Vegan Christmas Market

Feeling Christmassy? 😀

Then don’t miss the Be The Future Market Christmas Special!

All you have to do to win a beautiful vegan story book is roll the dice and get an even number 😀

But

they’ll all be wrapped in Christmas paper so you won’t know which one you’ve won 😀

It’s 50p a go and there’s a prize every time!

ie if you roll an odd number you get a booby prize 😀

But of course it’s not just us there – there’ll be loads of stalls filled with wonderful vegan gift ideas and yummy things to eat.

So come on down to Stoke Newington, North London, and have a lovely time at the Be The Future Vegan Christmas Market – we look forward to seeing you there 😀

Click here for full details of how to get there 😀

Have a great weekend! xx

Story Books for Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re looking for something different, something special for the little ones in your life, you can’t go wrong with these lovely books from our little Lulu shop 😀

There’s the Luke Walker collection – humorous juvenile fiction for readers aged 8 to 108,

Colourful picture books and rhyming stories for the younger set,

and even a colouring book which teaches how nutritious plant food is.

Plus there’s all the Brave Girls comics (Reflecto Girl, Megan & Flos, and Venus Aqueous) not pictured here and more coming soon.

Just pop over to the shop and have a browse – quick before it’s too late!  If the prices shown aren’t your national currency, just click on the cart and select what country you’re shopping from by clicking on the appropriate flag.

They are beautiful books – I promise you won’t be disappointed 😀

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

Good instincts

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 16 continues from yesterday:

Mum opened the bedroom door.

“Luke, don’t you want to help decorate the tree?”

“erm, no thanks,” he said without looking at her.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure?  You haven’t been yourself since we went to the Maybury Centre.”

Luke didn’t say anything.  Mum tried again.

“What happened to upset you?  I thought you’d like it there.”

Luke let go of his trains, sat back and looked at her.

“I’m fed up.”

“Why?”

“Coz I’m fed up of grown ups not doin’ what they say.”

Mrs Walker waited for more.

“Maybury is a animal sanctry wot says it teaches people to be kind to animals.  A man from Maybury even came to give a talk at school to tell us not to keep animals in small cages, or let them have puppies.”

“Okay,”

“So why do people whose whole job is lookin’ after animals and teachin’ other people to look after ’em prop’ly, still let animals be killed for food?  Why don’t they care about them animals?  Why do they on’y care about some animals?”

“What makes you think …”

“They sell dead animals in their cafe.”

“Really?  That does surprise me.”

“If I can’t trust people whose job is lookin’ after animals then I can’t trust nobody.  ‘cept myself!”

“Ooh, that’s hard.  No wonder you’re fed up,” said Mum sympathetically.

“And Joe,” he admitted.

“Well, that’s something.  But you know Luke, you shouldn’t give up.  You should tell them how you feel.  You should tell them you are offended by their decision to sell meat in their cafe.”

“I did tell ’em.”

“Good.  And what did they say?”

“Nothin’ sensible.  Jus’ said it was okay coz it was rangin’ and stainable.  Rubbish!”

“Tell them again.  Write them a letter.”

“What’s the point?  They won’t take no notice o’ me.”

Mrs Walker was sorry her son felt so discouraged.  It was a terrible thing to lose your faith in humanity at such a young age.

“The thing is,” she told him, “you never know when someone might listen.  The only thing you can be sure of is that if you don’t say anything, they definitely won’t get the message.”

Luke looked at her and didn’t say anything.

“Come with me, come and help decorate the tree,” she said.

When they got to the living room Jared and Dad already had things well underway.  The tree was gleaming with glittery gold and silver tinsel and different coloured shiny baubles.

“Mm, pretty good,” said Mum, “but it’s missing something.”

“The star for the top,” said Jared, “I’m just about to do it.”

“Something else,” said Mum and she left the room.

A moment later she was back with a small box from the kitchen.  She handed it to Luke.

“No Christmas tree is complete without a few sweet treats,” she said, smiling.

Luke looked in the box.  It was full of chocolate Santas.  On the wrappers were the words:

Moo Free Organic Chocolate,

DAIRY FREE, GLUTEN FREE, VEGAN

Luke’s jaw dropped and his eyes lit up.

“Are these for me?”  he asked.

“No, greedy boy, they’re for all of us!  Why don’t you hang them on the tree?”

“But, … how come …?”

“I found your leaflets,” Mum explained.

“What leaflets?”

“The ones stuffed in the back pocket of your black cords; the black cords you shoved under the bed and forgot about I don’t know how long ago.”

“Oh, I wondered where they were.”

“Well I found them and I checked the pockets before putting them in the wash, and there were these leaflets.  One with a picture of a cow on the front entitled ‘The Dark Side of Dairy’ and one with a cute little brown and white piglet on the front entitled ‘Think Before You Eat’.”

“And you read them?”

“And I read them.”

“And that’s why …?”

“Yes it is,” she paused for a moment, searching for the right words.  “Luke,” she went on, “you have good instincts.  When you started this crusade for animals you did it on instinct.  You hadn’t been told any of the shocking facts and figures that are in those leaflets, you just knew it wasn’t right.  And you did something about it.  You spoke out bravely and you acted.  You broke the rules when you felt you had to and you endured punishments, but you never wavered; you never stopped fighting.”

Luke nodded.  He wasn’t sure why his mum was explaining something that she must have known he already knew, but he waited.  It would become clear eventually.  She continued.

“So I don’t want you to give up hope now.  I want you to know that if you keep trying, you will make a difference.  You have already made a difference for Curly and Little Squirt and the rabb.., er, the damsons, but even more than that, you’re a good influence on other people.”

Now, those were words Luke never thought he’d hear from his mother.

“You have been a good influence on us.”

At this point she took his hand, led him into the kitchen and opened the freezer.

“What d’you fancy for Christmas dinner?” she asked.

Luke looked in the freezer.  It was full – Mum always did a big shop for the Christmas holidays – and there were quite a few unfamiliar boxes and cartons.  He lifted them out one at a time to read the descriptions:

Cauldron Wholefood Burgers

Made with Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Aduki Beans, Broad Beans, Spinach, Onions, Garlic & Potatoes

Cauldron Wholefood Sausages

Made with Grilled Vegetables (Peppers, Courgette, Onion), Beans & Wheat

Cauldron Aduki Bean Melt

“The combination of aduki beans, spinach and mushrooms deliciously filled with mango chutney and carefully coated in breadcrumbs gives a satisfyingly moreish taste.”

Biona Red Lentil Sun Seed Burger

A flavoursome vegan burger made with red lentils, pumpkin and sunflower seeds with a subtle hint of spice. Made using all natural, organic ingredients and free from artificial colours or flavours. Perfect loaded with your favourite burger toppings, added to salads or dipped in sweet chilli sauce as a tasty and nutritious snack.

Can be eaten hot or cold.

Dee’s 6 Leek & Onion Vegan Sausages

The perfect partner to velvety mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, our Leek and Onion Sausages will become an instant family favourite on your weekly menu.

Dragonfly Organic Bubble & Squeak Tatty

Our Tatty is a vegetarian burger that has a real bubble & squeak feel about it, made using locally sourced cabbage and onions

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Country Pies

Vegetarian pie made from a shortcrust pastry base, filled with rehydrated textured soya protein in a rich onion and beef-style gravy, topped with a puff pastry lid.

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

Vegetarian Cumberland sausage-style filling wrapped in puff pastry.

And there were three flavours of luxury organic vegan ice cream:

Booja Booja Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle, Booja Booja Raspberry Ripple and Booja Booja Caramel Pecan Praline.

Luke was no longer fed up.  He smiled broadly at his mum.

“Are these for all of us?”

“Yes they are.  For all of us,” she said happily, “and I got them from Besco’s.  They sell them in mainstream supermarkets Luke and that just shows how much progress you’re making.  That’s what happens when you speak out and you keep speaking out.”

Mrs Walker was treated to a rare hug which lasted a good half minute, and then Luke ran from the kitchen.

“Where are you going?” she called after him.

“I’ve got some letters to write!” he said.

Happy Christmas everybody!

We hope you have a good one!

❤ ❤ We’ll see you in the New Year! 😀 ❤ ❤

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal sanctuary, Christmas, children’s story, vegan children’s story, children’s book, vegan children’s book, juvenile fiction, hope

A penchant for wandering off

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 16 continues from yesterday:

“Luke!  There you are!” called Mum, “you do have a penchant for wandering off.”

Luke had no idea what a ponshon was but decided to take her word for it.

“Look what I’ve got!” she said.  She sounded excited.  “I won it!  Well, I bought so many tickets I almost bought it!”

Luke looked at the slightly torn, slightly scratched, slightly coming apart at one end, box she was carrying.  He could hardly believe it.

“Is that the same as ..?” he asked her.

“Exactly the same!” she said.  She sounded so happy.  “Here you are darling, this is yours.”

She was holding a Hornby R.793 King Size Electric train set.  It was exactly the same as Grandad Pete’s.  Grandad Pete was Mum’s dad and he loved trains.  He was a volunteer fireman at his local steam railway and he used to let Luke ride the engine with him when they visited at Easter and August bank holiday.  His Hornby train set had three locomotives – a King Henry VIII, a Class 29 (type 2) Bo-Bo, and a Class 3F Jinty Tank.  Plus it had coaches, wagons, trackside accessories and buildings.  It was brilliant.

Whenever they went to visit Grandad Pete, Luke and Grandad went up to the loft and played with the train set for hours.  It was always set up.  Always ready to play.

Grandad died the day after Luke’s seventh birthday.  He left Luke the train set in his will because he wanted it to go to someone who loved it as much as he had.

Sadly, Mum, because of an unfortunate series of events which were of no interest to Luke, accidentally backed over it with the car.  Luke had been devastated.  Mum equally so.  She couldn’t replace it because they didn’t make them like that any more.  And Luke didn’t want just any train set.  But now she’d found one.  And it really was exactly the same as Grandad’s.  Luke was momentarily lost for words.  He looked up at Mum’s glowing face.

“Thank you,” he tried to say but the words caught in his throat.  He was overwhelmed.  “Can we go home and set it up?” he asked.

“Now?” she asked, “are we done here?”

“I’m done here,” he replied.

***

On Christmas Eve, Luke pulled down the peak of his blue engine driver’s cap, blew his whistle and called,

“All aboard!”

The train pulled out of the station.  It picked up speed and smoothly rode the tracks through Lego town, across the Scarf-River bridge, under the Bed-Tunnel through Bed-Mountain, and onto the Blue Pillowcase Coast.  When it got to Seaside station it stopped to pick up Batman, Spiderman and a couple of soldiers on leave, before continuing on its journey to the end of the line.  There was a near accident when a giant brown and white dog stepped onto the track but tragedy was averted when a quick-thinking observer lured the animal out of harm’s way with a Digestive.

Outside, a car door slammed.

“Luke, Jared – Dad’s home.  He’s got the tree!” Mum called from downstairs, “come down and help me decorate it.”

Jared thundered down the stairs.  Luke was too busy.  Batman was late for a job interview – the train must keep going.  As it sped towards the old suspension bridge, the driver noticed two of the shoe lace suspenders had snapped, and the others looked like they’d struggle to take the strain.  He applied the brake but it was too late, the train was going too fast, it wouldn’t be able to stop in time.  Suddenly Spiderman climbed out of the window and ran along the roof of the train to the front.  He spun his web and ….

Mum opened the bedroom door.

“Luke, don’t you want to help decorate the tree?”

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Story concludes tomorrow 🙂 or you can read the whole chapter right now 😉

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal sanctuary, Christmas, children’s story, vegan children’s story, children’s book, vegan children’s book, juvenile fiction

Looking for a squashed cupcake

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 16 continues from yesterday:

When he got to the cafe he decided to pop in.  He knew that 87p wouldn’t ordinarily get him a cupcake but, since the end of the day was approaching, they might have made them half price.  Or maybe there was a squashed one that nobody else wanted.  It was worth a look.  He stepped inside and picked up a menu.  That was somewhat disturbing.

This animal sanctuary, this place of love and compassion, of respite and rescue; this place whose slogan, “We care about the well being of every animal”, was written across every sign and above every doorway, was selling dead animals in its cafe.

Luke spoke to the lady behind the till.

“Why are you selling meat?”

“Erm, well, it’s on the menu,” she replied.

“But why is it on the menu?”

“Because it’s a cafe,” she said, not knowing why he was confused.

“It’s a animal sanct’ry cafe,” Luke pointed out, “and meat is dead animals.”

“Ahh,” she replied, finally understanding where he was coming from. “All of our meat is from local, free range farms.”

“What does that mean?”

“It’s sustainable.”

“What does that mean?”

By this time a queue had formed behind Luke and when the manager saw that it wasn’t moving, he came over.

“Is everything okay over here?” he asked the lady on the till.

“Oh, yes, erm, this young man has a question about the menu,” she told him.

The manager steered Luke away from the counter.

“How can I help you?” he asked.

Luke started again.

“Why do you sell meat here?”

“Because people want to eat it,” the manager answered.

“But what about the animals who get killed for your meat?”

“Well, …”

“And your eggs?”

“Ah, the eggs …”

“And cheese and milk and ice cream?”  Luke was getting louder and people were starting to look.

The manager spoke quietly in an effort to diffuse the situation.

“I assure you that all the meat, eggs, fish, and dairy sold here comes from local free range farms with sustainable practices.”

Luke was exasperated.

“That’s what she said!”

“Yes.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that it doesn’t come from factory farms where animals are kept in small cages.  The animals are well looked after and are free to walk around.”

“Until they’re killed,” said Luke.

“Er, yes,” said the manager.

“And are the killin’ sheds free range?”

“Er, no,” the manager admitted.

“Are they special killin’ sheds or are they the same killin’ sheds what the factory farm animals go to?”

The manager knew a lot of eyes were on him and for a few moments he didn’t say anything.  Luke, however, had plenty more to say.

“They’re the same horrible killin’ sheds aren’t they?  And them animals is the same as the animals who you look after here; who you say you love; who you say should be treated kindly.”

At this the manager felt he had a good come-back.  He answered with confidence.

“Ah, no, we don’t sell the meat of any of the species who live at the sanctuary.  Only beef and pork and fish.”

Luke looked at him with disdain.

“And,” the manager added with a smile, “we do have vegetarian and vegan options on the menu.  We’ve got something for everyone.”

Luke was bitterly disappointed in what he had thought was a wonderful place.  That this was happening made absolutely no sense to him.  He was so sick and tired of adults saying one thing and doing another.  The manager, taking his silence as an end to their debate, turned to walk away.  Luke touched his arm and said,

“So, you know about veggietareun food, you know there’s no need to eat animals, but you still have ’em killed because some people like eatin’ ’em.  And Maybury says it wants to teach people how to be kind to animals but it doesn’t set a good example of not eatin’ ’em.  It lets people think it’s okay to eat ’em.  It pretends it’s not cruel to eat ’em so people keep on doin’ it.  So it’s your fault when people keep on doin’ it coz you could ‘ave told ’em not to and you didn’t.”

He turned and walked out.  He didn’t want a cake any more.

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Story continues tomorrow 🙂 or you can read the whole chapter right now, no waiting 😉

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal sanctuary, Christmas, children’s story, vegan children’s story, children’s book, vegan children’s book, juvenile fiction

The beginning of the end

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

And here is the beginning of Chapter 16, the final chapter of the second book, More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

Luke Walker and the Maybury Christmas Fayre

Luke reached for it at the exact same time as Jared.  They scowled at each other.

“Let me have it.  I saw it first,” Luke insisted.

“We saw it at the same time,” Jared argued, “and I’m the oldest so you have to do what I say.”

“I do not,” said Luke emphatically.

“Boys!” Mr Walker halted their squabbling, “what’s the trouble now?”

“I want to get this for Mum,” explained Luke, “I saw it first.”

“No he didn’t!” argued his brother, “I saw it first and I want to get it for Mum.”

The item in question was a dainty ceramic ornament depicting Little Bo Peep with a lamb – an ideal Christmas gift for anyone’s mother.  Dad took it off them and asked the lady how much it was.

“All the small ornaments are 50p,” she told him.

Dad looked at Jared and appealed to his better nature.

“Luke doesn’t have much money Jared, so this is all he can afford.  You’ve got your paper round money so you’ll be able to find something else.  Let your brother have this one.”

Jared shrugged.

“Okay,” he agreed and wandered off to the home-made jam stall.

Luke pulled a sticky fifty pence piece out of his pocket and handed it to the lady. She wrapped the ornament in tissue paper for him.  Dad smiled.

“Your mum’ll love that Luke, nice find.”

“Where is Mum?” Luke asked.

“Where d’you think?” said Dad, grinning.

“Tombola!” they both said at the same time.

This was the first time they’d been to the Maybury Christmas Fayre and it was pretty good.  There were lots of stalls where you could buy Christmas presents for reasonable prices – some things were second hand, some were home-made.  There were games, like Mum’s favourite, the Tombola, where you had to get a ticket ending in 5 or 0 to win a prize, and some which had a prize every time like the lucky dip or Luke’s favourite where you paid 50p for a jar wrapped in Christmas paper without knowing what was in it.  If you were lucky it might be a jar full of sweets or marbles; if you were unlucky it might be full of tea bags.  But even that wasn’t a complete loss because it could be a Christmas present for someone.  Nan liked tea.  There was also a cake stall, a raffle, and a dog show to see who was the prettiest dog and who was the cleverest dog and who was the most obedient dog.  Luke knew that Dudley wouldn’t enjoy that because he was the type of dog who had no interest in performing.  He was clever, but didn’t feel it necessary to prove that to anyone.  He was his own dog and Luke respected that.

The other good thing about the Christmas Fayre was that it was in aid of helping animals.  Maybury Centre for Animal Welfare was a sanctuary where they looked after horses and donkeys and sheep and chickens and tortoises and anyone else who needed help and came their way.  They also rescued dogs and cats and rabbits and guinea pigs who’d been abandoned or neglected or cruelly treated, and they found happy new homes for them.  Luke was very glad that his Christmas shopping money was going to such a good cause.

By three o’clock Luke had done all his shopping and was very happy with what he’d got for everyone: Little Bo-Peep for Mum; gloves for Dad; football book for Jared; jar of tea for Nan; bowling DVD for Grandad; and a jar of marbles for Joe. Plus he’d been lucky enough to score a jar of gobstoppers and a really cool stainless steel whistle for himself.

Luke had 87p left so while Dad went to find Mum, he decided to have a final look round.  In doing so he came across a man wearing climbing gear standing behind a table with a pen and a long list of names and numbers.

“Sponsor me to abseil down the clock tower?” he solicited.

“What’s that?” asked Luke.

“Abseil means to descend down the side of a building on a rope.”

Luke looked confused.

The man tried again to explain.

“So, I’ll stand on the top of the tower wearing this harness attached to a rope which will be doubled through a loop. And I’ll jump off the top and bounce my feet on the side of the tower, going down bit by bit, sliding the rope through my hands until I get the bottom.”

“Yeah, I get what you mean, but why would you do that?”

“To raise money for Maybury.”

“But why don’t you get sponsored to do somethin’ useful, instead of abstainin’.”

“Abseiling,” he corrected. “Raising money is useful for Maybury.  They can do a lot of good things with it.”

“Yes, but if the thing you got sponsored for doin’ was useful as well, like you could get sponsored for pickin’ up litter, then you would get money and at the same time you would have done somethin’ really useful.”

The man looked over Luke’s head at the elderly couple approaching his table.

“Sponsor me to abseil down the clock tower?” he asked them.

Luke moved on.

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Story continues tomorrow 🙂 or you can read the whole chapter right now, no waiting 😉

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, veggie kids, animals, animal sanctuary, Christmas, children’s story, vegan children’s story, children’s book, vegan children’s book, juvenile fiction

The Christmas Market

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 15, the denouement :

At ten forty-five on Tuesday morning, Luke and Joe climbed aboard the school minibus and grabbed two of the back seats.  Tania and Isabel grabbed the other two.

“This should be good,” said Isabel.

“Yeah, I need to get something for my mum and something for my grandad,” Tania replied.

“Is that all?” Isabel was impressed, “I’ve still got to do all mine.”

The engine started.

“Okay everybody,” Thomas shouted from the front, “seatbelts on.  Off we go!”

Luke and Joe pulled their lunch boxes out of their bags.  Isabel laughed.

“We’ll be there in ten minutes,” she said, “you shouldn’t spoil your appetites – I bet there’ll be some delicious Christmas food at the market.”

“Nah, we’d rather eat now,”  said Luke as he bit into his blueberry muffin.

Tania looked over at their lunches and it reminded her of something she’d been meaning to tell them.

“Thomas is a veggie.”

“Is he?” said Joe.

“I think so.  I saw Mrs Tebbut offer him one of her homemade mince pies yesterday and he asked if they had vegetable suet in them.  She said she wasn’t sure so he said no thank you.”

“He’s cool,” said Luke approvingly.

“Yeah,” Joe agreed, “it’s good he works in our class and dint stay with Ms Robinson.”

***

The Christmas market was really crowded.  It stretched the whole length of Fish Street which had been closed to traffic.  Mr Beardsley told everyone to make sure they were always in sight of himself or Thomas.  They were not to go off anywhere by themselves.

There was a Christmas tree at the car park end of the street, huge and covered in twinkling white lights.  Next to it the Salvation Army band played Christmas carols and the whole atmosphere was happy and festive.  The first stall sold reindeer food at a pound a bag, for anyone who wanted to leave a treat for Santa’s friends on Christmas Eve.

At the second stall, if you weren’t short of cash, you could buy a hand-calved Buddha.

The third stall looked more fun – they were selling robots playing snooker.  Luke thought he wanted one but forgot about it as soon as he saw the bird whistles on the next stall.  He’d always wanted to be able to communicate with birds.

The fifth stall sold snake-length marshmallows; the sixth sold Turkish Delight; the seventh had models of owls and elephants in jars; the eighth sold rock crystal lamps; the ninth had reindeer-shaped planters. Before long the market lost its charm for two boys with no money.

“Let’s go over there,” Luke suggested, pointing to an empty bandstand on the lawn behind the stalls.

“Mr Beardsley said we’re s’posed to stay in sight,” said Joe.

“We will be,” Luke assured him, “we’ll be able to see everybody from up there.”

The boys squeezed between the chocolate scissors stall and the cannabis incense stall and climbed onto the raised platform of the bandstand.  They sat comfortably with their feet dangling and tucked into their sandwiches while they watched the merry throng.

“This is good,” said Luke smiling, “I don’t mind shoppin’ if I don’t have to actually shop.”

By the time they’d finished their lunches their classmates were out of sight and Joe felt they should try to catch up.  Luke disagreed.

“No, we might get lost.  We should wait coz they’ll have to come back this way.  Look, I can see the minibus from here.”

“That’s not our minibus.  Ours doesn’t have a green stripe down the side.”

“Doesn’t it?” said Luke, a little thrown.  “Oh, well, they’ll still have to come back this way.  I think we should wait.”

They only had to wait for another quarter of an hour before they saw a couple of familiar faces.  Tania and Isabel were hurrying across the lawn towards them.

“There you are!” said Isabel, gasping for breath.

“Luke! – You’ve got to come!  They’re selling reindeer skins!” said Tania.

“And reindeer burgers!”

Luke and Joe, crestfallen, climbed down from the bandstand and followed the girls to the far end of Fish Street, where all the food stalls were. Luke was sad but not surprised to see what looked like hundreds of people eager to indulge in deep fried flesh foods, jostling to hold their positions in the queues.

“Say something!” Tania implored.

“What d’you want me to say?” Luke asked.

“Tell them they’re despicable to kill reindeer!  Tell them it’s sick to sell reindeer burgers at Christmas!”

In addition to the stalls selling reindeer, there was one selling inferno cheddar (cheese laced with chillies); another was selling turkey sausages spiced with chilli and paprika; another was using a cute-looking model pig to sell pork scratchings.

“You can tell ’em that if you want,” Luke said, loud enough to be heard by anyone who wanted to listen, “an’ I agree with you, but it won’t do any good.  Not while there’s so many stupid people who want to buy this stuff.”

“Who’s stupid?” said a large man in the spicy sausage queue.

“You lot,” said Luke unapologetically, “all you lot in these queues.”

“Is that right?” he said slowly, turning to face Luke with eyes narrowed.

Tania and Isabel blushed and took a step back.  Joe looked at his feet.  Luke didn’t move.

“Yeah,” said Luke, “Don’t you think it’s stupid to pay for somethin’ what’s killin’ the planet?”

A few more people turned to listen.  Luke went on.

“Well, I call it stupid coz animal farmin’ kills the sea and the rainforests and makes more greenhouse gases than cars an’ planes an’ all transport put together!”

“Says who?” asked the man sceptically.

“Said the United Nations.  Over ten years ago.”  He paused briefly to let them absorb it before concluding.  “Yeah, it’s pretty stupid to spend your money on killin’ the planet you live on.  You’re killin’ yourselves.  An’ your children.  An’ your children’s children.”

Luke was surprised and disappointed to get almost no reaction to his shocking revelation, but he didn’t give up.  He had more.

“An’ I should say it’s pretty stupid to let people starve coz you paid for their food to be given to seventy billion farm animals, just so you can eat meat an’ cheese.  Yeah, anyone who pays for that is pretty stupid alright.  And selfish.”

The large man laughed stupidly.

“But it tastes so good!” he scoffed and turned back to wait for his sausage.

In the silence before the conversational hubbub rose again, three or four people walked away from the food stalls.  Luke turned back to Tania and Isabel.

“See, there’s no point tellin’ people they’re horrible for sellin’ horrible things.  They don’t care.  They’ll sell anythin’ if people’ll pay ’em for it.  It’s the people what pay for it who make it happen.  If they didn’t buy it, no one would sell it.”

The girls nodded.  Isabel looked guiltily at the half-eaten bag of pork scratchings in her hand and quickly tossed it in the bin.  All four children walked back to the bandstand to look out for the rest of their class returning to the minibus.  When they were back in their seats on the bus, Tania made a declaration.

“I’m going to make an early new year’s resolution,” she paused for effect before announcing, “I’m going vegan!”

“Me too,” said Isabel, smiling.

Luke looked wonderingly at Joe.  Joe nodded.

“D’you want to join our secret society?” they asked.

  • Good Spirit, your nature intercedes for me, and pities me. Assure me that I yet may change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life! I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!”

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Christmas is just around the corner, for Luke as well.  Join us tomorrow for the beginning of a Christmassy final chapter of the second Luke Walker book 😀

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