Mufti Day

Story continues from yesterday.  For the story so far, click here 😀

The following morning everyone arrived at school in clothes of their own choosing.  Some had clearly taken ages with hair and make-up; some wore ridiculously impractical shoes; some wore the latest High Street fashions; most wore jeans and T-shirt.  Nine wore school uniform.  Joe Currant, Luke Walker, Isabel Jessop and Tania Spriggs, all in year seven, wore school uniform because they were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in.  Kristin West in year eleven, Jake Guest and George Broughton in year ten, and Ellie Baxter in year nine, wore school uniform because they’d read Isabel’s email.  Nigel Salter in year eight wore school uniform because he’d forgotten it was Mufti Day.  None of them paid £2 to their form tutors.  Between them they collected £21 for Animal Free Research.

PLEASE DON’T GIVE DONATIONS TO CANCER RESEARCH UK BECAUSE THE CHARITY WASTES SUPPORTERS’ MONEY ON CRUEL AND POINTLESS EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS WHICH DON’T HELP HUMAN CANCER SUFFERERS.

The following are just a couple of examples of the horrible things CRUK has done:

Researchers funded by CRUK conducted experiments on nude mice in order to give them bone cancer [nude mice are bred in laboratories with a genetic mutation which causes a deteriorated or absent thymus, resulting in an inhibited immune system and no body hair].

The baby mice had cancer cells injected into their hearts. The male mice received prostate cancer cells and the female mice received breast cancer cells. These cells were made to glow so that tumour growth could be identified while the animals were alive. This was also confirmed after their deaths. Over several weeks the animals developed tumours in their bones and some, who had been injected wrongly, developed tumours in their hearts. The animals were killed at various times after the injection into their hearts.

Relevance to humans:

  • Researchers admit that as the animals had no thymus, they could not determine the role of the immune system in regulating the bone cancer spread.
  • Researchers admit that their method of creating cancer in these animals is very different to how humans develop cancer. In these experiments, the males were injected with approximately 100,000 cancer cells and the females with approximately 75,000 cells in one injection.

CRUK co-funded a complex study on rats and mice designed to investigate whether disrupting a particular network of proteins could help treat bile duct cancer.

Three different types of animals were used:
Nude mice were injected under the skin with tumour cells from people with bile duct cancer. After three weeks some of them were given treatments to reduce the severity of the tumours.
A second group of genetically modified mice were chemically poisoned for around six months so that they would develop cancer.
Rats were subjected to the same chemical poisoning regime as the mice. After about five months, some of them were given substances designed to target the tumours. One of these was the treatment that depleted levels of some white blood cells (macrophages) and therefore damaged their immune system.

Relevance to humans:

  • Researchers are unclear as to the exact cause of bile duct cancer but contributing factors can include a rare type of liver disease, abnormalities of the bile duct and parasitic infections. Being forced to ingest an industrial chemical for six months, therefore, does not provide an accurate ‘model’ of how the disease develops in humans.
  • Genetically modifying mice to develop cancer is no more reliable than injecting them with human cancer cells. It is an over-simplistic approach, since human cancers are usually caused by multiple mutations in co-existent cells, and depend on a highly individualised cellular environment.
  • The researchers admit that only a small proportion of bile duct cancer patients have the mutation inflicted on the GM mice they used.

While being very secretive about the specific details of the animal research they fund, CRUK states:

“At the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, we only use mice.  We breed some strains ourselves and obtain others from suppliers who are licensed to supply animals for research.  Most of the mice we use have altered genetics”

When considering this one should be aware that the creation of GM mice generally involves several painful and invasive procedures, including major surgery and mutilation.  Creating just one ‘founder’ mouse with the required genetic alteration can entail the deaths of hundreds of others. These unwanted mice are often killed by being gassed or having their necks broken.

It is incomprehensible that CRUK continues to waste its supporters’ money on animal research despite the fact that pharmaceutical companies acknowledge the failure of animal-based research in their drug development process and write about this openly and often in the scientific literature.

A leading oncologist, voted one of America’s Top Doctors, Dr Azra Raza, made the absolute failure of mice models of cancer the focus of her
TED-x talk: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=07rgtBzN4Qo

She said:
“The fact of the matter is, that we cured acute myeloid leukemia in mice back in 1977 and today, in humans, we are using exactly the same drugs with absolutely dreadful results.  We have to stop studying mice because it’s essentially pointless and we have to start studying freshly obtained human cells.”

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
SEND THE SCHOOL’S DONATIONS TO AN ETHICAL CHARITY SUCH AS
ANIMAL FREE RESEARCH UK
(animalfreeresearchuk.org)
WHICH IS DOING SCIENTIFICALLY VALID, HUMAN RELEVANT RESEARCH THAT WILL HELP HUMAN SUFFERERS.

SOURCES:

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Summons

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

The first lesson on Thursday afternoons was P.E.  Tania and Isabel were getting changed for hockey.

“Oh no!” said Isabel as she tipped out the contents of her kit bag, “I forgot my socks!”

Tania laughed.  “Oh well, you’ll just have to wear your other socks.”

“What other socks?”

“The socks you came to school in.”

“I wore tights.”

“Oh.”

Isabel slumped down on the bench.  “I’m going to have to wear my boots with bare feet.  I’m gonna get blisters! Have you got any spare socks?”

“Sorry.”

“Isabel Jessop!”  Miss Stremp’s voice preceded her.

“Ooh, ask Miss Stremp,” suggested Tania, “she’s bound to have some spare kit around.  See if she’ll lend you some socks.”

Isabel wrinkled her nose at the prospect just as Miss Stremp caught up to her voice.

“Off you go girls – three laps of the field!” she ordered the class.  “Not you Miss Jessop.”

Tania shrugged apologetically at her friend and followed the rest of the girls outside.  Isabel pulled her boots onto her bare feet.

“Get dressed please Isabel, Mr Strang wants to see you in his office,” said Miss Stremp.

“Me?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“I imagine you’ll find out when you get there.”

Isabel thought she’d be glad of an excuse to avoid running around a cold, wet field but she wasn’t.  When she got to his office, Mr Strang wasn’t alone.

“Miss Jessop,” he said, “I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“No sir,” said Isabel apprehensively.

“I presume you know Mrs Oakley.”

“Yes.  Hello.”

Mrs Oakley’s stone cold face remained silent.

“Mrs Oakley wanted me to speak to you regarding the email you sent this morning.  Were you aware that students are not permitted to send messages to All Users?”

“er, no, I didn’t …”

“That facility is for senior staff only.  For the purpose of informing staff and pupils of rule changes, procedure changes, or snow days.  Things like that.”

“Oh, sorry, well …”

“And I have to say, aside from that infringement, you have upset a lot of people with your email.”

“How dare you be so insulting about people who dedicate their lives to helping others?” Mrs Oakley found her voice and there was a painful edge to it. “They’re good people!  Working hard to cure this horrible horrible disease!”

“Well, they …”

“Mrs King has only just died and there was nothing I could do to help her.  I had to watch … and she never complained.”  Mrs Oakley was overcome with emotion.

Mr Strang handed her a tissue and took over.

“What Mrs Oakley means is that this is not the time for political debate.  Emotions are running high at the moment, a lot of people are hurting, and you have just rubbed salt in the wound.”

“I’m sorry, I …”

“Up until now I have heard nothing but good things about you Miss Jessop.  At the end of last term all your teachers wrote glowing reports about the quality of your work, and more than a few of them noted that you were a pleasure to have in the classroom.  So I’m very surprised that you would do something so thoughtless, so inconsiderate and so offensive.  What do you have to say for yourself?”

“I’m sorry I upset people,” said Isabel, “that was the last thing I wanted to do.  I’m sorry Mrs King died, I really liked her.  And I’m sorry for anyone who has cancer.  That’s why I had to tell everybody now.  So that you’d give the money to a charity that does human-relevant research.”

“How dare you?” said Mrs Oakley angrily, “this charity has been working for decades to help end cancer!  Are you an expert?  Are you a scientist?  Are you a doctor?”

Isabel shook her head.

“So how come you think you know better than people who are?”

“I’ve read …”

“Let’s not get into this now,” interrupted Mr Strang, “this issue is highly contentious and there are a lot of points of view.  My point of view is simply this: the school intranet is not your own personal soapbox.  You are not permitted to send messages to all users.  Is that understood?”

“Yes sir.”

“You may return to class.”

Isabel was in no hurry to get back to P.E. so she dawdled miserably through the empty corridors.  She walked to the top floor and looked out the window at the hockey players chasing the tiny hard ball across the muddy pitch.  It was difficult to see who was who.  They were too far away.  She swallowed hard to stop herself crying.  She knew she’d done the right thing.  So why did she feel so guilty?

She didn’t head back to the changing rooms until she saw her class leave the field.  By the time she got there, Tania was dressed and ready.

“Where have you been?” she asked with concern.  “What happened?”

“Mr Strang and Mrs Oakley had a go at me for sending the email,” Isabel told her.

“Oh no, what did they say?”

“Only teachers are allowed to send messages to all users.”

“Oh.  Is that all?”

“No, but it doesn’t matter, it’s done now,” said Isabel, putting on a smile.  The bell went. “Come on, let’s go to music!”

Tania chatted cheerfully as they moved through the crowded corridor to the music room.  She made Isabel laugh.

“… and she said, ‘not if I can help it’ and she picked up the ball and threw it as far as …”

“I thought you were a nice person,” Madame DuBois stepped in front of them and interrupted.  “How could you do this thing?  You care more about a little mouse than a living person?  Je suis très déçu de toi.”

Tania watched in stunned silence as the French teacher walked away.  Then she turned back to Isabel.  “What’s her prob… hey, Izzy, what’s the matter?”

Isabel rubbed her watery eyes and forced a grin.  “I’m okay.”

“What did you put in that email?”

“Only the truth.”

******

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

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

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Telling the truth

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

Isabel, meanwhile, had arrived at school a few minutes early and was making her way to the I.T. lab while it was still empty.  Entering the corridor at one end she saw a cleaner leaving the computer room at the other and disappearing into the stairwell.  There was no one else in sight.  She had timed it perfectly.  Within moments she was sitting at one of the desktop computers.  It took a worryingly long time to start up but once it was running she inserted her memory stick and opened the document she needed to copy.  She clicked Select All, and Copy, before signing in to the school intranet network.

Then she clicked Compose;
selected To All Users;
selected High Priority from the drop down menu,
and typed in the subject bar:  BOYCOTT CANCER RESEARCH UK

Just as she was about to paste in her message the screen froze.  The school bell declared the time to be half past eight and Isabel frantically moved the mouse in circles on its mat, trying to get the cursor to reappear.  But nothing happened.  She tapped Ctrl, Alt, Delete and opened a Task Manager.  She selected the only task running and clicked End Task.  She could hear footsteps out in the corridor and tried desperately to make her shaking hands behave.  She told herself to focus and began again.

Compose
To All Users
High Priority
Subject: BOYCOTT CANCER RESEARCH UK

She right clicked in the message box but there was nothing to paste.  Her text was no longer on the clipboard. Desperately she pulled out the memory stick and re-inserted it.  She double clicked on the icon, opened the document, selected all and copied.  Again she right clicked in the message box and this time was able to select Paste. With great relief she clicked Save and was rewarded with the notification Sending … at the top of the screen just as the door opened and the IT teacher walked in.  Before turning to face him, Isabel swiftly clicked Start, Shut Down and then switched off the monitor.

“Hey!  What are you doing in here?” asked Mr Frakes suspiciously.

“I left my memory stick here yesterday,” Isabel told him with a smile, “just came to collect it,” and she held it up to show him.

Mr Frakes, noticeably relieved to see that it was only Isabel, congratulated her on remembering where she’d left it and encouraged her to get to registration.  It was done.  She could breathe again.

Isabel slipped into her form room where Tania waited expectantly.  Her eyes asked the question and Isabel nodded.  So far so good.

“I answered to your name on the register,” Tania told her, “so you won’t be marked late.”

“Thanks,” said Isabel.

“So, how did it go?”

“Good I think.”

“Did you send it to all the teachers?”

“All users.”

“All users?  That’s everybody!  Staff, students, everybody!”

Isabel grinned. “Yes indeed!”

“Well done,” Tania grinned back, “very very well done.  So now what?”

“We’ll see.”

****

Mr Flanagan closed the register and told his form to head out to afternoon classes.  Luke and Joe walked against the tide and approached the teacher’s desk.

“Problem boys?” Mr Flanagan asked.

“We can’t sell these,” said Luke, putting his ten concert tickets down on the desk.  Joe did the same.

Mr Flanagan looked disappointed in them.  “Well you haven’t tried very hard, you’ve only had them a couple of days. Give it a couple of weeks before you give up.”

“No,” Luke explained, “we mean we won’t sell them, not if they’re gonna give money to CRUK.”

“Cruck?”

“Cancer Research UK.”

Mr Flanagan looked from Luke to Joe and back again.  “Why? What have they done to deserve your disapproval?”

“We think the school should give the money to a good charity that won’t waste it on animal testin’,” Luke explained.

Mr Flanagan looked at the ceiling, took a deep breath and then looked at his watch.  “I’ve got a class waiting boys and you’re supposed to be in your next lesson.  We’ll talk about this later.”

“When?” asked Luke.

“I don’t know.  Tomorrow,” he suggested brusquely.

“Tomorrow’s too late.  We need you to tell ’em before Mufti Day to give the money to a different charity.”

“I’m not going to do that,” said Mr Flanagan firmly.  “Cancer Research UK is a very worthwhile cause.  They do a lot of good work.  They help a lot of people.”

“Maybe they do,” Luke conceded, “but they also do a lot of bad, cruel work and you never know what your money’s gonna go on.”

Mr Flanagan shook his head despairingly, as if he’d heard it all before.  “They’re not cruel Luke, they’re doing vital research.  It’s not a happy fact but they have to use animal models to see how the disease grows and spreads in a living body.”

“But it’s not the same in animals as humans,” argued Luke, “so it’s pointless.  They’re killin’ ’em for nothing.”

“You’re talking about highly qualified scientists.  Why would they do it if it didn’t work?”

Joe read aloud from one of the leaflets.  “’There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientists who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money out of it.’  Dr Werner Hartinger wrote that, in 1989.  He was a German surgeon.”

“What have you got there?” asked Mr Flanagan, taking the leaflet out of Joe’s hand.  “An animal rights leaflet. Surprise surprise.  Don’t you think this might be a little bit biased?” he asked condescendingly.  Immediately regretting his irritated response, he took a breath and tried to be patient.  “Look, boys, I really don’t have time for this now.  Let me lend you one of my biology textbooks.”  He picked through the pile on his desk.  “Here you go,” he offered them a copy of Animal Models For The Study Of Human Disease.  “Take this home with you and read the first chapter.  I think it’ll help you understand the issue better and if it doesn’t we can set aside some time to talk more.”

Joe shook his head.  “No thank you,” he said.

“We don’t need to read that,” said Luke.  “We already understand the issue.  We already know for a fact it’s wrong to poison animals, and give ’em diseases, and cut ’em up and kill ’em.  Even if it did help humans that wun’t make it right.  But it don’t help humans coz animals are different to humans and different animals give different results in the experiments so why would they think humans would give the same results?  And how would they know which animal results would be the same as humans?”

“Ibuprofen causes kidney failure in dogs,” said Joe, “and Aspirin causes birth defects in mice and rats.”

Mr Flanagan put the textbook back down on his desk.  “Time to go boys,” he said flatly.

“Adverse drug reactions to medicines that were proved safe in animal tests, kill a hundred thousand people every year in America,” recited Luke.

“Leave!”

Luke tentatively stretched out his hand to retrieve the leaflet from his tutor’s grasp, before both boys did as they were told.

****

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

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

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

“That’s not fair!”

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

“Mum, can I use the computer?”  Luke asked when he got home.

“Jared’s using it at the moment,” she told him, “his laptop’s playing up.”

“That’s not fair,” Luke complained, “Jared’s got his own computer, he should ‘ave looked after it prop’ly.”

“He said you broke it.”

Luke was momentarily stumped.  He didn’t remember breaking it.  He was fairly sure he hadn’t.

“I didn’t,” he said eventually.

Mum recoiled from the blast of heat when she opened the oven door and reminded herself not to lean in when she did that.  “What do you need it for?  Homework?”  Before Luke could answer she turned away from him and transferred twelve chocolate chip cookies to the cooling tray.  “Is it for something important?” she added.

Thankful he could answer truthfully he told her that yes it was absolutely very important.

“Okay,” she said, “ask Jared not to be too long.”

Luke tutted and went into the living room to do that.  “How long are you gonna be?”

“As long as it takes,” said Jared unhelpfully.

“How long d’you think that’ll be?”

“Well the more you bother me, the longer it’ll take.”

“Mum said you’ve got to hurry up because I’ve got some important work to do.”

“I don’t think so,” said Jared, “you don’t do anything important in Year Seven.”

“Well what’re you doin’ that’s so important?” said Luke as he leaned in to look at the screen.  “You’re playin’ cards!” He pulled at Jared’s shoulder.  “You can play cards with actual cards!  Let me use the computer!”

“Get off!”  Jared elbowed Luke without taking his eyes off the screen, “I was here first!”

Luke took hold of the office chair and tried to wheel it away from the computer but Jared held tight to the desk with his hands and feet.  Jared grinned when his brother gave up and let go, but when the chair jolted back against the desk, his can of lemonade toppled and splashed its contents all over the keyboard.  Both boys instantly forgot their squabble and were silent.  The playing card images stretched and distorted on the screen before being replaced by a mass of fuzzy lines.

“You’re not supposed to have drinks by the computer!” Luke pointed out.

“It’s your fault it fell over,” said Jared angrily, “if you hadn’t pulled the chair …”

****

Confined to his room Luke had no idea how he was going to get the research done by tomorrow.  It really wasn’t fair.  It was Jared’s fault for having a drink on the desk which he knows he’s not supposed to do.  It was Jared’s fault for playing games on the computer and refusing to let him do his important work.  It was all Jared’s fault so it wasn’t fair that they both got punished.  He laid back on his bed and stared at the ceiling.  It wouldn’t be so bad if he could at least phone Isabel and tell her he didn’t have access to a computer.  Then at least she’d know it was all down to her.  He hoped she was getting somewhere with it.  He wished he’d picked up some leaflets from Kris’s stall when he had the chance.  There might have been some useful information there that could have helped with this research.  He continued to stare at the ceiling with these pointless regrets going round and round in his head until, finally, a useful thought emerged.  A month earlier Dad had given him his old mobile phone.  It had £5 credit on it but he was only permitted to use it for emergencies.

“Well if this isn’t an emergency I don’t know what is!” thought Luke aloud.

He took out his phone and sent a carefully worded text to Kris.

****

Early Thursday morning Dad put the car in reverse and looked over his shoulder before backing out of the drive. Before he’d changed into first gear, an old brown Talbot Sunbeam pulled up in front of him.  A woman with short green hair and rather too many piercings for his liking, got out and began to walk up the path to his house.  Dad rolled down the passenger side window and leaned across the seat.

“Can I help you?” he called.

The woman turned back.  “Is this Luke Walker’s house?”

“Who wants to know?”

“I’m a friend of his,” she said, smiling, “he asked me to bring him something.”

Luke’s dad turned off the engine and got out of the car.  “Really?” he asked, walking towards her “and what might that be?”

Kris didn’t want to put Luke in a difficult position with his parents by saying too much.  “Is Luke here?” she asked.

“My son is eleven years old,” said Mr Walker, who was turned a little frosty by her evasiveness, “so I like to know who his friends are and what they get up to.”

“Yes, of course,” said Kris apologetically, “he needed some information for school.”  She handed him the envelope she was carrying.

Luke drew back his bedroom curtains in time to witness the scene.  He pulled on his trousers in record time, rushed downstairs and flung open the front door just as Kris’s car rattled out of view.  His dad handed him the envelope.

“This is from a friend of yours,” he said, “where do you know her from?”

“Thanks,” said Luke, “oh, she’s jus’ one o’ the leaders at youth club.”

Dad raised his eyebrows, “is that right?” he said, “because she seems to think you met at the health food shop where she works.”

Luke froze almost imperceptibly before saying, “oh, yeah, health food shop, I forgot,” and he hurried back inside.

****

“Read these,” said Luke to Joe on the bus, “Kris got ’em for us an’ we need to learn ’em so we can tell Mr Flanagan.”

Joe flicked through several pages of information, “I can’t learn all this by registration,” he said anxiously.

“After lunch then,” said Luke, “we’ll learn it at lunch time and tell him at afternoon registration.”

“Okay,” said Joe, and began to read.

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

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

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Finding out why

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from Friday:

“Ooh, a hot date!” said Simon Butler who had unfortunately been standing within earshot.  His friends laughed.  Luke and Joe, who had learned from experience that Butler was best ignored, got onto the bus.  They ascended to the top deck and managed to get the seat in front of the stairs where no one could sit behind them.  Luke took the concert tickets out of his bag.

“They got these printed pretty quick considerin’ she on’y died this mornin’,” he observed.

“They’d already organised the concert,” said Joe, “Janet’s in the Swing Band and they’ve been practising for weeks.”

“But the tickets say ‘in aid of Cancer Research UK’.”

“Yeah, I know, they’d already planned to do it for them, before she died.”

“Oh,” said Luke, and he put the tickets back in his bag.  “It’s a shame about Mrs King.  I wonder why Isabel and Tania don’t want us to sell the tickets.”

“I guess we’ll find out tomorrow,” said Joe.

“Yeah,” agreed Luke.  “D’you wanna come with me to check on Curly an’ Squirt?”

****

Tania and Isabel were in the top set for just about everything.  Luke and Joe were not.  For that reason, though they went to the same school, they rarely bumped into each other unless they made a point of doing so.  On Wednesday lunchtime they met, as agreed, on the old tennis courts.  No one played tennis on the old tennis courts.  There were no nets; the tarmac was cracked and most of the court lines had worn away.  A rusty ride-on lawn mower, awaiting repair, was parked at one end, and two wooden benches, damaged by vandals, laid on their backs at the other.  There were rumours that the courts were going to be renovated but, until they were, they made an ideal meeting place.

“We can’t sell the tickets and we can’t do the mufti day,” said Isabel.

“Why not?” Luke asked again.

“Look at this,” she said, passing him a small piece of paper, concertina folded to the size of a library card.

“What is it?” he asked as he opened it.

“Look at it,” she told him.

One side had a red border and was titled

PLEASE BOYCOTT THESE CHARITIES UNTIL THEY STOP FUNDING ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS:

The other side was bordered in green and titled

THESE CHARITIES DON’T CONDUCT OR FUND ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS:

Under both headings were long lists of medical charities in tiny writing.  Cancer Research UK was on the red list.

“Where did you get this?” asked Luke.

“From your friend Kris, with the stall, who we met in Belton.”

“She gave you this?”

“They had loads of them on the stall, I just took one.”

“Did you get us all one?”

“No, sorry, I …”

Anyway,” Tania interrupted, “what are we going to do about it?”

Luke frowned.  “What are they doin’ to the animals?  Testin’ drugs on ’em?”

“Sometimes,” said Isabel, “but first they give them a disease so that they can try to cure them of it.”

“And sometimes,” added Tania, “they make them eat or inhale things that cause cancer and then cut them up to see what it did to their bodies.”

The boys were sickened.

“Cancer Research UK does that?” asked Joe.

“Well these are the kind of things that happen all the time with cancer research.  We’re not sure exactly what CRUK itself does,” Tania admitted.

“But it does do these kind of things,” said Isabel, “because they’re on the list of charities that do.”

Luke’s jaw tensed and his eyes narrowed.  “If we’re gonna stop the school givin’ ’em money we need to know exactly what CRUK does, so we can tell everybody.”

“Agreed,” said Isabel.  “You should all come to my house after school so we can do some research.”

“Oh, I can’t tonight,” said Tania regretfully, “it’s my grandma’s birthday and we’re doing a party for her.  What about tomorrow night?”

“No, it’s got to be tonight.  We’ve got to get this info out tomorrow ’cause Mufti Day’s the day after.”

“Aren’t we already too late?” asked Joe, “they’ve put ‘in aid of CRUK’ on the concert tickets.”

“Well, there can’t be that many sold yet, and the concert’s not for another month so they’ll have time to re-print them.  Or if they won’t do that they could send a note home telling everyone the money’s going to help cancer research in the UK, not Cancer Research UK.  They should be able to sort something out if we tell them about it early enough,” Isabel explained.

“Well I can’t come tonight either, I’m busy,” said Joe without elaborating.

“Just you and me then Luke?” said Isabel hopefully.

“I can’t come to yours after school,” said Luke, “coz I’ve got to check on Curly an’ Squirt.  But I can do some research at my own house.”

“Okay,” said Isabel, “we’ll find out as much as we can about CRUK tonight and then I’ll email the teachers first thing in the morning.  I’ll use my Society email address to keep it anonymous.”

“Who are you going to email?” asked Tania.

“I’ll write to the school email address,” said Isabel, “and put FAO THE TEACHERS in the subject bar.”

“That’ll just go to the school secretary,” said Joe, “and if she doesn’t forward it to the teachers they won’t see it.”

“D’you know any of the teachers’ email addresses?” asked Tania.

Isabel detected a flaw in her plan.  “Blast. No I don’t.”

“Oh well,” said Tania, “you’ll just have to use the intranet.”

****

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

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

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction, vivisection, animal testing

Celia scoffed

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

A couple of people laughed at his apparent ignorance and Luke scowled at them.

“Enclosure,” Mrs Abbot repeated patiently.

“Well,” said Luke, who was perfectly capable of listening while he stared out the window.  “I agree with Nicky.”

“Do you?” said Mrs Abbot, “and what specifically do you agree with?”

“I agree with what he said about no one should own land, it belongs to everybody.”

“Okay, and you don’t think this young man had a point?” she asked, pointing to Andrew.

“No,” said Luke.  “There wun’t be any farm animal diseases if they din’t farm animals.  And farmin’ more animals didn’t make farmin’ more efficient coz you can get a lot more food out of land if you just grow crops on it.”

“So, in conclusion – your opinion is that Enclosure was – ?”

“Bad.”  The brief pause that followed, though due to Mrs Abbot searching her sleeve for a tissue, led Luke to assume that further explanation was required.  “If there were no fences,” he went on, “an’ everybody could have a strip to grow their own food like they used to, then everybody would have enough to eat an’ there’d be enough land left over to grow forests and have places where the wild animals could live.”

Celia Brook snorted.

“Something to add?” asked Mrs Abbot.

“Well he’s living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that would work!” said Celia.  “If you had no fences then some people would do all the work and other people would steal their food.  Or the wild animals would eat what they’d grown because they don’t have fences to keep them out.”

“It worked then so why wouldn’t it work now?” argued Lucy.  “When people all have the same they don’t get jealous of each other’s stuff.  Everyone would be able to use as much land as they needed to feed their own family and there’d be no need for money so no one would sell their food, they could trade it for other people’s food if they wanted to and everyone would co-operate so that they all had enough.”

Celia scoffed.  “That’s never gonna happen!  People only look after number one!  That’s what capitalism is!”

“I’m not a capitalist, I’m an anarchist!” said Nicky.

“Okay, okay,” said Mrs Abbot, “I think we might be going off on a tangent here.  Let’s look back at the diagram on the first page of your …” She was interrupted by a knock at the door.  “Come in.”

A teenager entered and gave a note to Mrs Abbot.  She thanked him and he left.  After reading the note she stood silently for a moment before clearing her throat and telling everyone that their lesson had been cut short because they had been called to assembly.  They should take their bags and coats with them because they would go straight to lunch afterwards.

Luke and Joe followed everyone else back out into the corridor to join the rest of the school heading down to the assembly hall.  There was lots of speculation regarding what might be the cause of their summons.

“I heard the school’s closin’ down,” Kenny told anyone who cared to listen.

“Says who?” asked George sceptically.

“My sister – she’s in the sixth form and she said Mr Davies said it might be merging with Bishop’s.”

“Bishop’s?” asked Christopher with some concern, “that’s way over the other side of town.  If they make us go there I’ll have leave home even earlier.”

“We won’t be merging with Bishop’s,” Celia told them confidently, “it’s not big enough.”

“They’re addin’ new buildings,” said Kenny, “there’s builders there now.  That’s where all them lorries were going.”

Luke and Joe were a little concerned, like Christopher, that a move to Bishop’s would mean an even earlier start to the day, but they needn’t have worried.

The hall was rarely this full of people.  Years Seven and Eight had their assemblies on Mondays and Wednesdays; Years Nine and Ten on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and Year Eleven had just one per week, on Fridays.  It was only on special occasions that the whole school attended assembly together.  Everyone waited for Mr Strang, the Headmaster, to finish talking to the Head of Year Seven, Mrs Oakley.  She looked like she’d been crying.  When she left the stage, Mr Strang cleared his throat and talked into the microphone.

“I’m sorry to – “ his words stuck in his throat.  He coughed and gestured to one of the other teachers for a glass of water.  After swallowing a mouthful he tried again.  “Excuse me, erm, …”

A Year Eleven boy pulled back the chair of the girl in front of him and it slid forward on two legs.  She shrieked and was left hanging at a 45 degree angle with her shoulders against his knees and her feet kicking the back of the person in front of her.  The commotion caused some laughter along two rows of seats and inspired the rest of the assembled to turn and see what was going on.

“You two!  Out!  Leave this room NOW!”  Mr Strang’s voice boomed over the P.A. System and the laughter was immediately curtailed.  One of the P.E. teachers dragged the boy and girl from their seats and marched them out of the hall.  Everyone else turned to face the front and waited silently for Mr Strang to resume.

“I’m sorry to tell you that Mrs King passed away at 6.42 this morning,” Mr Strang’s voice was quivering, “she has worked here for eleven years and was a valued colleague and friend.  I’m sure you’ll all agree that she was an excellent teacher who was devoted to her students and always had time for anyone who needed extra help.”

The atmosphere in the room changed instantly from one of curiosity and impatience to one of melancholy.  Luke and Joe hadn’t known Mrs King for long but they’d liked her and were sad she was gone.  No one said anything.  Mr Strang continued.

“As some of you may know, Mrs King battled with cancer for years.  She was brave, uncomplaining and always cheerful.  She was an inspiration to us all.  We have decided, therefore, as a tribute to Mrs King, to organise two fund raising activities in support of an organisation which has for many years funded life-saving research into the causes, prevention and treatment of cancer – Cancer Research UK.

“The school Swing Band – which Mrs King loved – will play a concert at The Tower Theatre, at the end of March. Volunteers can go home today with tickets to sell in aid of the charity and there will be a prize for the person who sells the most.  Secondly, there will be a Mufti Day on Friday for the whole school.  Every pupil who wishes to take part must pay £2 to their form tutor for the privilege of not having to wear school uniform that day.  If everyone takes part, the mufti day alone will raise £2000 for the charity.”  Mr Strang cleared his throat, took another swig of water and turned to say something to Mrs MacGregor who sat behind the piano.  He then left the stage and Mrs MacGregor led the school in Mrs King’s favourite hymn.

****

At the end of the day Isabel and Tania pushed through the crowd to find Luke and Joe in the bus queue.

“What are you doing here?” asked Luke.

“Can’t stop,” said Isabel, a little out of breath, “but did you get some of those concert tickets to sell?”

“Yeah,” said Luke, “Mr Flanagan gave everybody ten.”

“Don’t sell them!” said Tania, grabbing Isabel by the elbow and pulling her away.

“Why?” Luke asked the retreating pair.

“Meet us tomorrow lunchtime,” Isabel called across the noisy crowd, “usual place.”  And they hurried to their rendezvous with Tania’s mum at the back of the school.

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

Story continues on Monday, but if you don’t want to wait you can read it now 😀

Have a great weekend 😀

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction

Luke Walker chapter 21 starts here!

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 2:  Mufti Day

The Enclosure Acts:

A series of Acts of Parliament that empowered enclosure [eg with fences] of open fields and common land in England and Wales, creating legal property rights to land that was previously held in common. Between 1604 and 1914, over 5,200 individual enclosure Acts were passed, covering 6.8 million acres.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclosure_Acts

When the bell went there followed the usual noisy, chaotic movement of pupils through the corridors as everyone relocated to a different classroom for their next lesson.  Luke and Joe rushed into Mrs King’s room ahead of the rest of their class to get the best seats – at the back desk by the window.  They’d heard from their form tutor at registration that Mrs King was off sick again and when Mrs King was away it was imperative they got a window seat.

History was one of the few subjects at school that Luke was interested in.  He wouldn’t go as far as to say he looked forward to the lessons, because things that required him to sit still, be quiet and do as he was told were never going to be a preferred use of his time, but he didn’t mind them.  That was probably because he liked Mrs King.

Mrs King absolutely loved history.  She made everything interesting because she talked about it with such energy and enthusiasm.  Unfortunately she’d been off sick a lot lately and that meant a substitute.  Substitute teachers weren’t bad people, Luke had nothing against them personally.  But a teacher who doesn’t know anybody; who has no idea where the class is up to in their lessons; and who didn’t even know they’d be teaching at that school until half an hour before school started, is probably going to just give them printouts.

“Good morning,” said the woman behind Mrs King’s desk, “I’m Mrs Abbot and I’ll be taking you for History today.”  A few people started rummaging in their bags for their text books and pencil cases.  “Hold your horses,” Mrs Abbot said, “you won’t need those today, we’ve got some printouts.”

Luke looked knowingly at Joe.

“See,” he whispered.

“I know,” whispered Joe, a little irritated, “I knew as well as you did.”

“When the pile gets to you, please take one and then pass them to the next person.”  Mrs Abbot gave a stack of photocopies to Caroline at the front and everybody waited for it to arrive at their desks.  Nobody was impatient to see what was on it.

“Okay,” Mrs Abbot went on, “as you’ll see from your sheets, we’re going to be thinking about the Enclosure Acts which changed the way land was used in this country.  I want you to read the information I’ve given you and then consider whether you think Enclosure was a good thing or a bad thing.

“Many scholars have discussed it over the years and have come to very different conclusions.  I want you to read their opinions and then decide what you think.”  When she stopped talking everyone looked down at their sheets and began to read.  Before most of them had got to the second paragraph she added, “Read both sides.”

After ten minutes – the time by which Mrs Abbot expected everyone to have read the texts, she began the discussion.

“So, what do we think – was Enclosure a good thing or a bad thing?”

Andrew Bennett put up his hand.

“Yes, blonde boy at the front – what do you think?”

“I think it was all necessary for progress.  We had a growing population that needed to be fed so farming needed to be more efficient and less wasteful.”

“Okay, and what would you say if I told you that, according to Dr Michael Turner, a History lecturer at Hull University, in the second quarter of the eighteenth century there was actually plenty of cheap food for a population that was only slowly increasing.  Why would Enclosure be needed then, if the existing farming practices were providing everything everybody needed?”

“Some people wanted more – the land owners wanted more,” called out Nicky Witticomb.

“Indeed they did young man,” said Mrs Abbot, “yes, in fact cheap food at the market meant farmers’ incomes weren’t increasing as they would have liked so, in an effort to get more money from their land, they moved away from the broadly fixed incomes of arable farming, and into the expanding area of pastoral farming.  Then, as demand for meat and dairy products increased, farmers were able to earn more from their land by substituting grass for crops.”  She looked around the room for more contributors.  “Anyone else?  Was Enclosure a good thing or a bad thing?”

“Both,” said Lucy Evans.  “It was good for the land owners because they could use all their land without wasting strips in between … strips.  But it was bad for the people who didn’t own land because they couldn’t farm those common strips any more.  They used to be able to grow their own food and be self sufficient, but after enclosure they had to go to the cities to earn a wage.”

“Good, good, okay well …”

“All property is theft!”  interrupted Nicky, “those land owners didn’t have any right to own the land – they just took it, or their ancestors did.  The land belongs to everybody.  Everybody should have the right to build their little log cabin wherever they like, and collect their fuel from the woods and grow their own food.”  He concluded with a quote.  “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Mrs Abbot smiled.  “Okay, we’ve got some strong opinions here.  Good.  Anybody want to take issue with this young man … what’s your name?”

“Nicky.”

“Does anyone want to take issue with Nicky’s opinion?”

“Enclosure made farming more efficient,” said Andrew, “less labour was needed to produce more food.  It stopped farm animal diseases spreading to all the animals in the village, and they could do more selective breeding to get better animals which produce more milk or meat.”

“Hmm, okay, anyone else?  Young man at the back, would you like to venture an opinion or are you more interested in how many red lorries are travelling west?”

Luke, who had no interest in lorries but was gazing out of the window anyway, didn’t realise at first that the teacher was addressing him.  A nudge from Joe got his attention.

“What do you think?”  Mrs Abbot asked again, “good thing or bad thing?”

“What?” asked Luke, “is what a good thing?”

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

The story continues tomorrow 😀

But if you don’t want to wait, you can read it all here now 😀

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan children’s story, creative writing, juvenile fiction

“WE COME TO WARN YOU …”

For the story so far, click here 😀

“This was on the news?”  Joe was incredulous.

“They hijacked the news!” Luke explained.  “The picture of the news reader stayed the same but instead of him reading the news all anyone could hear was this crackly message from Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command!”

Joe pulled a face. “That sounds made up.”

“Well some people say it was made up but they never found the hijacker and they couldn’t find any actual evidence that it was a hoax.  Plus, it fits with what they say in the Unacknowledged film.”  Luke paused to give Joe time to take it all in before continuing.  “And another bit of the message says there are more beings around the Earth than your scientists admit; and it says there are lots of false profits telling us lies.”

“Well we know that.”

“Exactly.”

“We can’t trust anyone,” said Joe, repeating what Luke had told him many times before.  “We have to find out for ourselves what’s true.”

“Yeah.  So then I found this other book online that was written by a man who talked to aliens by meditatin’ with big groups of people and the aliens talked back to them and there’s a conversation between two of the aliens that he wrote down.  It’s an old alien tellin’ a young alien all about planet Earth and he says it’s the only planet where mankind don’t seem to care about the rule ‘thou shalt not kill’.”

“So that proves it then!” said Joe excitedly, “they agree with us and they’ll definitely help us!”

“Definitely!” agreed Luke.

****

On Saturday afternoon the Society met at Gingham country park.  Curly and Squirt came too – they loved the country park.  In a quiet grove, away from the main path, Isabel showed them how to meditate.

“Find yourself a comfortable spot,” she said, making her voice as soothing as she could.  “Sit or lay down, and close your eyes.”

They all closed their eyes.

“Focus on your breathing.”

They all breathed deeply and slowly.

“Stop it!” Luke whispered firmly, “get off!”

Squirt relinquished Luke’s hair as ordered and joined his mother at a patch of dandelions.

“Concentrate on each breath.  Notice how each inhalation moves your chest and your shoulders.  And notice how your body moves with each exhalation.”

“Blackcap.” Joe opened his eyes to look for the bird.

“What?”

“Listen. That’s a …”

“Shh,” Isabel commanded gently without opening her eyes.  “Bring your focus back to your breath.  Put the birds in the background.  Put everything else in the background.  Concentrate on each breath.”

After about three minutes, Isabel’s soft voice instructed them all to open their eyes.  “Well done,” she told them, “that’s meditation.”

“That was easy,” said Luke, “how long d’you think before we can talk to aliens?”

“Well, it’s going to take a while before you’re ready for that.  You have to practise every day and gradually do it for longer and longer until you can be completely absorbed by the meditation.  Not easily distracted.”

That wasn’t what Luke wanted to hear.  “For how long – a few weeks?”

“It can’t be rushed.  It’ll take as long as it takes.  The idea is to separate yourself from your thoughts – to observe them without judgement; to know that you’re not your mind so that you’re not limited by it.  When you know that you won’t be confined by who you thought you were.  You’ll be a free ocean of awareness that can do anything.”
Luke grumbled.  “That sounds like it’ll take ages.”

Joe closed his eyes again and listened to the birds. “I don’t mind,” he said.

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

More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er coming soon 😀

Have a great weekend 😀

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

vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, vegan children’s story, humour, creative writing, aliens, meditation

#vegan, #vegan children, #veggie kids, #vegan children’s story, #humour, #creative writing, #aliens

Keep it low-tech!

For the story so far, click here 😀

Luke walked home with the documentary going round and round in his head.  According to all these people – scientists, astronauts, pilots, army people, loads of people – aliens had already visited Earth and they’d been visiting for ages.  It felt good to know there were powerful beings out there who might make the humans look after the world and the animals.  He felt sure they would.  He felt it in his gut.  He just had to find a way of contacting them.  When he got home he asked Mum if he could use the computer.

“What for?”

He decided against sharing his ideas with her at this stage, she had a way of slowing things down.  “Homework,” he said.

“Shut it down properly when you’ve finished and don’t be too long, dinner will be ready in forty five minutes.”

Luke googled ‘how to communicate with aliens’ and found pages and pages of information.  He put the forty five minutes to good use and his pen moved faster than it ever had before.  By the time he was called to dinner his notebook was crammed with fascinating ideas.  The following morning, at breaktime, he shared them with Joe.

“I looked it up.”

“What?”

“How to communicate with aliens.”

“Did you find anything?”

“Loadsa stuff.”

“Great!  So how do we do it?”

“Well, there’s lots of people already tryin’ to do it, with messages sent up into space, and radio waves broadcast into space and stuff like that.”

“Stuff we wouldn’t be able to do.”

“Yeah, but some websites think that people who are really enlightened …”

“Enlightened?”

“People like us who don’t eat anybody or kill anybody an’ are tryin’ to save the planet.”

“So we’d be able to talk to the aliens?”

“Yeah, but we have to meditate to do it.  Like telepathy – talkin’ to ’em with our minds.”

“How do we do that?”

“Well, I’m not ezzactly sure yet but the thing is, it’s somethin’ people can learn to do and you don’t need any expensive equipment for it, you just need to concentrate an’ be peaceful.”

“Like yoga?”

“erm, yeah, I guess so.”

“Isabel does yoga!  She could teach us!”

“Great!”

“I could phone her tonight.  No.  Let’s email her now! I’ve got her school email address.  She said she checks it every lunchtime.”

“No.  We have to keep it low-tech.  You never know who’s watchin’ and listenin’,” said Luke whose outlaw guard was never down.  “We’ve got to talk to her in person.  We’ll show her this as well.”

He handed Joe his research notes and pointed to the transcript of an alien message which hijacked the television News in the south of England on the 26 November 1977.

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

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

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

vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, vegan children’s story, humour, creative writing, aliens,

#vegan, #vegan children, #veggie kids, #vegan children’s story, #humour, #creative writing, #aliens

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter nineteen starts here!

For the story so far, click here 😀

Chapter Nineteen:  Aliens

As the credits rolled at the end of the documentary, Joe shared a revelation of his own.

“I think I saw one,” he said, confidentially.

Luke’s attempt to gasp sent a morsel of his beetroot sandwich down the wrong way.  After a long fit of coughing he spoke. “When?”

“Are you alright? Your eyes are watering.”

“Yeah,” said Luke and after another couple of small coughs insisted that Joe tell him more.

“On holiday, last year.  We went to Stonehenge.  Remember I told you?”

“Mmm,” Luke had taken another bite and was careful not to talk with his mouth full.  He gestured for Joe to continue.

“It was a nice day but quite windy.  We had a picnic and I was laying on my back looking at the sky.  There were lots of white fluffy clouds moving quite fast in the wind but one of them didn’t move.  I thought it was weird so I watched it for a while. Loads of clouds blew past it but it never moved.”

Luke was disappointed.  “Is that all?  It was prob’ly …”

“I’m not finished!”

“Oh.”

“I showed it to the others but they weren’t interested.  But I knew there was something weird about it so I kept watching.”

“That’s not rea…”

“I kept watching it,” Joe was determined to finish, “and after a few minutes it was the only cloud there.  All the other clouds blew past it so it was on its own in the blue sky.  Then suddenly it shot up, straight up, and disappeared.”

“You mean it flew?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t the wind again?”

“Yes.  Definitely.  It didn’t move along sideways in the wind like the others.  It flew straight up, really really fast.  It was gone in a second.”

“So you think a spaceship was hiding in the cloud.  Or disguised as a cloud.”

“Yeah, it must’ve been.”

There was a brief pause while Luke absorbed the enormity of it.  “Why didn’t you tell me about this before?”

“I didn’t think you’d believe me.  I could hardly believe it myself.  But after seeing this film …”

“You saw one – I’m sure of it!”

Joe smiled broadly.  “When I saw this film and it said the Americans tried to chase a UFO over Stonehenge it made me really sure I didn’t imagine it.  Maybe they like Stonehenge.  Maybe they built Stonehenge!”

That made a lot of sense to Luke.  “Yeah. Coz how could people have built it five thousand years ago?  They didn’t have lorries or cranes or anythin’ that could’ve lifted them massive stones, let alone bring ’em all the way from Wales.”

“Exactly!” said Joe, “hang on, Janet’ll be home in a minute.”  He closed his sister’s laptop and returned it to her room, being careful to leave it exactly where he’d found it.  When he got back to his own room, Luke had plenty more to say.

“I think we should try to contact them.  Send them a message.”

“How?”

“I dunno yet but we need to tell ’em how the nuclear bomb people are gonna hurt them.”

“I think that man on the film is trying to do that already.”

“Oh yeah. Good.”  But that wasn’t Luke’s only idea.  “Hey – since they’re good aliens who want peace and not bombs and violence – maybe they’d help the animals if we could get a message to them.”

“How d’ya mean?”

“Like openin’ all the cages and closin’ down the farms.  Jus’ like when they went to that army base an’ shut down all the nuclear weapons.  I’m sure they could do it, they just might not know it needs to be done.”

“It’s a good idea,” said Joe, supportively, “I just don’t know how we could tell them.”

“We have to find out.”

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

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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

Alien illustration by Clker Free Vector Images of Pixabay

vegan, vegan children, veggie kids, vegan children’s story, humour, creative writing, aliens

The English Family Anderson with Comic Life!

The English Family Anderson story is now Comic Lifed!

Let’s start from the beginning 😀

Ooh, what’s the matter with Denzel?  Find out tomorrow … or right now if you like 😉

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

vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan family, vegan comics, vegan stories, vegan children’s stories, vegan fiction, comics, creative writing, juvenile fiction

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.

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

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

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

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!”

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

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

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

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:

********

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.”

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

In the Sunday School room …

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

To read the whole of Chapter 13 click here 🙂

Story continues from yesterday:

In the Sunday School room Luke was unsurprised to find quaint and colourful cardboard fishing boats stuck to a massive collage that covered a whole wall.  The boats were manned by friendly fishermen pulling up nets by hand.  The water beneath them was gleaming turquoise and filled with colourful fish who looked only too eager to swim into the welcoming nets.  A golden beach was pictured behind with market stalls where smiling fishmongers sold fish to happy villagers under a soft blue sky.  A red and white striped lighthouse kindly warned the fishermen to stay away from the rocks.  And across the sky large paper letters spelled out the words:

“Typical!” said Luke with contempt and uncharacteristic brevity.  There was no time for lengthy verbal condemnations.  They just got on with it.

Forty-six minutes later Joe was on his way home with gratitude as Luke dropped the last armful of tinned fish into the wheelie bin behind the building.  Tomorrow there’d be no Joe.  Tomorrow Luke would be on his own.  Which wasn’t a problem, because he wasn’t a coward.

***

Luke was quiet at breakfast on Sunday and Mum sympathised.

“You’re very preoccupied this morning Luke, are you worried about talking to Eric?”

“Er, kind of,” Luke admitted.

“Mm, it’s never easy to tell someone something they don’t want to hear but it’s better to be honest.”

“Yeah,” said Luke, enlivened by a slight resurgence in confidence, “it’s better if they know the truth.”

At ten to ten, Luke and his mum approached the chapel gate.  Mrs Walker wondered what was going on. People were standing around on the lawn outside and the village bobby was there, talking to the minister.

“What’s going on?” she asked Gordon.

“Vandalism,” he said, flatly, “a horrible mess.”

“Oh no!  How awful!” she said and rushed in.  Luke followed at a cautious distance.  Mabel, standing in the doorway, advised Mum not to enter.

“All our work yesterday – ruined!” she mourned, “it’s a horror show in there!”

When Mrs Walker stepped forward the first thing to strike her was the awful smell.  She shielded her nose with her hand.  Draped over the pulpit was a huge, orange, fishing net, tangled, filthy and stinking with rotten seaweed and the small fish and crustacean victims who’d been trapped and strangled by it long after the fleet had left it to drift untethered.  The communion table and the floor around it exhibited a collection of old lobster pots and traps, a mess of wire and barbed hooks, a couple of rusty knives and a matching set of hooks, pliers and other fishmonger blades that looked hardly used.

These were set off to best advantage by numerous anchovy and sardine corpses variously strewn and interwoven throughout.  The whole ensemble was liberally splattered with what looked like blood.

Eric emerged from the Sunday School room.

“There’s more in here,” he told her.

Mrs Walker had a bad feeling.

Apprehensively she followed Eric into the Sunday School room and discovered the picturesque fishing village scene was no more.  There were no fish, no happy villagers and no fishmongers; the lighthouse had fallen into the sea and the colourful fishing boats had crashed into the rocks.  Some of the paper letters had been rearranged across the sky to spell

“I told you we should have done the normal fruit and vegetable display!” Mrs Kirby chimed in authoritatively, “I said to the minister last week – people want a traditional harvest festival with fruits and vegetables and golden sheaves of wheat.  Genesis 1, verse 29: I have provided all kinds of grain and fruit for you to eat,” she quoted, “This is a message from God!”

Mabel was irritated.

“God didn’t do this!”

“Whoever did it was sent by Him!” retorted Mrs Kirby, and no one dared disagree.

***

Mrs Walker kept her anger buttoned down.  She didn’t say anything until they were well out of earshot of the other church-goers.  It would be too shameful if anyone else knew what she suspected.  Not to mention Luke might get a criminal record.  Eventually, when they were almost home, she asked coldly,

“Who do you think did it Luke?”

“I’m with Mrs Kirby,” he answered honestly, “whoever did it was sent by God.”

Have a lovely weekend 😀

Join us on Monday for the beginning of Chapter 14:

Luke Walker and the Halloween Party

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

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

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 😀

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

vegan, vegetarian, harvest festival, veggie kids, vegan children, fish, animals, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, children’s stories, humour, creative writing, illustration

Dangerous things

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

To read the whole of Chapter 13 click here 🙂

Story continues from yesterday:

At 3.47pm Luke and Joe stood in Curly and Squirt’s shed.  There was a big old wooden ottoman at the back.  Joe had never noticed it before because ordinarily Luke kept a bale of hay on top of it and the whole lot was usually covered with a tatty blue tarpaulin.  Luke started to lift the lid and then hesitated, looking over his shoulder to make sure the shed door was shut.  It was.

“This is where I keep the stuff I’ve constigated on holiday,” he told his trusted friend, confidentially.

Joe looked puzzled.  Luke put him in the picture.

“Remember me Nan and Grandad’s got a caravan at the seaside where there’s fishing boats on the beach?  Remember I told you?”

Joe nodded.

“Well,” Luke went on, “whenever we go there I look out for things on the beach wot need takin’ outer circle-ation.  Dangerous things.”

“And you constigate them?” Joe asked with the appearance of comprehension.

“Mm.  Well, some I jus’ find, abandoned.  Some I constigate from people wot are doin’ horrible things with ’em.”

Joe peered inside the trunk but wasn’t sure exactly what he was looking at.  It was a miscellaneous jumble of what looked like rubbish – bits of plastic, rope, cord, wood, wire.  All very unpleasant and dirty.  It stank.

“And now you want to move it somewhere else?”  Joe tried hard to make sense of the little Luke had told him so far.

“Yeah.  On’y it’s too much stuff for one trip with just me.  Your mum’s got one o’ them shopping trolley-bag things, and mine’s got two, an old one and a new one – I reckon we could fit all this stuff into them and move it without anyone bein’ able to see what we’ve got.  They’ll just think we’ve done the shoppin’ for our mums.”

Joe nodded.

“Okaaay.”

“And,” Luke went on, “can you get any left over paint off your dad?  Somethin’ he wun’t miss?  Somethin’ he’s finished with and wun’t mind you havin’.  Somethin’ he would rather you dint bother ‘im by askin’ for.  Somethin’ he’d be pleased you took off ‘is hands without botherin’ ‘im.  Somethin’ reddish.”

Joe wondered.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

***

Saturday was the day that Luke always helped Dad on the allotment and today, more than ever before, he was very glad of it.  It gave him the perfect excuse not to help decorate the Sunday school room for the Harvest Festival.  He remembered they were meeting at 10 o’clock and imagined that it wouldn’t take them more than an hour or two so they’d be done by lunch time.  Then the ladies on the cleaning and flowers rota were going to decorate the chapel.  Mum was one of those ladies and she got home at twenty past four.

“Put the kettle on love,” she called to her husband, “and if you look in the pantry I’ve a feeling you might find a packet of chocolate hobnobs behind the teabags.”

“Well, half a packet anyway,” Luke’s dad grinned as he nodded towards the dining table where six or seven of them adorned a small plate.  Mrs Walker dropped exhausted into a chair.

“I knew there was a reason I married you,” she smiled as he handed her a hot cup of tea and sat down with one himself.  “Thank you love,” she said, “that whole afternoon was an uphill struggle.  Mrs Kirby was complaining the whole time that she thought we should be doing the traditional Harvest Festival display of fruits and breads and stuff, and Mabel was arguing that change was good and we should embrace change and move with the times.  What’s modern about fishing I do not know!  And then every time they stopped arguing Gordon would get them going again with ‘I suppose we have to do what the committee decides, never mind what the rest of the congregation wants!’  I don’t know what was more exhausting – scrubbing the kitchen floor or listening to ….”

“Shhh,” Mr Walker interrupted, “forget about all that now, it’s done.  Drink your tea.”

“Don’t shush me!” Mum snapped.  She hated it when he did that.

“I was just saying don’t worry about it, calm down ….”  He never learned.

“I am calm!  I’m not worried, I was just telling you what happened!  I don’t like being shushed!”

“I’m with Mrs Kirby,” thought Luke as he took advantage of his parents bickering and swiped the chapel keys from Mum’s bag before heading for the front door.

“Jus’ goin’ to check on Curly and Squirt,” he called.

“Home by six!” Mum called after him.

“Six?!” he thought, grabbing the shoppers from the hall cupboard and hurrying out.

It was just after five when Joe and Luke arrived at the chapel gate.  Luckily no one was around to hear its metal hinges squeal.  They slunk across the lawn past the large wooden crucifix with the spikes on top to stop pigeons landing on it, and Luke unlocked the heavy door.

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

Story concludes tomorrow, so don’t miss it 😉

Or you could read the whole story here now 😀

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

vegan, vegetarian, harvest festival, veggie kids, vegan children, fish, animals, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, children’s stories, humour, creative writing, illustration

Luke could hardly believe it

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

To read the whole of Chapter 13 click here 🙂 

Story continues from yesterday:

“What?!”  Luke could hardly believe it.  “They’re proud of killin’ sea animals are they?  They want to show off about killin’ God’s creatures do they?  That’s very Christian – I don’t think!”

“Well, Luke,” Mum tried to calm him down, “I know you don’t like it sweetheart but Jesus ate fish didn’t he?  Some of his disciples were fishermen.”

Luke was unconvinced.

“How do we know that?  Just coz someone wrote it in a book thousands of years ago in a diff’rent language.  P’rhaps they din’t translate it right.  P’rhaps they din’t tell the truth.  Prob’ly whoever wrote it wasn’t even there at the time so they wouldn’t even know!”  He was gaining momentum.  “And, Jesus was perfect,” he went on, “so he wun’t ‘ave done somethin’ that hurt someone else on purpose.  And he told them disciples to stop bein’ fishermen din’t he?  And he wun’t ‘ave done that if he thought they were doin’ a good thing.  And Jesus said God cares about every sparrow so if he cares about every sparrow then he definitely cares about every fish and he said ‘thou shalt not kill’ so he couldn’t be clearer than that!”

Red in the face from talking so fast without taking a breath and satisfied he’d settled the point, Luke stomped out of the room.  Mrs Walker winced as the hall door slammed and Luke’s heavy footsteps pounded the stairs.  She held her breath until all was quiet and then, just as she relaxed back into scrubbing potatoes, her son’s face re-appeared around the door.

“Oh!” she gasped, “you made me jump.”

“Don’t get any fish,” he entreated, “please.”

The following morning at breakfast Luke was distracted.  He made no argument when Jared consumed the last of the frosted flakes; he didn’t defend himself when Dad told him off for knocking over the sugar bowl even though it was actually Jared who’d done it in his haste to grab the frosted flakes.  The rest of the family were too busy to notice, but Luke was not himself.  Eventually, when Jared and Dad had left for the day and Luke was left alone with Mum he told her,

“I’ve decided I don’t want to go to Sunday School any more.”

“Well I know you don’t want to go Luke, but you’re going.  It’s good for you.  I want you to learn good values, to be a good boy,” she responded firmly.

“I’ve got good values!” said Luke, indignant.  “What do you mean values?” he added.

Mum sighed.

“Oh Luke, being a Christian means being good and kind and respecting your father and mother and not stealing and not lying, things like that,” she explained, “doing as you’re told,” she added.

“And not killin’,” said Luke.

“Of course not killing Luke, that goes without saying,”

“But they’re killin’! They’re celebratin’ killin’ fish and if that’s Christian I don’t want to be it!”

“Oh Luke why do you have to get so angry over these things?  You might not want them to eat fish but they do.  People do.  People always have.  And so do bears and cats and birds, and even other fish Luke.  It’s the way of the world and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“I don’t want to go!  I’m not going!” he insisted.  Mum inhaled deeply and counted to ten.

“Fine.  But you are not going to just disappear like a coward without telling them why.  You’ve got to be grown up about it and make it clear to Eric why this sea harvest upsets you.”

Luke sulked.  He was not a coward.  He wasn’t afraid of anything.  They walked to school in silence, Luke was deep in thought.  When they entered the school gates they were almost run over by Simon Butler racing across their path on his new bike and then, when he knew he’d got their attention, he pulled a wheelie.

“He’s a bit of a show-off that one,” said Mum, amused.

Luke snorted.

“A bit?!” he scoffed, “more like a lot!  He’s a lot of a show-off.  He’s pretty much all show-off!  There’s nothing else to ‘im.  ‘cept idiot.  And creep.  He’s a idiot creep show-off!” Luke concluded decisively.

Mum chuckled.

“Boys will be boys,” she said, “he’s just making a point.  He’s just making it clear to everyone watching that he’s good at that.”

***

All morning, while Mr Beardsley was talking about the ancient Greeks, Luke was thinking about what Mum had told him to do.  He considered very carefully exactly what she’d said and by the time Dionysus had whisked Ariadne away from Theseus he was satisfied that he could do as he was told without compromising his prince pauls.  He’d need Joe’s help.

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

Sounds like Luke’s got a plan 😉

Join us tomorrow to find out what it is,

or just read the whole story now 😀 

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

vegan, vegetarian, harvest festival, veggie kids, vegan children, fish, animals, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, children’s stories, humour, creative writing, illustration

And then what happened?

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Chapter 13: Luke Walker and the Harvest Festival begins here:

“And then what happened?  Luke?”

“Erm,”

“Weren’t you listening?  What happened in the end?”

“Oh, um, in the end she saved ’em all, and then they saw she was a girl, coz they thought she was a man before, but they didn’t kill ‘er because she’d saved China.”

Eric, the Sunday School teacher, looked at Luke blankly, as if he wasn’t there.

“Mulan?  Are you talking about Mulan?” he asked after a long pause.

Luke wondered, not for the first time, why his mum insisted he came to Sunday School to listen to a man who seemed unable to remember, from one minute to the next, what he was supposed to be teaching them.

“Yeah.  Mulan.  Who saved China from invaders.  Remember?  Who you’ve bin tellin’ us about.”

“Okay Luke, well, you are clearly capable of paying attention – to Disney films anyway – but you’ve obviously not heard a word I’ve said today.  I’ve actually been talking about Miriam, Moses’s sister, who hid him in the bulrushes as a baby, and later helped her brother lead the Jews out of Egypt.”

Luke frowned in deep thought.

“Oh,” he responded at last.

Eric turned to the other seven children in his charge and continued.  Luke resented the ‘I give up’ look that Eric’s features expressed before they withdrew.  He’d seen it many times.  It was uncalled for.

“Mulan.  Miriam.  They’re both ancient.  They’re both women.  They both saved a whole country.  They’re both heroes.  They both start with an M.  Anyone could easily get them mixed up,” he thought as he leafed through the parish magazine.

At last he heard the final hymn being sung by the grown-ups in the room next door and he unhooked his jacket from its peg.

“Hold your horses Luke,” Eric recalled him to the group. “You can go when your parents come for you but remember that next week is Harvest Festival so I’d like all of you to be here at ten o’clock on Saturday to help me decorate the Sunday School room.  The church secretary told me that the committee has decided to do things differently this year… blah blah blah …”

“Saturday?  Not likely!” thought Luke.  He could hear the scraping back of chairs and the hubbub of grown-ups talking, getting gradually louder.  Any minute now the blue door would swing open and Mum would effect his release.  Any minute now.

Eric finished whatever he was saying, Luke slipped his arms into his jacket sleeves, the door opened, and he hurried towards it.

“Bye Luke,” Eric called after him, “See you Saturday.”

“Bye,” he replied without looking back.

***

At school on Monday Luke noticed a familiar theme.  Mr Beardsley had written on the board:

He concluded that either Mr Beardsley had copied his project idea from Eric or Eric got it from him.  This was no bad thing.  He could get two for one.  Score points with the same work twice.

Mr Beardsley explained that they should all bring in donations of food this week to make a Harvest Festival display in the school hall.  Then they would have a special afternoon assembly on Friday to thank God for the harvest.  As the food would later be donated to the homeless shelter in town he requested no perishables, only tins and packeted dry goods please.

So Luke went home that afternoon and explained to Mum what he needed for the Harvest Festivals.

“Looks like I won’t be able to do it once and hand it in twice though, coz they’re givin’ all the school festival food to the homeless shelter so I’ll need another lot for Sunday School.  Tins and dry stuff he said.  Have we got any of that?”

Mum looked in the pantry.  “Yes, we’ve got some dried lentils and pasta, and some tinned beans you can have.  I’ll get something for the church harvest when I go shopping.  Tins again I think, otherwise it’ll smell.”

“What will?”

“The fish.”

“Whaddaya mean fish?  Why are you gettin’ fish?”

“Didn’t Eric tell you?  The chapel committee want to do a different kind of Harvest Festival this year.  Instead of the usual fruits, vegetables, grains and bread etcetera etcetera, they want to do a display of the harvest of the sea.”

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

Uh-oh 😮

Find out tomorrow what Luke thinks of that idea 😉

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

vegan, vegetarian, harvest festival, veggie kids, vegan children, fish, animals, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, children’s stories, humour, creative writing, illustration

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.

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

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 😀

 

The biggest jar I have ever seen

For the story so far click here 🙂

Friday 13 December

Today we did more digging in the garden, which is a lot of hard work, but it is fun to be outside for science.

For lunch we had peanut butter and yeast extract on toast.  We’d got a giant jar of yeast extract from Daily Bread which is the biggest jar I have ever seen.

We watched the antiques programme where they have to look around a market and buy things and then hope they are worth a lot of money to win.  I don’t like it as much as the one where they look inside your house and sell your old things, but it is still very interesting.

After lunch we worked on our projects.  I finished a piece of my pig, which is one side, from the nose to the bottom, with two legs on it.There was something odd about it, and so I showed it to Mum and we worked out that I had accidentally knitted one of the legs on the wrong side of the knitting, so that one leg is in the right place, and the other leg is sticking out of his back. So I will have to start again from the beginning. But at least now I understand what it is meant to look like.

Monday 16 December

We had a needlework day today, because this is our last week before Christmas so we are going to spend the week doing arts and crafts.  I have been knitting my pig because I’d like to give him to Nan for Christmas.  I would have possibly finished him by now if only I hadn’t gotten mixed up with the pattern and knitted one of the legs on the wrong side.

Jude was sewing a cross-stitch for Grandad which has a Christmas tree with yellow baubles and red tinsel, and it will be in a frame.

For dinner we made home-made oven chips with beans, and Linda McCartney sausages!  I cleaned the muddy potatoes, Jude sliced them and cut off the bruises, and Mum showed us how to drizzle a tiny bit of oil all over the chips in the mixing bowl and turn them over to make them evenly covered, and then we put them in the oven.  We cooked the sausages under the grill with some sliced in half tomatoes.

Jude hasn’t found the lip balm, so that’s lucky.

Tuesday 17 December

We made rocky islands out of paper and card!  It’s brilliant!  We took a piece of cardboard, and then we made rocks out of screwed up pieces of newspaper, and a lighthouse out of a cardboard kitchen roll tube!  Once it was all glued down we painted blue and white waves around the rocks and painted the rocks grey.  The lighthouses we painted red and white striped.  I would love to live in a lighthouse.

In the afternoon I sewed my dress and Jude made scones.  Mum says my dress is nearly finished.  All we have to do next is put the buttons on and then it’s done.  I can’t believe it.  I can’t wait to wear it!

We finished reading Wuthering Heights! It’s one of the best books I ever read.  It’s so tragic dramatic, all the characters are interesting and I care about them all, even the ones I don’t like.

We have to write essays about the book and hand them in after Christmas.  My essay is about comparing the different houses in the story, and who lives in them, and what they are like.  Jude is writing an essay about how much the characters hate each other, and why.

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

Chapter 3 continues next Monday!  Have a good week 😀

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

vegan, vegetarian, home-school, home-schooling, education, veggie kids, arts & crafts, creative writing, home-school diary, vegan family, raising vegan kids

‘Luke Walker and the saved up money’ starts now!

For the first 6 chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 7:

Luke Walker and the saved up money

Luke didn’t complain about helping Dad on the allotment because it was part of their agreement.  After he’d commandeered the vegetable patch for the damsons, Dad had made a deal with him.  He said the damsons could stay there if Luke agreed to help him every week on a new allotment.

The allotment cost Dad £80 a year, which seemed a heck of a lot of money to Luke, but Dad said it was a good deal because it gave him plenty of room to grow things – much more than he’d had in the damson patch.  It would be a lot of work so Luke had to help.  Luke thought that was fair, and earning the damsons’ keep made him feel like a bread-winner.  So everyone was happy.

On this particular Saturday he was in an especially good mood.  He had finally saved enough money to buy his bike.  The pocket money he had been given that very morning brought his total up to £100.  £100!  He had been saving for ever.  Actually, for a year.  But it felt like forever.  And now he had enough.  He could buy the bike; the blue one; the blue one he’d seen in the bike shop window; the blue one that was perfect for him; the blue one that was meant to be his.  Dad said they could go and get it when they’d done the morning’s digging and weeding.  They were going that afternoon.

After lunch Luke rushed up to his bedroom and emptied his money box.  Mum had changed his coins for notes every time he saved £10 so now he held ten crisp, or rather soft and tatty, £10 notes in his hands.  Never before had he held so much money!  He tucked it carefully into his wallet, the Batman one with the keyring attached, tucked his wallet into his front right trouser pocket, and padlocked the keyring to his belt loop.  He wasn’t taking any chances.  Then he waited in the car for Dad.

“Where have you been?” Luke asked him when he finally arrived.

“You know where I’ve been Luke.  You saw me.  You passed me, eating my lunch, on your way out to sit in the car.”

He turned the key and the engine coughed to life.  Luke could hardly contain his excitement.

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

Continues tomorrow 😉

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

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

Protect and Retrieve

the rebel gang and the number ciphers

the rebel gang and the number ciphers

the rebel gang and the number ciphers

😀

Click here to read the whole story 🙂

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory, mystery, code-cracking, juvenile fiction, children’s story, vegan children’s story, the rebel gang and the number ciphers, art, collage, creative writing

Stay above suspicion

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

Gasp! 😮

Story concludes tomorrow but if you’ve missed any of it you’d better catch up now!

Here’s the whole thing 🙂

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory, mystery, code-cracking, juvenile fiction, children’s story, vegan children’s story, the rebel gang and the number ciphers, art, collage, creative writing

“All of this benefits the ones in charge”

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

vegan comic for children

😮 Continues tomorrow 🙂

Or read to the end now 🙂

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan story, vegan conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory, mystery, code-cracking, juvenile fiction, children’s story, vegan children’s story, the rebel gang and the number ciphers, art, collage, creative writing

Furious

other-materials-symbol-2 leather-symbol-2

“That’s to tell you what the shoes are made of.  That’s the symbol for man made material,” she explained, pointing to one of the shapes on the label, “and that’s the symbol for leather.  So the soles of these shoes – the bit you walk on – are made of synthetic, man made material, and the uppers – the top part – are made of leather.”

She smiled and told everyone to go and sit down.  She did like it when her pupils asked her about things unconnected with lessons.  It showed they had active minds.

Luke hung back.  He was furious.  Not only had he been humiliated by Simon Butler, but his own mother had lied to him.  He took off his other shoe and threw them both into the swing bin in the girls’ toilets.  Then he pulled out loads and loads of paper towels, screwed them up, soaked them under the tap and tossed them into the bin on top of the shoes.  He put his blue plimsolls back on his feet where they belonged and, somewhat calmer now, went to class.

When Mum met him from school at half past three he smiled and was friendly, pleased to be finished school for the day.  She was happy too.  The afternoon weather had really brightened up and lifted her spirits.  They waited for Jared and then walked home.  About half way, Mrs Walker noticed that Luke wasn’t wearing his new shoes.

“Where are your new shoes Luke?” she asked, apprehensively.

Luke looked into her questioning eyes and said,

“At lunch time I was jus’ sittin’ quietly on the grass pickin’ wild flowers and makin’ daisy chains for Mrs Tebbut, when suddenly a flock of big black crows flew at me an’ knocked me over!  Then they pecked at me shoes ’til they’d got ’em off me feet and then they grabbed ’em with their claws and carried ’em off into the trees.  I ‘spect they wanted to make nests in ’em.”

Mum stared at him.

What has happened to your expensive new shoes Luke?  I want the truth!”

“Truth is very important isn’t it?” Luke said thoughtfully, “It’s bad to tell lies.  People who tell lies can’t ever be trusted.  They’re like the boy who cried wolf.  No one’ll ever believe a word they say again.”

Mum’s lips tightened, she looked straight ahead and they continued their walk in silence.  When they were nearly home she spoke.

“Luke, your feet have grown, you have to have new shoes.”

“Ok, I’ll have plimsolls.  Blue ones please.”

“Plimsolls are no good when it rains.”

“I’ll get wellies for when it rains.  Blue would be good.”  

Mum looked at him.

“Ok,” she said.

lukes-favourite-shoe

textile-symbol

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

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

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, the paperback containing the first eight chapters of Luke’s adventures, is available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada

vegan book for children

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

vegan, children, children’s story

Introducing Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er

Ow! That was a thistle.  Luke poked and scratched at it with a stick until it broke away from its roots and could be pushed aside.  He then rubbed his grazed wrist and forged ahead, emerging moments later on the other side of the hedge.  Simon Butler’s back garden.

It wasn’t the first time Luke had gained illegal entry to Simon Butler’s garden but if all went well it might be the last.  He’d been eleven times before, to visit the rabbit.  Simon kept his rabbit in a small wooden hutch at the end of the garden, near the dustbins.  He used to let her out to play when he first got her but after a couple of months, when the novelty had worn off, he only visited his pet for five minutes once a day to refill her food and water.  Luke felt sorry for her.  He could see the hutch from his bedroom window next door.  When he borrowed his dad’s binoculars he could even see the rabbit.

vegan children's story

“She must be so sad and fed up.  And bored,” he said to the Robin Hood poster on his wardrobe door, “I’m going to visit her.”

A couple of times a week for the last month and a half, Luke had endured scratches and scuffs, and the hedge had endured bends and breaks, so that the rabbit could have a bit of company.  He always took her something from Dad’s vegetable patch – a bit of lettuce, or a carrot maybe – and after the first few times she seemed pleased to see him.  She put her face close to the wire and eagerly tugged at the treats he pushed through to her.  But he had to be careful not to get caught.

Simon was a smarty-pants who always did his homework and always got good marks.  He was good at sports and he was good at maths.  He was always the first to put up his hand in class and his shoes were always clean.  Irritating though all of that was, Luke could have let it go if Simon hadn’t done something unforgivable.

Luke’s best friend, Joe, was not very fast and he was not very clever.  He was last to be picked for every team game and first to be told off in every lesson for not knowing the answer.  But he always took it on the chin.  He shrugged it off.  Sports weren’t his thing.  Maths wasn’t his thing.  He wasn’t especially enamoured with science or history either but that didn’t worry him.  He was the best friend Luke had ever had and was totally reliable.  He had kept his mouth shut when Luke tripped over his shoe laces and knocked Mrs Tebbut’s mug of tea all over her desk;  he had kept it to himself when Luke accidentally cracked Mrs Tebbut’s windscreen with a cricket ball.  He was the kind of friend who could always be depended on.

So when Smarty-Pants told Mrs Tebbut that Joe had copied his test and Joe got sent to the Head Master for cheating, Luke was very cross.  Simon Smarty-Pants Butler was a tell-tale and a liar.  He could never be trusted.  And he didn’t like Luke any more than Luke liked him.  It was vital that Luke didn’t get caught.

****

to be continued …

Click here for the whole chapter.