The Two Little Pigs in hardback

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

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

And with that we wish you many happy storytimes ❤

The Two Little Pigs

is available in hardback for £12.50,

*

in paperback for £3.50,

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and can be read for free right here 😀

Have a great day! 😀

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Prices correct at time of writing.

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Luke Walker Chapter 24 starts here!

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

Chapter Twenty Four:
Rescue

SATURDAY 31 MAY

“Can I wait for you at the park?”

“No.”

“Can I wait at the library?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because I’m not going to be long.”

“I won’t be long either.”

“Luke.  I’ve just got a couple of things to get in here and then we’re going straight home.  I haven’t got time to run around after you.”

Luke hated shopping.  It was so boring.  “I’m waitin’ outside then.”

“Fine.  But don’t go anywhere.”

The health food shop was small and crowded so he was glad that at least he didn’t have to follow Mum in.  However, time never passed quickly for a person waiting.  After standing there for a couple of minutes he decided to read the posters on the window.  One in particular interested him very much.

As soon as Mum came out of the shop Luke rushed to help her.  “I’ll carry that for you.”

“Oh. Thank you.”  They walked back to the car.  “I got a big peanut butter this time.  You boys get through it so quickly.”

“Great.”

“And I found some mushroom and leek pies that look good.  They’re organic and gluten-free.”

“Great.”

“The shop lady says they’re lovely.”

“I bet they are.”

Mrs Walker was pleased that Luke seemed in a better mood than he was ten minutes earlier but there was something odd about him.  “You alright Luke?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he said absent-mindedly, “jus’ thinkin’ about … the pies.”

“Really?”

“Mmm?  Yeah. ….. Er, Mum?”

“Yes?”

“Can we rescue some chickens?”

“No.”

“I’d look after ’em – you wouldn’t have to do anything.”

“Don’t you think you’ve got enough on your plate?”  He shook his head but she continued.  “You’ve already got Curly and Squirt to look after, and Scratcher, and Dudley.”

“I could do it!”

“Plus you get a lot more homework than you used to.”  She started the car.

“Please!”

“No.”

“They’ll kill ’em if we don’t take ’em!”

“I said no!”

When her son dropped the argument Mrs Walker assumed the matter was settled.  But really, she should have known better.

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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Reflecto Girl Episode 7 COMING SOON!

Reflecto Girl: Incidental

COMING SOON

Don’t miss it 😀

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Luke Walker chapter 23 starts here!

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Chapter Twenty Three:
Activists

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.  Good luck with it.  I’m glad someone’s finally taking them to task for this,” the old lady smiled and continued on her way.

“How many does that make?” asked Luke.

“Seven hundred and eighty one.”

“That’s pretty good.”

“Yeah but I’d rather have a thousand.”

“When we’ve got a thousand we should send it to ’em.”

“Yeah.  Then they’ll have to listen.”  Tania put the petition clipboard into her bag and the Society made their way back along the pedestrianised precinct.

“Sponsor us to do the fun run?”  Two small boys dressed in Cubs uniforms sat at a table behind a pile of sponsor forms.

Isabel smiled.  “What are you raising money for?”

“Hearts Foundation,” answered one of them.

“The British Heart Foundation,” their Akela corrected him.

Isabel looked at her list.  “Oh, I’m sorry,” she told them, “the British Heart Foundation is on the red list.  We can’t support them.”

“What’s the red list?” asked the other boy.

Isabel showed him.  “Charities on the red list do experiments on animals.”

“What kind of experiments?”

“They poison ’em, give ’em diseases, cut ’em up and then kill ’em,” Luke explained.

The boys looked shocked.

“Why’d they do that?” asked one of them.

“They say they do it because they’re trying to find cures for human diseases,” said Tania, “but it’s pointless because human bodies are not the same as other animals so they don’t react the same to diseases or medicines.”

“I’m not doing it!” said one of the Cubs firmly.

“Nor am I,” agreed the other one.

“Are you sure?” asked the Akela, “The British Heart Foundation?  Surely they already know what causes heart disease, and how to prevent it.”

Isabel showed her the list.

“My goodness, there’s a lot of them on here,” she said, making a mental note to cancel her standing order to the Wellcome Trust.

“Shall we pack up?” asked a Cub.

“There’s a list of good charities on the other side,” said Isabel, “you could support one of them instead.”

The woman turned the leaflet over and looked at the green list.  “Oh yes, there’s a lot to choose from .…… Lord Dowding Fund for Humane Research …… ooh there’s a heart one – Heart UK, the Cholesterol Charity.”

“Let’s do that one!”

The Akela picked up the sponsor forms and thought for a moment.  “Okay,” she said, “this is actually an easy fix. We’ll get some new sponsor forms printed at the library with Heart UK on them instead of British Heart Foundation and then we can come back here and pick up where we left off!”

The boys were slightly disappointed, having reasoned that the abandonment of BHF would mean they could pack up for the day, but they were very pleased that at least they wouldn’t be supporting animal cruelty.

“Where can I get one of those by the way?”

Isabel looked at the small print at the bottom of the list, “Animal Aid makes them,” she said, “animal aid dot org dot UK.”

“Right.  Thank you for telling me.”  The Akela smiled and escorted her Cubs to the library.

****

“That’s the third time that’s happened to me,” said Isabel.

“Cubs asking you for money?” asked Joe.

“No, someone thanking me for telling them about a charity that’s experimenting on animals.  And they all said they won’t support them again.”

“It just goes to show,” said Tania, “most people don’t want their money spent on animal torture.”

“Yeah!  So it should be the law that when charities ask for money they have to tell people exactly what it’ll be used for.”

“Yeah,” said Joe, “they should put it on their posters.”

“And on their shop windows and their collectin’ tins and their adverts,” added Luke.

“Yeah!” said Tania, “let’s have some real transparency!”

“If only!” said Isabel.

“If wishes were horses,” said Luke, without really knowing what that meant, “we could make a horse of a different colour!”

“What?”

“We should do it!”

“Do what?”

“Put the truth on their posters.”

“You mean stickers,” said Joe, the only person who could follow Luke’s train of thought.

“I do.”

Isabel and Tania looked at each other and smiled.

“On’y thing is,” said Luke, “where do we get the stickers?”

 

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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Luke read the letter

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Story continues from yesterday:

Luke read the letter.

“Explain,” said Dad, “and the truth this time.  What did you send that caused alarm to the receivers?”

Luke explained.  “They’re s’posed to be lookin’ after animals, not killin’ em!  They’re pretendin’ it’s not cruel to kill ’em for meat so I found a picture on the internet of a bull bein’ killed in a slaughterhouse an’ I printed it out to show ’em how cruel it is.  To show ’em so they wun’t keep doin’ it!”

Mum and Dad looked at each other without saying anything.  Luke couldn’t tell whether they were still mad.  He was about to make another attempt at convincing them he was right when Dad spoke up.

“And you sent this to their homes?”  Luke nodded.  “Well of course they were upset! You shouldn’t be writing to people’s home addresses Luke, that’s out of order!  If you’ve got a problem with a company, you write to the company!”

“I did!  We did!  We wrote loadsa times to the sanctuary and they ignored us!  For months!  Then Tania’s mum said it was trustees who decided things at charities and they’re s’posed to run the charity for the reasons it was set up which is to prevent unnecessary sufferin’.  So Maybury’s payin’ for unnecessary sufferin’ – coz it’s not necessary for people to eat animals – instead of preventin’ it.  So Tania said they had no right to ignore us coz they should be countable for their actions and they’re breakin’ charity law so someone’s got to hold them to count for that!  So one of us found their addresses from, erm, a website and we started writin’ to them at home.”

“One of us?”

“Don’t matter who.  It’s not illegal.”

“And did that make them answer you?”

“No.”

“If you were hoping for a response you must have put our address on your letters,” said Mum.

“No. I didn’t,”  Luke insisted.  “We give ’em an email address to reply to.”

Dad took a deep breath.  “These are good people Luke, they donate their time and their expertise to help an animal sanctuary.  You’ve made your feelings clear and they’ve heard you.  There’s nothing more you can do.  You can’t force them to change.  Sending them grisly pictures of slaughtered animals is going too far.  No wonder they were upset.”

Luke was incensed.  “They’re upset?!  They’re the ones who did it!  D’you think I liked lookin’ at that picture?  No – I didn’t.  Nobody wants to look at that, but people who pay for it to happen have no right to complain!”

“Luke,” Dad began.

“No, he’s right,”  interrupted Mum.  “It’s these people’s responsibility to run the charity by the principles it was started on.  And if they go astray they have to be answerable.  They should have answered the children’s very reasonable request in the first place.  Ignoring them left the children with no other recourse than to write to them at home.  They brought it on themselves.”

Luke was relieved that he’d finally got through to somebody.  He nodded and looked at Dad who was harder to read.

“But you mustn’t be abusive in these letters,”  Mum added.

“I’m not.”

“Or threatening, or use any foul language.”

“I don’t.  I wouldn’t.  I never have.  I jus’ tell the truth.  We all just tell the truth and ask ’em to stop.  To save all the animals like they’re s’posed to.”

Dad still didn’t say anything.

Mum nodded.  “Good, okay.”

Perceiving that the inquest was over, Luke left the room.

“Weird though,” Mrs Walker commented, “how did the police get our address?  That creeps me out.”

Her husband shrugged. “I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation.”

****

Luke opened his bedroom door and grinned at his friend.

“What?” asked Joe.

“We’ve had a reply from Maybury!”

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More Luke Walker coming soon.  For the first twenty chapters click here 😀

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Vegan Life Magazine: August 2019

Vegan Life is a great magazine – written by vegans for vegans 😀 and this month they put us in it!!!!!

We are so excited to show you – a feature all about Violet’s Vegan Comics!!! – two full pages of writing, plus a couple of illustrations!  If you’ve already read it you might have thought it was just one long waffle from me talking about our stuff but I was actually answering questions posed by the magazine interviewer, they just didn’t print the questions 😀

Miranda was so excited she posed for a picture with the mag as soon as she saw it, but now that we’re famous I thought it would be a good idea to give her a disguise so that she doesn’t get mobbed by fans 😀

Of course it’s not all about us 😉  There are loads of scrumptious recipes, interviews with activists and animal advocates, news about the rise of veganism in the mainstream and tons of positive vegan lifestyle inspiration.  There’s loads more on their blog too 😀

And if you like the mag – which I know you will – you’re gonna love their live event!

Vegan Life LIVE takes place on the 14th and 15th of March 2020 at Alexandra Palace in London.  There’ll be talks and cookery demonstrations and so many stalls full of yummy vegan products.  Check out some of the highlights of their event in 2017 to get an idea of what to expect 😀

14-15 of March.

Be there! ❤

😀

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 😉

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One of many possibilities

Sherman and Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p16 reducedS&G3 p17 reduced

The end 🙂

Want more? Click here for more Sherman and Geynes stories or click here to go to the main menu, and choose a story from our entire selection, for ages one to one hundred and one.

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Wait a minute

Sherman and Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p13 reducedS&G3 p14 reducedS&G3 p15 reduced

Come back tomorrow for the end of the story!

Can’t wait? Click here to read the whole story now.

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Sounds good to me

Sherman and Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p11 reducedS&G3 p12 reduced

Continues tomorrow.

Can’t wait? Click here to read the whole story now.

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Are they railway bandits?

Sherman and Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p9S&G2 p10

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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

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Beauty and the plastic ring

Story continues from yesterday:

For all the Venus Aqueous stories click here 😀

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We are Vegan Nation!

We are happy to announce our new partners: Vegan Nation – the strongest cruelty-free marketplace & platform every Vegan needs to know!

You’ll soon find us, among thousands of other vegan businesses, on their upcoming app📱@vegannationofficial – #iamvegannation

Wanna join?  I don’t blame you!  Click here to join the fastest growing vegan ecosystem now! 😀

What exactly happened today?

For this whole story (episode 2) and all the other Megan & Flos stories, click here 🙂

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Happy Ever After

For the whole story, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

The End.

For now 😀

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Comeuppance

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Join us on Friday for the episode conclusion 😀

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Top Secret

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Story continues Wednesday. Don’t miss it! 😉

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Heads up!

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Next instalment ASAP! 😉

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Yikes!

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Bite him Megan! Pull his hair! 😮

Come back soon to see what happens next! 😉

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Proof!

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Gasp! Don’t miss the next instalment on Friday 😀

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Power of Attorney

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

What are they concentrating on? Find out on Wednesday 😀

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Call the cops!

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

But can you prove it Megan? Join us on Monday to find out 😉

Have a great weekend 😀

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Waking up

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Next instalment coming soon! 😀

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Evidence

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

The plot thickens! Join us on Monday to see what happens next 😀

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And we’re back!

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

To refresh your memory of where we were up to in the story before the technical hitch, I’ll repeat the last installment and add the new one under it 🙂

Does it? Continues Friday 😉

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Rose

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Join us on Monday to see what happens next! 😉

Have a lovely weekend 😀

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Yellow bus

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Is Gertrude in there? Find out Friday 😀

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Focus

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Story continues Wednesday 😀

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Connection

For the story so far, click here 🙂

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Will Megan and Flos and Frances be able to track down Miss Burton?  And will they find further evidence of the corruption at Homestead?  Join us Monday as the story continues 😉

Have a great weekend 😀

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County Archives

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Oh my gosh! 😮

The story continues on Friday.  Don’t miss it! 😀

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The Ambridge Legacy

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What????!!!!

Join us on Wednesday to find out what happens next 😀

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Filing

For the story so far, click here 🙂

Use the zoom in your browser to make it bigger for easier reading 🙂

Now we’re getting somewhere!

Join Megan on Monday as her investigation continues 😀

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Indoctrinated

For the story so far, click here 🙂

 Join Megan as she begins her investigation inside the organisation – Friday. Don’t be late 😉

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Something weird is going on

Story continues from Monday:

Story continues Friday 🙂

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If you find this difficult to read, just enlarge it with your browser’s zoom 🙂

Click here for episodes 1 to 5 of Megan & Flos, or find them on the Stories for ages 8 and up page 🙂

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The Christmas Market

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 15, the denouement :

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

“This should be good,” said Isabel.

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

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

The engine started.

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

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

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

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

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

“Thomas is a veggie.”

“Is he?” said Joe.

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

“He’s cool,” said Luke approvingly.

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And reindeer burgers!”

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

“Say something!” Tania implored.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Says who?” asked the man sceptically.

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

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

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

The large man laughed stupidly.

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

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

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

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

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

“Me too,” said Isabel, smiling.

Luke looked wonderingly at Joe.  Joe nodded.

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

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

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

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vegan, vegetarian, Christmas, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s book, fiction, juvenile fiction, animals, environment, humour, adventure, activism

Unprepared

For all the Luke Walker stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 12 continues from yesterday:

*******

They weren’t prepared for what they found.  Parked in the field, alongside the still confined sheep, was a double decker lorry.

The top deck was already full of sheep.  The farmer was there, with his dogs, talking to the lorry driver.  It was clear to the boys what was about to happen.  That’s why they were locked up there.  They were waiting for transport.  Waiting to be taken to their deaths.  Luke and Joe stood frozen at the bus shelter. They dropped their bags of apples.

“The lorry must be late,” said Joe in a husky whisper.

“Why?”

“Coz they haven’t been fed for two days, they must’ve not known it was gonna be that long.”

“It’s not late!” snapped Luke angrily, “look how clean an’ shiny that lorry is!  I bet they don’t wanna get their lorry dirty – they don’t want no poo and wee in their lorry so they don’t let ’em eat or drink before the journey.  Their last journey!”

Joe felt a lump in his throat and his heart ached.

“That’s horrible!” he said desperately, “what can we do?  We’ve got to do something!”

Luke’s eyes started to sting as he watched them send in the dogs to herd the hungry sheep onto the lorry. He picked up the biggest stone he could find and threw it as hard as he could at the lorry’s windscreen across the road.  It missed.

“There’s nothin’ we can do!” he said, grabbing his bag of apples, “unless you’ve got a thousand pounds to pay the farmer for ’em, and a hundred allotments to keep ’em on!”

Still they hated themselves for doing nothing and walked away in silent misery.

***

Friday morning at breakfast, Luke’s dad observed how cold and wet it was.

“It’s big coat weather already,” he told his wife, “it’s amazing how quick the temperature drops once September arrives.”

“Sometimes,” Mum agreed, “it’ll probably be warm again tomorrow.”  She looked at her boys.  “Your big coats need a wash to freshen them up,” she remembered, “so you’ll have to wear an extra jumper under your summer jackets for now.”

“I’m not wearin’ that wool jumper!” said Luke firmly.

“Luke, it’s cold.  If your Dad says it’s cold then you know it is.  He’s usually hotter than the rest of us.”

“Than you,” Dad corrected her.

“Yeah,” Jared agreed, “you’re the one who’s always cold,” he laughed.

“Well then, there you go, so if Dad thinks it’s cold …”

“I’m not wearin’ that jumper!  Take it back an’ get your money back!  We’re not givin’ money to farmers!”

Everyone stopped eating.  Dad was not impressed.

“Luke Eugene Walker, how dare you speak to your mother like that?  Apologise right now!”  He spoke in that slow, quiet, angry way that meant you’d gone too far.  Luke realised he shouldn’t be taking it out on Mum.

“Sorry,” he said quietly, “but I don’t want you to pay money to sheep farmers.  I hate farmers!”

Mum’s response was gentle.

“Luke, clearly something has upset you, but the fact remains, as I told you, that wool isn’t cruel.  It doesn’t hurt them to be sheared.”

Luke tried to explain it to her in a way she would understand.

“It doesn’t make any difference,” he said, “they kill ’em anyway.”

“Not for wool they don’t.  They kill animals for leather but not for wool.”

“They kill ’em anyway,” Luke said again, “they make money out of ’em for wool; then they kill ’em and make money out of ’em for meat.  They kill ’em for money and they’re horrible, nasty, evil, criminal murderers and I don’t want you to give them any of our money!”

Nobody could argue with that.

“Okay,” said Mum, “I’ll take it back today.”

***

Joe gave Luke back the books and pens he’d left in his garden the day before.

“I forgot them last night,” he apologised.

“Me too,” said Luke, taking possession of three brand new, very soggy, text books, and two exercise books in which a lot of his work had dissolved.

“Put them on the radiator,” Joe suggested helpfully.

“Yeah,” said Luke.

The bell rang and they went their separate ways.

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The story concludes on Monday but if you don’t want to wait you can finish it here now 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books, animals, animal rights, animal protection, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, sheep, sheep farming, wool

A brilliant plan

For all the Luke Walker stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 12 continues from yesterday:

*******

On their way home from school Luke and Joe discussed the Christmas concert.

“I don’t wanna be in it,” said Joe.

“You could just ‘ave a small part,” Luke suggested, “then we’d be together.”

“Oh yeah,” said Joe, but his heart wasn’t in it.  He was terrified at the thought of being on stage; of being watched by people.  Luke sympathised and racked his brains for a way that Joe could be part of the production without actually having to be on stage.  Then it came to him.

“You could be the scenery painter!” he said with great satisfaction.  “Then you’d ‘ave to be there, paintin’ the scenes while we’re rehearsin’.  Then I could chat to you when it’s not my scene and I could help you.  I could fetch your pens and paints and brushes.  You could tell ’em I’m your assistant so they don’t send me back to lessons when it’s not my scene.”

It was a brilliant plan.  Joe was as happy about it as Luke.

They ducked into Joe’s house for sheep food.  His mum was in the kitchen.

“Hello Joe, oh, and hello Luke.  Are we returning the favour tonight then?” she asked.

“What d’you mean?” said Joe, trying to think of a way to entice her from the kitchen.

“Is Luke staying here for tea today?”

“Oh, er, no. Thank you,” said Luke, “I’ve jus’ come to borra somethin’.”

That gave Joe an idea.

“Yeah, I want to lend ‘im my book about trains,” he said, “ya know, the one Auntie Sue gave me.”

“Okay,” said his mum without looking up from the potatoes she was peeling.

“on’y,” said Joe, tentatively, “I don’t know where it is.  Could you find it for me?”

“Haven’t I got enough to do?” she said indignantly, “what else do you want – shall I tie your shoelaces? Shall I clean your teeth for you?”

Joe shook his head.

“Find it yourself you cheeky beggar!” she concluded, and that was that.

The boys stepped back outside.  It was no use.  She’d started the dinner which meant she’d be in there for at least another hour.

“Sorry,” said Joe, “we’ll have to get somethin’ from yours again.”

“There’s nothin’ left to take,” said Luke, “Mum said we’ll have to have tinned veg ’til she can get to the shops again and coz she thinks I took it for Curly and Squirt and the damsons – typical! They always blame me! – she won’t let me watch telly for a week!”

The boys looked at each other and thought hard.  There had to be a way to get something to eat for those poor starving sheep.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said Luke, not for the first time.  Then he had a thought.  An idea.  A good one.  It might be tricky but it was do-able.

“Remember that farm behind the pony field, next to the rec?”

“Yes,” said Joe.

“They grow salads and things, in them plastic tunnels.”

“Mmm,” said Joe, nervously.

“So, I’ve seen ’em, them tunnels, all they ‘ave to do is water ’em twice a day.  The rest of the time there’s no one in ’em.”

“But they’ve got them big dogs,”

“Okay, well, we’ll take a couple o’ dog toys, and then you can distract …”

Joe shook his head.

“I don’t want to distract.”

“Okay, I’ll distract ’em and you can go into the tunnels to get the salad.”

“That’s stealin’.”

“To save lives!” Luke reminded him, “and anyway, they’ve prob’ly got hundreds o’ lettuces and cucumbers, they won’t miss a few.”

Taking Joe’s silence as tacit consent, Luke continued.

“First, we’ll go to mine to get the dog toys; and a bag; then we’ll go to the farm and I’ll climb in to play with the dogs; as soon as I’ve got their ‘ttention, you sneak into the …”

Joe laughed.

“What?” said Luke, annoyed that his great plan was a source of amusement.

“Look over there,” said Joe, pointing to the bottom of his garden.

There stood two heavily laden apple trees.

“Or,” said Luke, “we could take some apples.”

They emptied the contents of their school bags behind the water butt and replaced them with apples. With no time to lose, they headed to the muddy paddock.

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The story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here now 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books, animals, animal rights, animal protection, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, sheep, sheep farming, wool

Make sure no one’s watching

For all the Luke Walker stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 12 continues from yesterday:

*******

When they got to the bus stop they stood under the shelter and looked carefully in every direction to make sure no one was watching.  Then they hurried across the road and emptied their bags into the muddy paddock.  The sheep didn’t trust the boys and they crowded against the opposite fence.

“These’ll give ’em water as well as food,” said Luke, “I hope they like ’em.”  He was a little disappointed that they didn’t seem too keen to tuck in.

“I think they’re frightened of us,” Joe suggested, “p’rhaps we should go back over the road and watch from there.”

Luke agreed and within a few minutes the sheep bravely and hungrily partook.  The boys were extremely relieved.

“That’s good,” said Joe, “we’ll jus’ feed ’em every day ’til they let ’em out.”

“Yeah, but tomorrow we’ll get the food from your house or my mum’ll catch on.”

“Okay.”

Then they went to visit Curly and Squirt, before popping in to Joe’s house to tell his mum that he was going to tea at Luke’s.

***

On Thursday Mr Beardsley said that Year 5 were going to be responsible for the Christmas concert this year.  He said they were going to put on a musical production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

“… so for any of you who are aspiring singers or actors, the auditions are being held on Friday after school.”

This was interesting.  It was a good story.  The Muppet Christmas Carol was one of Luke’s favourite films.  He’d never thought of himself as an actor and the idea of performing did not really appeal to him. However, when Jared was in the school play a couple of years ago he said they had to rehearse so much that he missed loads of lessons.

“What parts?” he blurted out suddenly without thinking.  Mr Beardsley was writing on the board.

“I’m sorry?”

Luke felt a bit embarrassed.

“er, sorry, what parts are in the play?”

“Oh, er, well, lots.  Scrooge, Scrooge’s nephew, Bob Cratchit, the Spirits, Tiny Tim, …”

“They’re all boy parts,” said Tania Spriggs, one of the new girls.  She was understandably disgruntled.

“Oh, there’s lots of girls’ parts too,” said Mr Beardsley, trying to think of one. “Oh, er, there’s Mrs Cratchit, and er, the Cratchit daughters, and Scrooge’s sister, Scrooge’s nephew’s wife,” he was on a roll now.  But then he realised he wasn’t.  He couldn’t think of any more.

Tania huffed.

“The wife, the sister, the daughter!  All minor roles!” she said, dispirited, “I look forward to a school play with a strong female lead!”

“I tell you what, talk to Ms Robinson at the auditions.  She’s adapting the story into a script so I’m sure she’ll make sure there’s plenty of good roles to be had for both sexes.”

Luke gave it some more thought.  He liked the idea of being one of the spirits.  The really scary one.

Mr Beardsley resumed writing on the board.  Maths.  Again.  Luke pictured himself as the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.  He’d have a long, black, hooded cape; his face would be painted white with black cavernous eyes; he’d have sharp talons for fingernails and …

“Luke. What’s next?”

Luke, brought abruptly from his reverie, had no idea what was being asked of him.  His bewilderment was visible.  Mr Beardsley banged the pen on the board to draw Luke’s attention to the sum written there.

“Four thousand, two hundred and seventy nine divided by twenty two.  Long division.  Max did the first part.  What’s next?”

Luke shook his head.  He really hated it when someone interrupted his train of thought.  He was in the middle of something.  What was it?  He turned to ask Joe but Joe wasn’t there.  Oh yes, the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, that was the part for him.  Then he had another thought.  If Joe was in it too they’d be together again.  He wondered what part Joe would like.  Mr Beardsley moved on to Katia.  She didn’t know either.

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

The story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here now 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books, animals, animal rights, animal protection, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, sheep, sheep farming

Some calls may be recorded

For all the Luke Walker stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 12 continues from yesterday:

*******

“Oh no!  He prob’ly dint tell no one he’d locked the sheep up without food ‘n’ water, and if he’s dead, no one’ll know they’re here, and they’ll starve to death!”  His eyes were wide with alarm.

“Call the RSPCA!” said Joe suddenly, “this is cruelty to animals, lockin’ em up without food or water!  The RSPCA’ll rescue ’em!”

“Yesss!” said Luke and the two of them rushed back to his house.

Luke found the number in the phone book and decided, for privacy, to use the phone in his mum’s bedroom.  He put it on speaker so that Joe could hear.  It rang for a few seconds before being answered by a recorded message.

“Thank you for calling the RSPCA.  Please note some calls may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.  To proceed press 1 now.”

Luke pressed 1.

“Thank you.  Please say your postcode.”

Luke was flummoxed.

“What’s my postcode?” he mouthed to Joe.

Joe shrugged.

The recording tried again.

“Please say your postcode out loud or key it into the keypad.”

Luke pressed some random keys.

“Thank you.  Now please key in your house number.”

He pressed the seven and the one.

“Thank you.  Your address is 71 Broomhill Drive, Glasgow, Scotland.  If this is correct press 1; if this is incorrect press 2; press 3 to return to the main menu.”

Luke was exasperated.  No, it wasn’t correct but he wasn’t going to tell them that or he’d have to start all over again.  He pressed 1.

“Thank you.  Now say your name out loud.”

“Robin Locksley.”

“Thank you.  If you have called because of an animal in distress, please choose between the following options: If you’re worried about a dog in a hot car, press 1.  If you’ve found an abandoned …”

Luke threw his head back in frustration.

“We ‘aven’t got time for this!  Jus’ let me talk ta someone!”

“It’s a good job you’re not on a mobile,” Joe agreed, “Janet’s always runnin’ out of credit on hers.”

The machine listed several options before concluding with:

“For anything else, please hold for an operator.”

“Finally,” Luke mouthed and the ring tone began again.  After a minute or so, a live person answered.

“Thank you for calling the RSPCA.  How may I help you?”

“There’s some sheep locked in a muddy paddock with no food or water,” Luke told her.

“Are they in distress?”

“Wun’t you be distressed if you hadn’t eaten anythin’ for a whole day an’ night?  Or drunken anythin’?”

“It’s only been one day?”

“And a night.  More ‘n that now,” Luke said.

“Are they injured?  Do they look like they’ve been abused or neglected.”

“Well, no, they don’t seem to be injured.”

“I’m sorry but I don’t think any of our inspectors will come out if they’re not injured or in distress.”

“They haven’t had anythin’ to drink or eat since yesterday! They’re really hungry and they’re locked in there!  You’ve got to let ’em out!”

“I’m sorry.  Perhaps you can ask the farmer to check on them.  Do you know who the sheep belong to?”

“We think the farmer might be dead.”

“Who are you talking to?” Mum stood in the doorway.

Luke disconnected the call.

“Nobody.  We was jus’ pretendin’,” he thought it best not to involve Mum.

“I heard a woman’s voice.  Who were you talking to?” she persisted.

“Somebody.  Don’t matter who.”

“I beg your pardon? You’re in my room, using my phone and I insist you tell me who you were speaking to!”

Luke looked momentarily at the floor and then back at her.

“Joe’s mum,” he lied again, “she said Joe could stay for tea.  We’re goin’ to check on Curly and Squirt.”

Mrs Walker decided to pretend she believed him.

“Okay,” she consented, “back by six please.  And in future, ask before you use the phone.”

While Mum stayed in her room to sort the laundry, Luke and Joe rushed downstairs.

“We’ll feed ’em ourselves!” Luke decided.

He handed a shopping bag to Joe and opened the fridge.  Luckily, Mum had just been shopping.

“Take these,” he said, “and these, and these,” and he handed him about twenty carrots, two cucumbers, a cabbage, a lettuce and sixteen apples.  The bag was heavy.  Luke grabbed another one to share Joe’s burden and they left.

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The story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here now 🙂

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books, animals, animal rights, animal protection, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, sheep, sheep farming

At the end of the day …

For all the Luke Walker stories so far click here 🙂

Chapter 12 continues from last Friday:

*******

At the end of the day Luke couldn’t find Joe so he walked home alone feeling very sorry for himself.  Then he saw something which took his mind off it.  Across the road sheep were being rounded up with two dogs and a quad bike.  They looked scared and tried to run in all directions but the dogs and the motorbike kept heading them off so that in the end they had no choice but to enter a fenced paddock at the edge of the field.  Unlike the grassy field, this paddock was nothing but mud.  There was nothing to eat and nothing to drink.  Luke watched from the bus shelter as the quad bike rider locked the gate, ordered the dogs onto the back of the bike, and then rode away.  When they were out of sight Luke went over to the sheep.  There were thirty or forty of them who recoiled as he approached.  Luke wanted to release them but wondered if he should.  He couldn’t understand why the farmer would lock them in there like that without even a water trough, but maybe the sheep needed some medicine that had to be taken on an empty stomach.  It would be wrong to act without knowing all the facts.  He felt it best to come back and check on them later and decide then what to do.

***

Luke opened the back door, dropped his book bag on the kitchen floor, kicked off his shoes and reached for the biscuit tin.

“Erm, did you forget something?” said Mum, suddenly appearing from the pantry.

Luke stuck his feet back in his shoes and shuffled them out of the kitchen.

“Sohhy,” he said, his mouth full of gingernut.

“Don’t tread the heels down!” she reminded him wearily, “and that’s not what I meant.”

He looked back, confused, and then noticed his book bag.

“Sorry,” he said again, picked it up and started to walk away.

“That’s not what I meant,” she said again, in a sort of sing-songy tone of voice.

Luke stood still.  He was tired.  It had been a long day.  Could she not just tell him what she meant?  Did they have to go through this trial and error game every time?  He turned to look at her.

“What?” he asked, “what did you mean?”

Mum gave him a look which meant he should modify his look.  He did.  Then she told him.

“Shouldn’t you ask before you take a biscuit?”

“Can I have a biscuit please?”

“You may have two biscuits,” she said smiling, “how was your first day back?  Did you like your new teacher?”

Luke slumped into a chair in the dining room.

“He’s alright,” he said unenthusiastically.

“He?  I thought you’d be with Ms Robinson this year.”

“Yeah.  So did I.”

“So, how come you’re not?  Who are you with?  Mr Green?”

“No.  A new one.  Mr Beardsley.”

“Oh.  What’s he like?”

Luke appreciated his mother’s interest but really wasn’t in the mood to recap the day’s events.

“He’s alright,” he said again, “I’ve got to do me homework,” and he lifted himself sluggishly from the chair and headed upstairs to cover his new books.

***

On Wednesday afternoon Luke was able to find Joe at the end of school.

“What’s it like in Muz Robinson’s class?” he asked jealously.

“‘s’alright,” said Joe.

Luke was surprised to get such a tepid response but realised that Joe was just being considerate, not wanting to rub it in.  He appreciated that and gladly changed the subject.

“We need to go home by the main road,” he told his friend, “I’ve got to check on some sheep.”

When they got there Luke was very concerned to see they were just as he’d left them the day before.

“They must be so hungry,” he said, “and thirsty.”

The boys crossed the road.  Joe was equally worried.

“We should let ’em back into the field,” he suggested, “there’s grass; and a water trough.”

“Yeah, I think so too,” said Luke, “but I can’t open the gate coz o’ the padlock.”  He tugged pointlessly at the hardened steel lock.  “Where’s the farmer got to?  I thought he would ‘ave let ’em out by now.”

“P’rhaps he’s had an accident,” Joe said anxiously, “he might be dead!”

Luke hadn’t thought of that.

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The story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here now 🙂

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

vegan, vegetarian, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books, animals, animal rights, animal protection, animal rescue, vegan children, veggie kids, sheep, sheep farming