood up and watched them retreat past the other stalls, seemingly diminished in size, his courage returned.  He donned the khaki jacket, pulled the hood over his head and cautiously followed. The officers and their captive approached a police car and the policewoman opened a rear door, put her hand on the black-haired lady’s head and assisted her into the back seat.

Luke was worried they would drive away before he could get to them but luck was on his side again. Another policeman with a camera called to his colleagues and they walked a few steps away from the car to talk to him.  That was Luke’s chance.

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Story concludes tomorrow, or read the whole of chapter 11 now 🙂

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Strong and determined

For the stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 11 continued from Friday:

With a wheelbarrow full of three different leaflets which told the truth about the dairy industry, Luke headed for the car park.  The wheelbarrow was heavy and the cars were parked quite close together on uneven ground, so it was rather difficult to stop the barrow from tipping.  But Luke was strong and determined so he only lost control of it a couple of times, and on those occasions the cars he grazed were already scratched anyway.  He put one leaflet under a wiper blade, on the windscreen of each car.  He’d seen it done before with car-wash flyers in the supermarket car park.

Some wipers were easy to lift, some of them required a bit of force, a couple of them came off, but when that happened he was luckily able to find a window or a sunroof open so he tossed the leaflet inside. Considerate as always, he tossed the wiper blade in with it.

After some time – he had no idea how much – Luke had leafleted most of the cars in the car park.  He had intended not to miss a single one but when he saw an angry man, waving a wiper blade, fast approaching his position, he decided that discretion was the better part of valour and retreated behind the long queues for the portaloos.  He had almost half a box of leaflets left and wanted to use them.  It wasn’t long before he found an opportunity.

The ice cream van was parked close to the line of trees which skirted the market.  It was doing a roaring trade.  Luke felt that it wouldn’t do any trade at all if there was any justice in the world.  He was sure it wouldn’t if everyone knew the truth.  That thought gave him an idea.  This idea, he was well aware, was not, strictly speaking, legal.  But it was moral and that meant he was right to do it.  He would do what Robin Hood would have done, whatever the consequences.  He was an outlaw after all.

He left his wheelbarrow in the shadows behind the trees and ran back to a craft stall he’d seen earlier. The lady on the craft stall was demonstrating how to make paper maché models.  She was doing the ‘here’s one I made earlier’ bit, revealing a stiff, hollow, paper pig ready for a coat of paint. The tub of wallpaper paste that she’d been using in an earlier part of her demonstration was tucked away under her stall.

“I jus’ need to borra a bit,” Luke told himself, “I’ll bring it back before she misses it.”

Within minutes he was pasting leaflets all over one side of the ice cream van, unseen by the ice cream seller or his treat-seeking customers who stood in line on the other side.  He worked fast, knowing he might be spotted and stopped at any moment.  At the same time he was encouraged by a feeling that some great spirit was watching over him, enabling him to complete his mission unhindered.  The spirit of Robin Hood?  It couldn’t just have been luck that he’d been able to get his hands on exactly what he needed for this job.  The label on the side of the tub of paste read:

MELROSE WHEATPASTE

suitable for paper maché, scrapbooking

wallpaper application & billboard posters

NON TOXIC * STRONG * DRIES TRANSPARENT

WARNING: WHEATPASTE POSTERS, ONCE APPLIED, ARE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE.

It couldn’t have been more perfect.  Luke fearlessly pasted over colourful illustrations of lollipops, ice cream cones, and a happy cartoon cow who bore no resemblance to her real-life counterparts.  The van’s lies were soon obliterated by pages of facts and figures about the cruel reality of dairy farming, including miserable photographic proof.  When the side of the van was completely covered in leaflets, as high as Luke could reach, he stepped back to see the full effect.  It was good.

Unable to believe how well this was going, Luke slipped unseen, back the way he’d come.  He re-emerged from behind the line of trees when he reached the craft stall and returned the paste.  Then he tucked the remaining four leaflets in his back pocket and pushed his empty wheelbarrow from stall to stall, looking for Nan and Grandad.  He looked for ages until eventually he came close to the organisers’ table and heard his own name over the Tannoy.

“Would Luke Walker please go to the ice cream van.  Would Luke Walker please go to the ice cream van, near the car park and the toilets.”

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Story continues tomorrow 🙂

To read the whole of Chapter 11 now, click here 🙂

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Way of the world

For chapters 1 to 10 click here 🙂

Chapter 11 continued from yesterday:

He smiled broadly as he considered how fortuitous this outing had turned out to be; how lucky it was that this week of all weeks he’d needed a wheelbarrow.

***

Nan and Grandad loved to go to car boot sales, antique fairs and flea markets.  They would drive for miles to get to them and rarely a Sunday went by without Nan acquiring a ‘new’ old plant pot, or handbag, or garden bench, or record or book or who knows what.  So, when Luke decided he needed a few tools for his allotment – a rake, a bucket or two, and a wheelbarrow – he asked Mum to ask Nan if he could go with them that weekend.  She said yes, as long as he behaved himself and didn’t eat or drink anything in Grandad’s car, or put his feet on the seats.

“Will she ever get over the chocolate biscuit/chewing gum incident?” he thought. “It wasn’t even my gum – it had got stuck on my shoe because of a dropper and the chocolate crumbs … ”

Anyway, he promised to be good, and it was arranged.

Six days later, Luke was sitting in the back of Grandad’s car; seatbelt on; feet on the floor; no food or drink whatsoever.  They turned into a farm lane and drove past a field of grazing cows, one of whom had a baby with her.  They waited in a long queue of cars approaching the flea market and Luke was able to watch mother and baby for a few minutes.

He could see how attentive the mother was to her baby and how the baby followed his mother wherever she went.  It was nice to watch.  Then he saw two farmers with a wheelbarrow walk over to them and lift the baby into it.  The baby cried out for his mum and the mum tried to get to her baby but one of the farmers obstructed her so that the other one could wheel the barrow away.  He walked briskly, almost breaking into a run to get to the gate as quickly as possible and the mother cow hurried after them, calling all the time to her baby and him calling back to her.  The farmer with the wheelbarrow got through the gate and closed it and the other one climbed the fence.  They put the calf into a trailer and drove away in the Land Rover that towed it, along the track that bordered the field, until they got to the road and were soon out of sight.  The whole time the mother cow was running along the edge of the field, trying to keep up with them, calling for her baby.  When the trailer was out of sight she just stood at the fence and called and called, a most miserable, pining sound, as she watched the direction in which they’d fled, pleading for her baby’s return.

“Where are they takin’ ‘im?  Are they gonna bring ‘im back?” Luke desperately asked his grandparents.

“What love?” said Nan.  She hadn’t been watching.

“The baby cow!  They took ‘im away from ‘is mum!  Why did they do that?  When will they bring ‘im back?”

“They won’t,” said Grandad, matter-of-factly.

“What?! Why not?” Luke demanded.

“The farmer keeps cows for their milk.  He needs to sell as much milk as possible so he can’t have the calves drinking his profits can he?  He’s got to make a living.  Way of the world Luke, you might as well get used to it.”

Luke was outraged.  He’d known instinctively that it wasn’t right to steal a cow’s milk and was certain it couldn’t be natural to drink it if you weren’t a baby cow, but he’d had no idea that farmers actually kidnapped babies away from their mothers; that a mother who’d done nothing wrong, who was giving him her milk, was not even allowed to keep the baby who made the milk possible.  And the baby – what would happen to the baby?

“Does everybody know this?  Does everybody know what the horrible farmer is doin’?” Luke felt that surely people wouldn’t buy the milk if they knew.

“He’s not horrible Luke,” Nan tried to explain, “cows are not people, they don’t have the same feelings and emotional attachments that we have.”

“Yes they do!  Din’t you see?  Din’t you see ’em together?  They love each other!”

“Luke,” Nan answered quietly, “the farmer’s got to earn …”

“I could earn a livin’ stealin’ other people’s jewel’ry and sellin’ it to someone else, but if I did that you’d tell me off!”

“It’s not the same …”

“Too right it’s not the same coz I wun’t be kidnappin’ someone’s baby!”

While Luke fumed Grandad reached the car park and they all got out of the car.  Luke couldn’t stop thinking about the cow baby and the cow mum crying for each other.  He trailed slowly behind his grandparents, very unhappy in the realisation that this was the way of the world and there was nothing he could do about it, not really, not for that baby or that mum.

“Grown ups always say ‘you must be good’, ‘you must be kind’ and then they do things what they know is unkind,” Luke mumbled frustratedly to himself, “they don’t follow their own rules, so they can’t expect me to follow ’em.  They should follow my rules – mine make more sense, mine do what they say instead of just say and not do!”

And so, as he railed against the world, he wandered away from his grandparents and browsed the stalls alone.  He wasn’t worried.  He’d find them later.

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Story continues on Monday 🙂

To read the whole of Chapter 11 now, click here 🙂

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And here begins chapter 11: Luke Walker and the ice cream van

For chapters 1 to 10 click here 🙂

Luke Walker and the ice cream van

Set apart from the rest of the flea market was a stall that was of great interest to Luke.  Standing behind it was a lady wearing black eye shadow and black nail varnish.  She had long, straight, jet black hair and her khaki jacket had lots of badges on it which said things like “MEAT IS MURDER” and “A FISH IS NOT A VEGETABLE” and “NOT YOUR MUM” written above a picture of a man suckling from a cow.

“Where’d you get those?” Luke asked the lady.

“These?  Oh, different places.  This one I ordered from a website,” she said, indicating the one with the suckling business man, “and these I got from VegFest.”

“What’s VegFest?”

“It’s a weekend event with lots of stalls and talks by veggies and veggie companies.  They have them a couple of times a year in different cities like London and Brighton.”

Luke had never met another vegetarian before, apart from Joe, and he’d had no idea there were enough of them to warrant weekend events like that.  He was impressed.

“Are you interested in becoming vegan?” the lady asked as Luke browsed the leaflets on display.

“Vegan?” said Luke, “That’s not a real word!  I’m a veggietareun and I wun’t be nothin’ else!”

“Well that’s good, but why are you a vegetarian?  Is it because you don’t want animals to be killed?”

“Of course,” said Luke.

“Well then, it might interest you to know that animals are also killed to supply you with milk and eggs,” the lady explained, with patience.

“I know that, that’s why I don’t eat ’em because I’m a veggie-tareun!” said Luke, slowly, with emphasis.  Not patience.  “Veggie (that’s short for vegetables) tareun (that means someone what eats ’em).  I on’y eat vegetables, which means things what grow after bein’ planted in the ground.”  It must be acknowledged that Luke was good at explaining things.

The lady looked as though she now understood and was very pleased about it.

“That means you’re a vegan young man, well done!”

Luke was unswayed.

“I’ll stick with words what make sense, thanks.”

The stall-holder smiled again.  The word didn’t matter.  Then she realised the boy had been browsing for a good few minutes and no responsible adult had materialised.

“Who did you come here with?” she asked, “is your mum or dad or somebody around here somewhere?”

Luke nodded.

“Mmm, somewhere.”

He continued browsing.  There was a lot of interesting stuff.  People needed to know this stuff.

“Where do you get these leaflets from?” he asked the lady.

“Why?  Do you want some?  You can take what you want,” she replied generously.

Luke couldn’t believe his luck.

“Just take ’em?  As many as I want?”

“Yes,” the lady assured him, “they need to get out to the public; people need to know this stuff.”

“Yes they do!” said Luke, gratified to have found a kindred spirit, “have you got a box?”

“You want that many?” the lady raised her eyebrows, “it’ll be quite heavy if you fill a box. How will you carry it?  How will you get it home?”

“I’ve got a wheelbarra,” said Luke, proudly pointing to a rusty old one he’d bought for 50p ten minutes earlier, “an’ I’m not takin’ ’em home.”

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Chapter 11 continues tomorrow 🙂

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The lentil hotpot gambit and other clever tricks

For the whole story click here 🙂

The conclusion of Chapter Ten:

For dinner his mum had cooked lamb chops.  After getting to know Curly and Squirt, Joe couldn’t bring himself to actually bite into one but when no one was looking he cut a piece off and hid it in his pocket. Then he shoved some mashed potato in his mouth.  After swallowing, he started making retching noises.

“Joe!  Do you have to make that revolting noise?” his mum asked with disgust, “what’s the matter?”

Joe jumped up from the table and ran to the toilet.  Mrs Currant was close behind so he had to be quick. He tipped the pre-opened tin of lentil hotpot, that he’d hidden behind the toilet, into the bowl and then leaned over it and made vomiting noises.  Mrs Currant caught up.

“Oh, Joe, have you got a stomach bug?  I hope the rest of us don’t catch it!”

Joe looked up at her.

“No,” he said pathetically, “I think I’m allergic to meat.”  He bit his lip as he remembered Luke had told him not to tell her he was allergic, but to let her work it out for herself.

Mrs Currant looked in the toilet, saw the orange slop and thought with revulsion how different a person’s food looked when it came back up from how it looked when it went down, only moments before.  She looked at her son, he did look pale.

“Okay, you go and lay down.  I’ll bring you a glass of water and a bucket.”

“So far so good,” thought Joe and went to bed, hungry.

In the morning, he was even hungrier but knew he had to ditch one more meal.  As it was Saturday, breakfast consisted not only of cereal, but also fried eggs on toast.  First the cereal – Joe tipped the choco pops into his bowl and covered them with cows’ milk.  He put a spoonful into his mouth and immediately spat it back and grabbed his throat.  He gasped.

“I can’t breathe!” he whispered desperately as he bent his head to his knees and reached in his pyjama pocket for Luke’s mum’s blue eyeshadow.  He rubbed his fingertip into the colour and smeared it across his lips before lifting up his head to reveal it to …. no one.  The room was empty.  His dad had taken his plate into the living room to watch the news and his mum had gone to get the paper from the front door. Joe continued to hold his breath, hoping his mum would return before he was forced to exhale.  Just then the kitchen door opened and his older sister, Janet, walked in.

“That better not be my eyeshadow,” she warned him.

“It’s not,” he assured her, forgetting not to breathe just as Mrs Currant re-entered the kitchen.

“Mum, Joe’s messing up my eyeshadow.”

Mrs Currant looked at Joe then screwed up her face and shook her head.

“That’s not yours.  Yours is more turquoise,” she said and sat at the table to read the paper.

Part two was a bust.  Joe loaded his plate with eggs from the pan and toast from the rack before stealing himself to proceed with part three of the plan.  He sat down and reached into his other pyjama pocket to get the stinging nettles hidden there.  While his mum read her horoscope and Janet searched the fridge for jam, Joe quickly and bravely rubbed the nettles on his forearms and neck before hiding them again in his pocket.  The pain was immediate.  It stung a lot.

He chopped and mashed one of his eggs with his fork to make it look as if he’d eaten some of it.  Then, as he noticed the white bumps starting to appear on his arms he said,

“Mum! Mum!” and rubbed his arms and neck furiously with the palms of both hands.

Mother and daughter both looked at him.

“How on earth did you get stung in here?” Janet said in high-pitched disbelief.

“I didn’t,” Joe argued, in genuine distress, “I’m allergic to eggs!”

“Stop rubbing it like that, silly boy!”  Mrs Currant grabbed a tea towel from the drawer and ran it under the cold tap.  “Here, put this over the bumps, keep them cool ’til they go down.  And maybe have a look in the garden for a dock leaf to rub on it.”

“It’s not stingers,” Joe protested, “I’m allergic to eggs!”

“Honestly Joe,” said his mum, shaking her head and returning to the horoscopes, “only you could get stung at the breakfast table.”

“Boys,” said Janet derisively.

Joe had had enough.  His skin was burning and itching and stinging – he was in real pain and they still didn’t listen.

“I’M A VEGETARIAN!” he shouted.

“Joseph Currant!  How dare you raise your voice to me?!” said Mrs Currant, shocked by his impertinence.

“Keep the noise down in there!  I’m trying to watch the news!”  Mr Currant yelled from the living room.

“And now you’ve upset your father,” his mother went on.

Joe looked at his hands.

“I don’t want to eat meat no more,” he said quietly, “or eggs or fish or milk, or cheese,” he finished, getting quieter with every word.

“Oh, I get it,” Joe’s mum said, knowingly, “you want to be like your little friend don’t you?” she peered at him over the newspaper. “You don’t have to copy everything he does you know.”

“No, that’s not …” Joe tried to explain.

“I know what it’s like, it’s not that long since I was at school myself you know.  Of course I was vegetarian, long before it was fashionable,” she boasted.

“Why’d you stop then?” Joe wondered.

“But then I married your father and you can’t imagine him giving up his sausages and his bacon can you? Ha! I’d like to see the woman who could pull that off!”

“Mm,” said Joe.

“Talking of which, I bet you haven’t thought this through, – if you do this you won’t be able to have fish fingers any more.”

“I never eat fish fingers.  I don’t like …”

“And no more ice cream, or cake,”

“You can get special ice cream and …”

“Oh my boy, you don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for!”

Joe looked at her, holding his breath.

I know what you’re letting yourself in for – been there, done that!”

She studied him through squinting eyes.  Joe said nothing.  She seemed to be considering it.  After a couple of minutes she made a decision.

“Well, alright.  But I’m not making special meals just for you.  You can have whatever we’re having with some extra vegetables instead of the meat.  Is that acceptable Your Highness?”

Joe looked up and smiled.

“Yes,” he said, “thank you.”

His mum returned the smile and ruffled his hair.

“Boys,” she said, slowly shaking her head.

Joe pressed the damp tea towel against his throbbing skin and smiled.  Janet scrunched up her nose and stuck out her tongue at him.

“I give it a month!” she whispered.

Joe just carried on smiling.

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More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (chapters 9 to 16) is available in paperback now from Amazon 😀

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Back to the drawing board

For the whole of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, Chapter Ten click here 🙂

Chapter 10 continued from yesterday:

“But what will I eat today?” he asked, disheartened.

Luke was busy thinking.

“What?  Oh, you can share mine,” he said generously, and they continued on to school.

As luck would have it they wouldn’t be short of food that day because class 4 was having a cookery lesson and that meant they’d all brought ingredients with them.  They were making scones.  Mrs Tebbut never allowed the boys to work together on these things and insisted on choosing their partners for them.  As a result, Luke found himself sharing a table with Penelope Bittern.  Penelope was very particular about doing things properly.

“Don’t put any of your stuff on my half of the table,” she instructed, “I can’t let it contaminate my stuff.”

Luke was affronted.

“There’s nothing wrong with my stuff,” he told her, “it’s clean.  It’s new packets – haven’t even bin opened – look!”

She lifted her arm to shield her side of the table from the sealed bag of flour he thrust towards her.

“You can’t put that near my stuff!” she sounded panicked.  “I might be allergic!”

“Allergic to what?”

“I’m allergic to raisins and kiwi fruit so …”

“I ‘aven’t got no raisins or kiwis!”

“Sooo, my mum said we’re playing it safe ’til they know for sure what else I’m allergic to.  I’m having tests.”

“Well, you’ve got the same stuff as me,” Luke couldn’t abide hypochondriac drama queens, “flour, sugar, margarine – so if you’re allergic to mine you’re allergic to yours.”

“But my ingredients have been specially kept separate from things that might give me allergies – like milk, eggs, peanuts – and …”

“You can be allergic to milk?”

“Yes, lots of people are, which is why…”

“And what happens to you if you eat it, if you’re allergic?”

“Well, that depends,” she was gratified he was finally listening to her. “I think it’s different for different people.  It depends how serious their allergy is.”

“It can be serious?”

“Yes.  Some people die if they eat something they’re allergic to.  Even just a tiny bit of it.  Even if it’s so tiny you can’t hardly see it.”

“Okay, now I know you’re makin’ it up.  No one’s dyin’ from a tiny bit of peanut!  You’re just a ‘ttention seekin’ hypochondrian who’s makin’ stuff up to get the whole table to ‘erself!”  That was disappointing. Luke went mentally back to the drawing board.

But Penelope wasn’t finished.

“They do!  Their throat swells up so they can’t breathe!  My mum told me and I think she should know ’cause her brother’s allergic to nuts and he has to carry a life-saver injection with him all the time in case he accidentally eats one.”

“Really?” That sounded real.  Penelope didn’t have enough imagination to make up something as cool as that.  “What other things might happen to someone who ate somethin’ they were allergic to?”

Penelope patiently answered Luke’s endless questions and he, in return, took great care to keep his ingredients away from her half of the table.  By the end of the lesson Luke knew how to make Joe’s mum listen.  The hard part, however, would be persuading Joe to do it.

***

Joe swallowed his last bite of overdone scone and made a face that suggested he wasn’t enjoying it.

“Not good?” asked Luke.  His had been delicious.

“What?  Oh, yeah, the scone’s good, it’s your idea I don’t like.”

“Drastic times, drastic scissors,” Luke reminded him, “I know it’s not very nice but it’ll be worth it won’t it?  You need to make it look real or it won’t work.”

Joe was still reluctant.

“But I don’t see why I can’t just do the lentil hotpot thing.  I could do that.  And the not breathin’ thing – I can hold my breath longer ‘n most people.”

“You have to show you’re allergic to all three things – milk, eggs and meat – so you have to have three different allergic reactions to be convincin’.  Jus’ think yourself lucky you’ve never liked fish, otherwise we’d have to come up with four reactions.”

Joe nodded and took the bag Luke handed him.  Luke patted him on the back.  It was important to give moral support to your soldiers.

“You can do it,” he said encouragingly.

Joe walked home from Luke’s house, dreading what he had to do, but determined to do it.  Luke was right.  It would be worth it.

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Story concludes tomorrow 😀

Click here for all ten chapters of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

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Feigning self-sacrifice

Chapter ten continues 🙂

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Dinner was almost over and Jared was helping Mum clear the table.

“Hurry up Luke,” Jared was impatient to get to Youth Club and wasn’t allowed to go until he’d done the washing up.

“You want me to get indigestion I suppose!” said Luke, not really surprised that his brother would be so blasé about the dangers of rushing one’s food. He’d learned about them from the Rennie advert. “You want me to get acid an’ a burnin’ heart from eatin’ too fast do you?”

Truth be told, Luke was just full up. He really wanted that last roast potato but knew he couldn’t swallow another mouthful. He pushed his plate away.

“Go on then – take it,” he said, feigning self-sacrifice.

Mum ignored them both and went upstairs to run a bath. Luke followed her.

“Do you want your lavender bubble bath Mum?” he asked helpfully, “the one I got you for your birthday?”

Mrs Walker smiled.

“Yes please, it’s on my dressing table.”

Luke brought it to her.

“D’you want me to get your KT Tunstall CD? The one I gave you for Mother’s Day?”

“Wasn’t that from both of you?”

“Yeah, but it was me what chose it. Jared wanted to get you a set of tea towels but I said that wasn’t a relaxin’ present. I told ‘im Mother’s Day is for mothers to relax so it had to be a relaxin’ present.”

Mum nodded slowly.

“Is there something you want Luke?” she asked.

“No, you just have a nice bath. I’ll get the CD for you,” he volunteered.

“Wait,” said Mum, quiet but firm. “What do you want?”

“Oh nothin’ really,”

“Luke.”

“Well it’s nothin’ much, jus’ thought I’d better mention that I’ve bin feelin’ hungrier at lunch times and I could really do with a bigger lunch.”

“Really?” She raised her eyebrows and tilted her head, “since when?”

“Well, jus’ this week really, but I think I’ll be hungrier from now on coz I’m growin’ fast.”

“Are you?”

“Yes.”

“So, just how much extra food do you think you’ll need?”

“Prob’ly about twice as much I should think,” he said nonchalantly.

“Twice as much?” she exclaimed with exaggerated surprise, “So that would be two sandwiches, two bags of crisps, four pieces of fruit and two cakes?”

Luke nodded.

Mum shook her head.

“I’m sorry Luke, we just don’t have enough money in the budget to give you two lunches every day. I’m sorry if that means you’ll stop growing but we should be thankful that you’ve had a good spurt recently.”

Luke had a sneaking suspicion she was being facetious.  He frowned.  As he turned to leave she called him back.

“Don’t forget my CD,” she reminded him, smiling, “and tell Jared not to give the potato you didn’t have room for to Dudley or he’ll get the runs.”

****

The following morning Joe called for Luke and they walked to school together.  When they reached the bins outside the Memorial Hall, Joe stopped and took out his sandwich.  Egg mayonnaise.  Before Luke could stop him he tossed the whole thing into the bin.

“So, what have we got for lunch today?” Joe smiled, enjoying the quiet rebellion.  Luke felt awkward.

“Well, erm, …”

Joe’s smile faded.

“Couldn’t you get it?” he asked, disappointed.

“Well, it’s not that I couldn’t get it,” Luke didn’t want to admit defeat, “it’s just that I was thinkin’ a lot about it and I decided that actchally it’s not a good idea.”

“Why not?” said Joe, feeling hungry already.

“Well, if your mum still gives you meat and eggs and cheese and stuff, even though you don’t eat it, then it’s still bein’ bought for you, which means animals are still bein’ killed for you.”

“Oh. Yeah,” Joe agreed. He didn’t want that.

“So we’ve got to find a way to make your mum listen,” said Luke decisively.

Joe was not hopeful.

“She won’t listen.”

“She hasn’t listened yet,” Luke corrected him.  He liked a challenge. “We’ve just got to tell ‘er in a way she can’t ignore.”

Joe sighed.  He preferred to do things quietly.  Secretly.

******

Chapter ten continues tomorrow 🙂

For chapters 1 to 9 click here 🙂

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Chapter Ten starts here: Luke Walker and the allergic reactions

For the stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter Ten: Luke Walker and the allergic reactions

Luke was hesitant. If he made a mistake now it could cost him the game.  Janeway was a good card. She had a lot of Starfleet Authority and was also very cunning.  But which to choose, that was the important question.

“Come ohn,” said Joe, “it’s borin’ when you just sit there.  Choose one.”

“Okay, erm, I choose …” he hesitated again.

He really needed to win this round. He took a deep breath, looked Joe in the eye and said,

“Janeway. Cunning: 45.”

Joe looked at his next card and smiled.

“Worf. Cunning: 49.”

“Blast! I knew I should have chosen Starfleet Authority! What’s Worf’s Starfleet Authority?”

“I’m not telling you that!” said Joe, laughingly holding his cards close to his chest.

“Well, it can’t be higher than Janeway’s.  She was Captain.  Worf wasn’t captain was he?”

Luke consoled himself with the notion that he would have won if Joe hadn’t rushed him.  If he’d just been able to think about it for a bit longer he would certainly have chosen Starfleet Authority instead of Cunning.  Joe really should learn not to rush people, it’s not sportsmanlike.  Luke had one card left. It was Joe’s turn to choose the statistic.

“Neelix. To Boldly Go: 20.”

“What?!” Luke looked at his card in disbelief.  “Neelix can’t be better than Spock at boldly goin’!”  He sighed and handed it over.  “Spock. To Boldly Go: 15”

“Yesss! I have triumphed! The cards are mine, all mine, ha ha ha haaa,” Joe revelled in his rare victory.

“I’m hungry,” said Luke, pretending not to care.

“Me too,” his friend agreed and they took out their lunch boxes.  Joe peeked apprehensively between the two slices of Hovis Best of Both which made up his sandwich.  Sadly the peanut butter he’d hoped for was not present.  Luke was adding crisps to his Marmite and beetroot sandwiches.

“The crunch makes ’em extra good,” he explained.  Then, “uh oh, has she done it again?”

Joe nodded as he removed two slices of ham and bit into his plain bread and margarine.

“You’ve got to tell ‘er,” said Luke, tipping a few of his crisps into Joe’s lunch box.

“I have told her, she won’t listen!” Joe complained, “I said I’m not eatin’ meat or cheese no more and she said, ‘course you are!’ and that was that!  She won’t listen.  It’s okay, I just put it in the bin when she’s not lookin’.”

“What about your dad – you could tell ‘im to explain it to ‘er.”

“He won’t.  He just says ‘ya mother knows best’ and ‘listen to ya mother!’.  I’ll just have to be vegetarian in secret ’til I leave home.”

Luke frowned.

“That doesn’t sound like a good idea.  It’ll be pretty borin’ jus’ livin’ on bread an’ marg..”

“That’s okay,” said Joe as he took another bite, “thanks for the crisps,” he added.

“That’s it!  That’s what we’ll do!  Outlaws have to help each other!”

“What?”

“I’ll tell my mum I’m more hungry and I need a bigger packed lunch, with an extra sandwich an’ an extra bag o’crisps an’ an extra cake an’ an extra apple … then I can give half of it to you!”

Joe liked that idea.

“Yeah! Thanks Luke. D’you think she’ll do it?”

“No problem,” said Luke confidently.

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Story continues on Monday.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

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Luke Walker and the secret society continues …

When Joe was clear about how to do it, he went home to make one for himself.

“Don’t tell anyone!” Luke reminded him on his way out.

After hearing the front door close, Luke stood at the window and watched Joe walk out of the cul-de-sac feeling full of optimism. Now there were two of them. He’d always known he could rely on Joe, and had benefited from his help a couple of times already, but it was really something to know that his best friend now properly understood that animals needed sticking up for every day; and that sometimes you have to be sneaky about it.

“Luuuke! Come and do the drying up please!” Mum’s voice called from downstairs.

“In a minute,” he called back. He just needed to wash up the saucer of paint before it dried.

“Now!”

On the other hand, perhaps it was prudent to go down right away.

***

Once the drying up was done, Luke hung out with the damsons in the garden for a while. He gave them yesterday’s left over salad, and supervised to make sure Rusty didn’t eat it all. She was one naughty rabbit! Ash could look after himself but Scratcher was never quick enough and Rusty would pinch her share given the chance. Luke made them a clean bed, and picked them some raspberries that were too high up on the canes for them to reach before coming back inside to get Dudley for his walk.

“Wear your mac,” said Mum, “looks like rain.”

Luke grabbed his Spiderman cagoule from the hall cupboard and called his dog.

“Dudleeeey. Dudleey. Dudley!”

Finally the sleepy boy emerged from Luke’s room at the top of the stairs and trotted down, tail wagging. Was that mud? Luke couldn’t think where Dudley could have been to get one of his paws muddy – it hadn’t rained yet. But not too worry, it would dust off the carpet when it dried.

Outside it was breezy and the purplish-grey sky looked ominous but Luke and Dudley weren’t afraid. They walked briskly to the allotments to see Curly and her beloved lamb, Squirt, and check they had everything they needed. Little Squirt, who wasn’t so little any more, came running up to meet them and he and Dudley ambled off to play together. The big allotment plot provided them with plenty of grass and clover to eat but Curly knew Luke was carrying treats and nuzzled against his leg until he gave her the carrots he’d brought. Then he refilled their water trough by stretching the long hose from Dad’s plot. In the big shed Luke mucked out the droppings and made a deep, fresh bed of clean hay. Mm, it smelled good. Curly looked in to see what he was up to.

“I just tidied up,” Luke told her and he plopped down on the soft hay and rolled around in it. The sound of raindrops on the roof made it extra cosy and Curly decided to join him. She settled herself into a comfortable spot and started chewing – mostly hay but occasionally hair.

“Ow!” Luke yanked his head away and sat up to stroke her. She liked that. Suddenly the rain started coming down hard, sending Dudley and Squirt for cover. They rolled in the hay to dry themselves off, and then the four friends sat together and watched the downpour. The storm was powerful and awe-inspiring. It was exciting to be so close to it.

The rain lasted for almost an hour and when it stopped Luke and Dudley made a break for it. With any luck they would be home before it came down again. That wouldn’t keep them dry though. When they reached the village shop a passing lorry relocated a giant puddle at the edge of the road to the exact spot in which Luke and Dudley were standing. Dudley promptly shook. Luke got wetter. Dripping from head to toe, he noticed a card in the shop window. It read:

“Blimin’ breeders!” thought Luke, “them babies’ll prob’ly be left in small cages all on their own. An’ there’s already too many pets who don’t get looked after prop’ly! When I’m Prime Minister I’ll make it against the law for humans to breed!”

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This chapter concludes tomorrow but if you want to finish it now click here 🙂

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