Frivolous Magic – ‘When There Were Witches’ concludes

When There Were Witches continues from yesterday:

***

The twins stayed up half the night changing the colour of everything in the house. They put different coloured floorboards in every room, with ceilings to match. They made the roof tiles blue to match the sky, and the outside walls green to match the grass. They changed the colours of their clothes and their bed sheets and both umbrellas. They tried to change their hair colours but that didn’t work. Their hair was essential to who they were. Bertha was red, Brynja was yellow. Nothing could change that.

A little after 4am they collapsed on Brynja’s bed, exhausted and happy.

“I see why you like doing it.” Bertha smiled, “It feels really nice.”

Really nice,” agreed Brynja, “but you’re right, it is a bit frivolous.” They both laughed. “Tomorrow, we should do spells from the Garden chapter!”

*

By the anniversary of their mother’s departure, the twins were not only proficient at many of the spells in the book, they had learned to make up their own. They wrote a spell to do the dishes, another to sweep the floor. They used magic to plant seeds and water them. They used magic to pick the fruit. They even used magic to cook the dinner. Whatever needed to be done when they didn’t feel like doing it, was done with magic. That left them with a lot of time on their hands.

“I’m bored,” said Brynja.

“Do some painting. It’s fun!” Bertha was painting a portrait of one of their frequent visitors, a pig called Alfred. “Alfred. Alfred, tt-tt-tt – look at me please darling, I’m trying to do your eyes.”

Brynja scrunched up her nose. “Naa. I don’t see the point. I could do it better with magic.”

“Well it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact I think it’s nicer if …”

Circumlinisti stibio verus Alfred!”

Alfred vanished.

Bertha gasped. “Alfred! … Where did he go?”

“Here he is!” Brynja, grinning, held up a beautifully framed painting of Alfred which was faultlessly realistic.

Bertha was stunned. “That’s amaz-ing … did he just blink?” Her sister laughed. “Is that Alfred? Did you turn him into a painting?!” Bertha did not think it was funny. “Change him back! You’re frightening him!”

“He’s fine.”

“Change him back! Now!”

Brynja muttered a few more words in Latin and Alfred was back on the armchair momentarily before dropping to the floor and leaving the house.

“How could you do that?” Bertha was really angry.

“He’ll be back tomorrow, you can finish your painting then.”

“I don’t care about the painting! How could you do that to Alfred? He must have been petrified! How would you like it if …?”

“Oh will you, chill, out!”

Bertha glared.

“I didn’t hurt him. He probably doesn’t even have any memory of it. He’s fine!” Brynja left the room and slammed the door behind her.

The following morning at breakfast the atmosphere was still frosty. Both witches ate their toast in silence.

Refresh!” Bertha opened the window.

Clausa fenestrae.” Brynja closed it.

Bertha scowled. “You’re such a … witch!”

“Ha! Good one!”

Bertha took another bite of toast and tried to take the high road. But the low road beckoned. “What’s with the Latin all of a sudden? You’re such a show off!”

Brynja smiled coldly. “Just wanted a new challenge I guess, since I’ve mastered the magic.” There was a wicked glint in her eye as she slowly pushed the toast rack across the table. “You can have this, I don’t want any more,” and she left the room.

They didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the day. The next morning Brynja slept in so Bertha had breakfast on her own. Brynja had hers a couple of hours later which meant they weren’t ready for lunch at the same time, or dinner. The distance between them expanded. Eventually, almost a week after the painting incident, Alfred came back to see Bertha.

She could tell right away that he was troubled and, with a swift and gentle magic word, “Speak,” she enabled him to tell her exactly what was on his mind. He warned her that Brynja was upsetting the balance of nature. For her own amusement, she had taken possession of the forest and filled it with plants and animals who didn’t belong there, forcing out those who had always called it home. He feared for the future and told her what she already knew – that Brynja must be stopped.

Bertha finally understood why her mother had kept the spell book from them. Magic had made Brynja arrogant and selfish. She had separated herself from nature and the other beings with whom she shared the world. Magic had made her think she was better than everyone else. But what was more worrying was that Bertha had not been sent the pain when Brynja broke the law. The one law, do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain, did not apply to witches.

Bertha rushed upstairs to find the spell book and turned straight to the last chapter: Discipline Spells. There was the spell Ermendrud had taught them, To Punish A Law Breaker, and one other – A Last Resort. The spell’s introduction explained that a witch without self-control was the most dangerous threat a world could face and must be stopped at all costs. Bertha was sickened by detailed descriptions of horrors which had happened on other worlds where errant witches had gone unchecked. Only she could protect her world from such an outcome.

With heavy heart she collected the ingredients needed for the spell: a lock of Brynja’s hair from Mother’s locket, and a black rose. Then she went to find her sister.

Brynja was in the meadow, using magic to make a herd of deer run races for her amusement.

“Please don’t do that,” Bertha tried one more time to appeal to her sister’s better nature.

Brynja turned and scowled. “I want to do it, so I will!”

Bertha was sad. “Why are you doing this? You never used to be like this. Magic’s made you mean.”

“What do you know about magic? You’ve only just dipped your toe in the water. If you embraced it like I have you’d know how small your life is.”

“My life is full. It’s balanced. Yours is dangerous. You are dangerous, and if you don’t stop now, I’ll be forced to stop you.”

“Will you?” Brynja asked with a smirk.

“Yes,” said Bertha sadly, “if you won’t stop now I’ll stop you permanently.”

Brynja threw back her head and laughed. “I’m bored of listening to you now,” and, with a flourish, “Silence!”

In the second before Brynja’s spell hit her, Bertha rubbed a handful of her own hair against the black rose behind her back and whispered the magic word, “Sacrifice!” A moment later she was nothing but a scattering of poppy seeds in the grass.

“Nooo!” Brynja’s heart-rending cry filled the sky. “Bertha! Come back! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do it!” She dropped to her knees and sobbed. “Please Bertha, please come back. I’ll be good – I promise! Pleease Bertha, please come back!” With her prayer left unanswered, she tried desperately to resurrect Bertha with magic. “Veni domum! Come back! Revive! Resurrect! Revivesco!

Bertha, unable to bring herself to take her sister’s life, had sacrificed herself in a way that she hoped would fill Brynja with such regret that she would, ever after, restrain her own excessive and frivolous use of magic. What she didn’t anticipate was just how damaging that regret would be.

Thinking that her own selfish and unnecessary abuse of magic had killed her sister, Brynja tore into her house in a violent rage against all magic. Unable to find the spell book where she’d left it, she commanded it to appear before her.

Ego legere magicae ex hoc mundo!” In that moment the spell book was banished and with it all of Brynja’s magic.

She still feels the pain every time someone breaks the law, but she can’t cast the spell to punish them.  So the world has been left to the mercy of people who no longer fear the wrath of a benevolent witch and often don’t take care to do as they would be done by.  I’m sure you know what kind of a world that is.

A sad ending 😦 I’m sorry,

but if you want a happy ending check out the other stories on the fairy tales page 😀

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New Fairy Tale Starts Today!: When There Were Witches

A long long time ago, long before you or I, or our great grandparents, were born, the world was ruled by a powerful witch called Ermendrud.

Ermendrud was respected and feared because she saw everything and punished those who disobeyed her law. There was only one. For a whole millennium only one was needed. No one broke it. Well, one or two did, at the beginning, but when people saw what happened to them, they were careful, very very careful, not to make the same mistake.
So life in those days was very harmonious. There were no wars. There was no murder. There was no stealing. There was only co-operation, and kindness, and health and happiness.

After a thousand years of being quite content to live alone, Ermendrud decided she wanted baby. So she went out into the poppy field to look for the tallest poppy. She found two that were very tall, more than a head taller than the rest. A red one and a yellow one. She watched them for several minutes but it was impossible to be sure which was the tallest, swaying in the wind as they were. Finally she settled on the red one, for red was her favourite colour. She placed a lock of her hair inside it, folded the petals on top and sealed it with a kiss.

The following morning, as soon as the sun rose, Ermendrud hurried back to the poppy field where she found not one, but two babies. They were both girls. One had bright red hair, the other’s was golden yellow. Ermendrud realised that some of her hair must have blown onto the yellow poppy after she left, and she was very happy it had.

She bent down to kiss the red haired baby. “Welcome to the world baby Bertha,” she said. Then she kissed the yellow haired baby. “Welcome to the world baby Brynja.”

The little witch twins grew up happy and strong until, on their sixteenth birthday, their mother called them to her.
“This world is yours now, my loves,” she told them, “watch it carefully and remember the spell. My time is done.”
Tears pricked their eyes but they didn’t argue. They knew that if their mother said something was true, then it was. Ermendrud faded away in her sleep that night, leaving nothing behind but a handful of poppy seeds.

Autumn came and went. Winter settled in and seemed to last forever. The young witches, mired in grief, were not keeping an eye on the world. One day they were both hit with a short sharp pain between the eyes.

“Aaaagh!” Bertha rubbed her finger over the skin above her nose, “What was that?”

“The sharp pain!” yelled Brynja, jumping to her feet, “someone’s broken the law!”

“Oh no! What do we do?”

“The spell! Mother said we have to do the spell!”

“But we’ve never done it before! I thought we’d be able to watch Mother do it …”

“Well no one broke the law while Mother was here, but now she’s gone they think they can get away with it. We’ve got to show them they can’t!”

“I don’t know …”

“Yes you do! She taught us a hundred times! We have to do it! If we don’t do it in the next four minutes it’ll be too late.”

Brynja rushed to her mother’s room for the ingredients. Bertha waited. Brynja went to the stream behind the house. Bertha followed. Brynja sprinkled lavender into the water, held a seed of Black-eyed Susan in each hand, and recited the spell.

“There is one who did not heed
The law of good and of good deed.
They broke the law, did something bad,
Selfish, cruel or making sad.
So find the one who did offend
And make their ill deed twist and bend
Back on them so they will feel it,
What they gave they now receive it.”

Brynja dropped the seeds into the water and looked at Bertha.  “Did it work? D’you think it worked?”

Bertha scanned the sky. “I can’t see a rainbow.” She turned back to Brynja and shook her head.

Three and a half minutes had passed since the pain.

“Your hair!” Bertha pointed frantically, “you forgot your hair!” She grabbed the scissors from her apron pocket and passed them to Brynja.

Brynja cut a curl from her beautiful yellow hair and dropped it into the stream. A rainbow formed over the water for a few seconds, and then dissolved.

“You did it!” cried Bertha.

Brynja’s face flushed and she closed her eyes. She felt vibrant. Full of energy. Wide awake.

She smiled at her sister. “Yes I did.”

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

Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole fairy tale here now 😀

 

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Flower illustrations by Owantana of Pixabay, Poppies illustration by GreissDesign of Pixabay

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Reflecto Girl episode 7 starts here!

For the rest of the Reflecto Girl episodes, click here 😀

RG7 page 2 reduced

Yikes! Story continues tomorrow 😀

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This comic is made with Comic Life by Plasq

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Vegan Story Time #8: The Two Little Pigs

Listen to The Two Little Pigs 😀

Want more stories?  Check out the Story Time page 😀

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Clarence’s story begins today

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

vegan Christmas story

 

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Clarence’s story continues tomorrow

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The fairy’s plan

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular continues:

“But the owl didn’t know his name.  Or how to find him.  I searched for many years without luck and eventually settled here.  And if your mother hadn’t asked me to protect you from yourself; if I hadn’t psychically perused this kingdom’s archives; I may never have discovered his name.  Now we not only know that, we also know where he’ll be if you re-enact the beginning of the dream.”

fairy tale

The princess was excited at the prospect of defeating the wizard.  “But how will we get him to eat his magic potion?” she asked.

Lady B was excited too.  “We know that Venustus takes advantage of the naïve and vulnerable.  Now, two months ago King Arnot died, leaving his unworldly son, Albro, in charge.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that kingdom is already in receipt of potion-doused produce.”

fairy tale

There was no time to lose.  The princess was well known so she dressed in disguise.  Then, while she rode to young King Albro’s territory, Lady Beatrice informed the duke of their plan – he would need to be in on it.

Once over the border, Princess Primrose searched for the market place.  She needed to make sure that they were indeed selling ‘magic’ produce.

fairy tale

Before long she found the market.  Some stalls were piled high with colourful, irregular-shaped, delicious-smelling produce.  Others displayed equally enticing goods but they were all uniform in shape, colour and size.  And the smell … there was no smell.  The unnatural food was cheap and selling fast.

Princess Primrose smiled at the stall holder.  “This is just what I need,” she said.

fairy tale

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Ooh, will Lady Beatrice’s plan work?  Will they be able to defeat the wizard?

Find out on tomorrow 😀

Unless you don’t want to wait, in which case you can read it now 😀

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Here begins the princess’s story

The Princess Who Liked To Be Popular

Once upon a time there was a princess who loved to be loved. She always did her best to make popular decisions so that her people would love her. And they did.

If the people were happy, she was happy.

If the people didn’t like her hair style she would change it. If the people said a certain colour didn’t suit her, she wouldn’t wear it any more.

 

vegan fairy tale

Her parents, King Jerome and Queen Evangeline, were about to leave her in charge of the Kingdom while they travelled around the world for a year, so the young princess was very excited.

Confident that she could make her people even happier, she was eager to run the kingdom her way so that they would love her even more.

fairy tale

Before he left, the king looked at his daughter, his face stern and serious, and he said,

“Primrose,” for that was her name, “remember you cannot always please everyone. Make decisions because they are right, not just because they are popular.”

vegan fairy tale

The princess smiled and nodded while he was talking but as she walked away from the king she raised her eyes to the heavens and thought to herself,

“Oh Father, you are old, you don’t understand the world of today. I will make decisions that will make people happy.

How could that ever be wrong?”

vegan fairy tale

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Story continues tomorrow

or you can read it here now 😀

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The Two Little Pigs in paperback

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

It’s very cute 😉

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

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

Have a lovely weekend 😀

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Then the two pigs met a golden stag deer

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

Oh my goodness!

Come back tomorrow to see what happens next! 😀

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Then the two pigs met a golden stag deer,

He was strong and as tall as the sky.

“Please, oh please, help us find our way home!

We’re afraid if you don’t we might die!”

***

“Well done,” said the deer, “you’ve made your escape,

Now hide where he can’t see you.

If you go that way, I’m telling you true,

In no time at all he will find you!”

***

Again the pigs ran and they stuck to their plan

To go home where they felt safe before.

But the butcher came too, now he realised he knew

Just exactly where they headed for.

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Soon after that the pigs met a hare

The story of The Two Little Pigs continues:

Oh no! 😮

Join us tomorrow to find out what happens next 😀

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Soon after that the pigs met a hare

Who watched them with his gentle eyes.

“Please, oh please, please help us get home,”

They pleaded with sadness and sighs.

***

“It’s not very far,” the hare softly said,

“But it seems to me backward not forward.

If you must go back, go left past the shack,

But I think you had better turn westward.”

***

The pigs did not heed the advice received,

They were young and too green to be wary.

Not looking back, they went left past the shack,

Close pursued by the angry and hairy.

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vegan, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, vegetarian, vegan children’s book, children’s story, rhyming story, animal rights

Before long the two pigs met two robins

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Join us on Monday to find out what happens next 😀

Have a great weekend ❤

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Before long the two pigs met two robins

Sitting atop a green bush.

“Help us please, to find our way home,

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

***

“I wouldn’t do that, oh no, oh no,”

The robins were both in agreement.

“You should look for a place of your own,

Unless you want more of this treatment.”

***

The pigs were confused but could not wait,

The butcher was still close behind them.

The big bad butcher still huffed and still puffed,

Still annoyed that he still couldn’t find them.

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vegan, animals, birds, animal rights, pigs, children’s story, rhyming story, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s books, vegetarian,

The two little pigs soon met a fox

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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The two little pigs soon met a fox,

They disturbed her sleep as they had to.

“Help us please, to find our way home,

We don’t know the way but hope you do.”

***

The fox sat up slowly, looking confused,

“You’re not from round here,” she concluded.

“The word you use is wrongly applied

To a creature so cold and hard-hearted.”

***

The pigs hurried on as fast as they could,

Resuming their quest for sanctuary.

The butcher was tired but he kept on

In determined pursuit of his property.

The two little pigs met a heron

The story continues from yesterday 😀

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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The two little pigs met a heron,

A wise and dignified bird,

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

And she listened to every word.

***

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

“If I had a dilemma like yours.

If I were you I’d get off by myself,

Don’t get stuck behind closed doors.”

***

The butcher was near so the pigs ran on

While the heron tried to distract him.

He paused for breath, returning her gaze

And she prayed he would never catch them.

The two little pigs met a kitty

Story continues from yesterday:

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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The two little pigs met a kitty,

A clever and striped kitty cat.

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

But the cat wasn’t sure about that.

***

“I wouldn’t go there if I were you,”

Was the kitty’s confusing advice,

“Hurry now, don’t let me keep you,

I hope you end up somewhere nice.”

***

Huffing and puffing were not far behind

So the piglets kept running and running.

The cat kept his mouth shut and didn’t divulge

The direction the two pigs were heading.

Butler did it!

For the story so far click here 😀

Chapter 24 continues:

“Where’s Luke?” asked Dad.

“Must be out with Dudley,” said Mum, “I expect he’ll be back soon.”

“Right, well as soon as he gets in, I want to give him his present.”

“You’ve finished it?”

“Yes,” said Dad with a big grin.

“Can I see it?” asked Mum excitedly, starting for the door.

“Not ’til Luke gets here,” Dad laughed and stepped in front of her.

“It’s not his birthday ’til Sunday,” said Jared.

“I know but I’ve got to work on Sunday.”

“Oh no!” said Mum, “didn’t you tell them you had plans?”

“Yeah but they’re desperate.  A lot of people off with stomach flu.”

“Again?!  Lucky for them you never get it.”

“What if you did?” suggested Jared, “tell ’em you caught it and then you won’t have to work.”

Dad frowned disapproval at that idea.

Mum pouted.  “Oh, I don’t want you to miss Luke’s birthday.”

“I don’t want to miss it either.  That’s why I thought we could do it now.  While we’re all here.”

“Luke and Dudley are home,” said Jared, looking out the dining room window, “and they’re not alone.”

Luke greeted his family with a fierce scowl.  “Butler let Curly an’ Squirt out and now they’re not allowed on the allotment!” he told them angrily.

“What?” asked everybody at once.

“Curly an’ Squirt got out and they messed up some o’ the plots and ate some o’ the plants but it wasn’t their fault. An’ I told Mr Tipton it wasn’t my fault either but he said I must’ve forgot but I didn’t an’ I told him I didn’t but he wun’t believe me!  He said there was a new rule and no animals could live on the allotments so I had to bring ’em home!”

“Luke slow down.  What exactly did Fred say?” asked Dad.

“I told you!  He said he wasn’t gonna let animals on the allotments any more coz he couldn’t risk it happenin’ again!”

“The sheep got onto other people’s plots?”

“Yes!”  Luke was exasperated.

“Oh no,” said Mum, “did they do much damage?”

“It’s not their fault,” Luke reiterated, “they were just eatin’.  They didn’t know they weren’t s’posed to.  They didn’t mean to spoil anything.”

“How did they get out?” asked Dad, “did you forget to bolt the gate this morning?”

“No!  I told you!  Butler did it!”

“Simon Butler?  Why d’you think that?”

“I saw him just now – laughin’ with his stupid friends about it!  He shouted at me that I shun’t have left the gate open.  How would he know that if he din’t do it?”

Mum and Dad exchanged serious glances.

“I’ll speak to Fred,” said Dad, “don’t worry.  I’m sure we can work something out.”

“We could put a padlock on the gate,” suggested Mum.

“Good idea ….”

“Won’t work,” interrupted Luke dejectedly, “I already offered to do that.  He said no.”

Dad ruffled his hair.  “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to him,” and he reached for the phone.

“No!” said Luke firmly, “they’re not safe there.  I want them to stay here!”

“They can’t stay here Luke, I’m sorry.”

“Why not?  The garden’s big enough.”

“I’m sorry Luke, no,” Dad insisted, “I’ve worked hard on this garden and I don’t want it ruined.”  He looked out the dining room window.  “Look – they’ve already eaten half my purple mallow!”

“Well they’ve had a rough day!  Give ’em a break!”

“I’ll go next door and speak to Anne,” said Mum, “maybe she can keep her slimy son in check.”

“Okay,” said Dad. “Luke, put the sheep in the damson patch.  I’ll phone Fred.”

“No!  We’re not sendin’ ’em back!  A padlock won’t keep ’em safe!  Anyone could climb over the fence an’ hurt ’em!  I want them here where I can see them all the time!”

Dad spoke low and calm but there was no mistaking his hostility.  “Let me make one thing clear: I am not giving up my garden.  I tolerated the loss of my vegetable patch to your rabbits and you’re lucky I didn’t put my foot down then.  I’m putting it down now.  The sheep are going back to the allotments.”

Luke was infuriated.  “Aren’t Curly an’ Squirt more important than a few flowers?  It’s dangerous for ’em there!  It’s cruel to make ’em go back!  Cruel and selfish!”  He paused for a response that didn’t come.  “If you make ’em leave, I’m goin’ with them!”

Mum put her hand on his shoulder in an effort to calm him down but he pulled away angrily and stormed back out into the garden.

Mr Walker slammed his garage keys down on the table.  “So glad I worked every spare minute to make that child’s birthday present!” he growled.

“He didn’t mean it,” said Mum sympathetically, “he’s just upset.  If he knew what you’d done …”

“He shouldn’t speak to me like that whether he knew or not!”

“I know but …”

“I think I deserve a little bit of respect!”

Mrs Walker reached out to hug him but he walked away.  She sighed.  “I wonder what it would have been like to have daughters,” she thought.

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

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Unarguable

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀

Story continues from yesterday:

When they found the stall, which was always in town on Saturdays, only one person stood behind it and it wasn’t Kris.

“Hello you lot,” said Andy, “long time no see.”

“Hello,” said Tania.

“Hello,” said Isabel.

“Hello,” said Joe.

“Have you got any stickers?” asked Luke.

“No,” said Andy.

“Is Kris here?”

Andy looked under the table.  “Erm, no, I’m afraid she isn’t.”  He stood back up, “anything I can help you with?”

“Can I have one of these?” asked Joe, reaching for the red and green charities lists.  Andy nodded.

“Oh, get one for me as well,” said Tania.

“And me,” said Luke.

“Anything else?” asked Andy.

They all shook their heads.

“No thanks,” said Isabel, “see ya.”

They hadn’t expected Andy to have what they were looking for but, still, they were disappointed.

“Maybe there’s a website we could order some from,” wondered Joe.

Luke’s eyes lit up.  “Or,” he said, “we could do it with a marker pen!”

Joe wasn’t opposed to that idea but Tania and Isabel were.

“It’d take too long to write on every poster – much greater chance of being seen,” said Tania.

“Hang on a minute,” said Isabel, looking across the street at something. “I’ve got an idea!”

Tania knew what she was thinking and the two of them grabbed the boys’ arms and dragged them into WHSmith’s. They walked towards the back of the shop until they reached the stationery section and, more specifically, the printer paper.

“We don’t need ready-made stickers,” said Isabel, “we can make our own!”

****

Tania switched on her laptop, clicked Google Chrome and searched for how to print labels with OpenOffice.  Isabel sat at her laptop which was connected to Tania’s dad’s printer.  The boys stood behind her and watched.

“Open OpenOffice Writer,” Tania told her.

Isabel opened OpenOffice Writer.

“Click FILE, point to NEW and then select LABELS from the drop-down menu,” said Tania.

“Done,” said Isabel after a couple of seconds.

“Click the LABELS tab.”

“Okay.”

“Now you need to choose the labels’ brand from the drop-down list where it says BRAND.”

“Okay.”

“And then choose the label code from the list marked TYPE.”

“What’s our label code?”

“erm,” Joe pulled a sheet of sticky labels from the printer, “it says software code – is that it?”

“Let’s see,” said Isabel and she searched the list for the code he read to her.

“Got it.”

“Okay.  Under OPTIONS select ENTIRE PAGE.”

“Done.”

“Now click NEW DOCUMENT.”

As soon as Isabel did that, a page of blank labels appeared on the screen.  Everyone smiled.

“That was easy,” said Luke.

“So far so good,” said Isabel.  “Now, what do we want to put on them?”

“British Heart Foundation experiments on animals,” said Tania.

“And Cancer Research UK experiments on animals,” said Luke.

“Okay,” said Isabel, “let’s go down the red list and do a sheet for each charity that’s got a shop in town.”

“Right,” said Tania, picking up the list.

“Why don’t we just do one for all?” asked Joe.

“What d’you mean?”

“Well it’s not just shops we need ’em for.  You never know when you’re gonna see a poster or an ad for any of these charities, so we need to always be prepared.  We should have one sticker that’ll work for all of them.”

“Good idea,” said Tania, “something like ‘WE ARE VIVISECTORS’.”

“Yes!” said Luke.

Isabel shook her head.  “We don’t want it to sound like name-calling.  It’s got to be unarguable.  An unemotional statement of fact.”

Everyone nodded.

“WE FUND EXPERIMENTS ON ANIMALS,” said Joe.

Everyone nodded again and Isabel typed.

“Centre it,” said Tania, “and enlarge it to fill the label.  Good.  Now copy and paste it onto all of them.”

Isabel clicked SAVE and PRINT. “They can’t argue with that!”Story continues tomorrow but if you don’t want to wait you can read it here now 😀

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Luke Walker Chapter 22 starts here!

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 22:  Trust

“We should do it with the lights off,” Luke suggested, “have you got any candles?”

“Dinner’s ready!” said Joe happily.  It was the first time he’d cooked dinner for anyone else and he was quite pleased with how it had turned out.  He put two plates on the coffee table.  “Jacket potato with beans and salad,” he announced.

“Thanks,” said Luke, “is there any beetroot?”

“er, yeah,” said Joe and went to fetch it.

“Have you got any?”

“Yes, I’m getting it.”

“Candles?”

“What?”  Joe handed Luke the beetroot.

“Candles – thanks – have you got any?”

“erm, I don’t think so,” said Joe, “what d’you want candles for?”

“It says here they’re good for meditatin’,” said Luke, referring to his library book, “but we’ll just have to do it in the dark.”

“What if we mute the telly and leave it on?  With the rest of the lights off, that’d probably be like candle light,” suggested Joe.

“Good idea!”

Joe picked up the remote and pressed play.

“I love this bit,” said Luke, waiting for Kathy Bates to say ‘yes, this is our planet’ before replying, in sync with Keanu Reeves and Joe, “No, it is not.”

By the time Keanu had left the building, both diners were ready for dessert.  Joe emptied a tin of Fruit Medley into two bowls and brought them to the table.

“Thanks,” said Luke, “have you got any cake?”

“Mmm,” mumbled Joe through a mouthful of peach, pear and pineapple chunks, “there might be some doughnuts in the bread bin.”

“I don’t like pears,” said Luke, scraping the white chunks into Joe’s bowl.

“They taste different in grape juice,” said Joe, “I like ’em.”

“Good,” said Luke, “can I have your pineapple?”

“No.”

“I gave you my pears.”

“Because you didn’t want them.”

“I still gave ’em to you.”

“You’re not getting my pineapple!”

Luke gave up and went in search of doughnuts.

“There’s nothin’ but bread in here,” he called.

Joe put his head round the door.  “No, not that bread bin, that bread bin.”  He pointed to a large plastic box with a tea towel over it.  “That’s my bread bin.”

“You’ve got your own bread bin?”

Joe nodded.

Luke found the paper bag which had once contained ten jam doughnuts.  There was one left.  “Shall I cut it in half?” he asked.

“No, you can have it,” said Joe, giving the hoped-for response, “I’m full.”

“I’m not surprised if you’ve eaten the other nine.”  Luke laughed.

“I didn’t eat ’em today,” said Joe, “they’ve lasted me over a week.”

Luke sucked on the edge of the doughnut until it was soft enough to bite.  “Why have you got your own bread bin?” he asked eventually.

“To keep my food separate,” said Joe, “from theirs.”

“You’ve got your own food?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“I just want to.”

“Why?”

Joe changed the subject.  “We’d better get on with the meditation before Janet gets home.”

Luke muted the television.

“It says here we should do it outside,” said Joe, “in nature.”

“It’s raining,” said Luke.

“erm, well, I suppose it’ll work inside … yeah, it says you have to be comfortable so you don’t get distracted.”  They sat on the floor facing each other and closed their eyes.  “We have to empty our minds,” whispered Joe.

Luke jumped up.  “Wait! I forgot to turn the lights off!”  He switched them off and sat back down.  “So what are we supposed to be thinking about?”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Nothing.  Empty your mind.”

Luke was silent for almost fifty seven seconds.  “Shouldn’t we be thinkin’ about aliens?” he whispered, “I mean, shouldn’t we be callin’ them with our minds?”

“Not yet, we’re just learning to meditate.  When we get good at it, then we might be able to.”

“How long will that take?” asked Luke, opening his eyes.

“The more questions you ask, the longer it’ll take!” hissed Joe, exasperated.  “Close your eyes and empty your mind!”

Luke closed his eyes.  The room was silent.  Apart from the occasional passing car there was absolutely no noise.  Except that trickling sound.  What was that?  Luke opened one eye but it was too dark to see much.  The trickling stopped and he told himself to concentrate on nothing.

“Why have you got your own food?”

Joe tutted and got up to switch on the light.  “Do you want to contact the aliens or not?”

“You’re keepin’ somethin’ from me,” said Luke, “you can’t properly meditate when you’re keepin’ secrets.  It won’t work if we don’t trust each other.”

“We do trust each other.”

“Well you obviously don’t trust me coz you won’t tell me your secret.  An’ if you’re keepin’ secrets from me then maybe I shun’t trust you.”  Luke looked gravely at his friend and waited.

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

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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:

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Celia scoffed

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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.

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

Have a great weekend 😀

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Luke Walker chapter 21 starts here!

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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?”

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The story continues tomorrow 😀

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

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Luke Walker chapter twenty starts here!

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Chapter 20:  The Letter

When the envelope dropped onto the mat it looked ominous.  Mum was nervous about opening it.  Why the police would be writing to her she couldn’t imagine.  Well, actually, she could imagine but she didn’t want to.  She reassured herself that it wasn’t to inform her that someone close to her had been in an accident, they wouldn’t do that by second class post.  So what could it be?  Jury duty?  No, that doesn’t come from the police.  The quickest way to find out, of course, would be to just open it, but before doing that she really wanted to think of something not horrible that it might be about.  Sadly, Luke’s mother found it impossible to do that.  She took a deep breath and ripped it open.

****

“I’m in.”

“Bio-dampers are workin’ at optium.  They can’t detect you.”

“Good.”

“Work fast.  Dampers are fluttuatin’, I don’t know how much longer I can keep you hidden.”

“Just placing the. Last. One …. Done!  One to beam up.”

“Can’t get a lock.  The Borg shields are too thick.  Get to the cargo bay – I should be able to beam you out from there.”

“’scuse me Captain Janeway, Mum wants you.”

“Jared!” Luke scowled at his brother.

“Ha ha ha ha, oh, I stand corrected.  Sorry Commander Chakotay.  Nice tattoo.”  Jared walked away laughing.

Joe climbed down from the top bunk and picked up his doodle pad. “I’ll wait here.”

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

Have a great weekend! ❤ 

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

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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.”

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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Alien illustration by Clker Free Vector Images of Pixabay

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

Spooky

The story of the English Family Anderson continues 😀

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Oooh, sounds like an angry ghost 😮

Story continues tomorrow, or you can read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, vegan children, vegan family, vegan children’s story, vegan comic, children’s comic, ghost story, veggie kids, comics, children,

A perfect place!

The English Family Anderson story continues from yesterday 😀 :

Gasp! What’s Denzel barking at?  Is someone in the bus?

Find out on Monday, or click here to find out now 😀

Have a great weekend!

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vegan, vegan comics, vegan family, vegan children’s story, vegan children, veggie kids, vegetarian, children’s comics, animals, animal rights,

Sheep treats

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

A few minutes later, Luke and Dudley were en route to the allotments to see Curly and Squirt. It was cold. The scarcity of light before sunrise made it feel even colder but when they got there they were eagerly welcomed by mother and son. Luke reached into his pocket for the expected treats. He let his friends choose who had which. Squirt snatched the carrot before his mother got a look in but that was okay because Curly liked parsnips. Little Squirt had learned not to hesitate when it came to accepting treats because Dudley was rather partial to carrots too. In this instance, Dudley was compensated for his lack of carrot by the tasty piece of cardboard which had fluttered from pocket to ground, unnoticed by Luke, when he pulled out the sheep’s treats.

Luke let Dudley off the lead while he went to the big shed. He refilled the nets with alfalfa hay and cleaned up the muck before laying down a thick bed of clean straw. Then he went back outside to check on the water trough. As expected, it had frozen over. He looked for the trowel they used to break the ice. Mum had done it yesterday. Where had she put it? Luke looked at his watch: 7.35. It would take ten minutes to get back home and another five to return to the bus stop so he didn’t have much time. He looked under the tarpaulins at the back of the shed; he looked in the old wooden chest under the tarpaulins. Where was it? He didn’t have time for this! He went back outside and scanned the area. Hurrying around the whole of his plot, he looked under shrubs and behind the wood pile. Nothing. He tried without success to break the ice with his elbow and then rushed over to his dad’s plot, maybe she’d left it there. Finally, he found it. She’d stuck it into the ground behind the coiled hose. He tugged on it but it wouldn’t move. The ground was frozen and the trowel was stuck.

“Great,” thought Luke, “thanks Mum!” Then he had an idea. The tap to which the hose was connected had its pipe lagged. With any luck it hadn’t frozen. He attempted to turn it on. The cold metal hurt his hand but he tried as hard as he could to twist it. It was stuck. He looked at his watch again: 7.46. He pulled his hand into his thick coat sleeve and tried again. The padding helped. The tap started to give and then, finally, there was running water. He wet the earth around the trowel to soften it, turned off the tap, agitated the trowel back and forth until it came free and then ran back to the water trough. With all his strength he hacked into the thick ice and broke it into floating chunks. As fast as he could he tossed the chunks over to Dad’s plot so that they wouldn’t re-join. Luke’s gloved hands were wet and stinging with cold. Curly and Squirt ambled over for a drink. The trough was half empty now. Would that be enough water for them for today? Maybe not. But he didn’t have time to refill it. He’d tell Mum to do it. No, Mum said she was going to be out all day. She’d probably left already. He ran back to the tap, turned it on and directed the hose at the trough. It took two minutes to fill. Finally, everything was done. Luke unfastened the gate.

“Dudley,” he called, “c’m ‘ere boy, quick!” Dudley was so busy playing with Squirt that he didn’t notice he was being summoned. Luke made his voice deep and stern. “Dud-ley!”

Dudley looked over at Luke, thought for a moment, and then resumed his game. Luke growled. He re-fastened the gate and ran after his dog. Dudley and Squirt were very happy Luke had decided to join them and ran ahead of him around the shed, wagging their tails and shouting with joy. After three circuits of the shed and one sudden and uncomfortable slip to the ground, Luke changed tactics. He went into the shed where Curly was enjoying the hay.

“Alright Curly?” he asked as he gently stroked her back. She turned to nuzzle her nose against his hand briefly before resuming her meal. In less than a minute, Dudley and Squirt put their heads around the door, wondering if they could get some of whatever Curly was getting. Luke smiled and put his hand in his pocket. The playmates hurried over for whatever he’d got for them and Luke clipped the lead to Dudley’s collar before they realised their mistake. They got over their disappointment easily while Luke, with a quick goodbye over his shoulder, ran with Dudley all the way home.

It was gone eight when he passed the bus stop which was still crowded with people. There was still hope. Luke stopped to catch his breath and Dudley took the opportunity to sniff for evidence of interlopers on the grass verge.

“Come on Dudley!” Luke chivvied, and the two of them pushed themselves to the limit. As soon as they got home, Dudley headed back to bed for a well-earned rest and Luke envied him. When he rushed back down the hill, slowed only slightly by his heavy school bag, he was relieved to see the bus had still not arrived. It pulled up just as he crossed the road to join the back of the queue. Ten past eight. Not bad considering. Sweating and out of breath, Luke undid his coat and took off his scarf as the queue moved forward. Passengers raced up the stairs and threw themselves onto the seats, making the bus sway. With just a couple of people now ahead of him, Luke put his hand in his pocket for his bus pass. Not there. He checked his other pocket. No. He checked his back pocket, he checked his coat pockets. Nothing. He looked up to meet the driver’s weary gaze.

“I can’t find my bus pass,” he confessed.

“I can’t let you on then,” returned the driver.

“I have got a bus pass,” Luke explained, “I am s’posed to be on this bus. I’ve just lost it.”

“You’ll have to get a new one then won’t you?”

“Yeah,” said Luke, relieved, and climbed aboard.

“Not without a bus pass. Step down please.”

“But I’ll be late!”

“So you will. Not my problem. Get. Off.”

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Story continues on Monday 😀

but if you don’t want to wait the whole chapter is right here 😉

Have a great weekend 😀

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

Luke Walker chapter 18 starts here!

For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂

Chapter 18:  Late

“Katie Treacle.”

“Yes.”

“Michael Vickers.”

“Yes.”

“Justine Waits.”

“Here.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The flying pigs,” said Dad.

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

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

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

“Me!”

“Sorry Jared, what was that?”

“Me please.”

“Oh, and me, thanks love,” said Dad.

“Okay. Luke? Toast?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Luke Walker chapter 17 starts here!

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

Chapter 17:  Cognitive Dissonance

Two years later:

“Luuuke!” Jared was angry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Happy New Year,” said Joe.

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

Joe nodded.

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

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

Luke frowned with uncertainty.

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

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

Joe’s recollection went further.

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

Luke still looked uncertain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Spaceships?” asked Luke, interested.

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah. What’s it called?”

Unacknowledged.”

“Have you got it on DVD?”

“No, it’s on Netflix.”

“We haven’t got Netflix.”

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

Luke nodded.  He really wanted to see it.

“Come round after school on Tuesday.”

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

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

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

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

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The story continues on Monday 😀

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

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

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

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Ta da! Is this the book you’re looking for?

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p9 reducedS&G3 p10 reduced

Story continues on Monday 😉

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

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious, looking for clues, trust no one, we’re detectives, amusement arcade, lost and found, blue book that Soren took, Quennel and Demetrius, Demetrius Fennel, everyone seems suspicious when they’re being questioned.  Oh just give it back, it’s not yours, they could be anybody!  Where’s my dog? music shop, ta da! Twist my arm why don’t you?

Finders keepers

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p7 reducedS&G3 p8 reduced

Story continues on Monday 😉

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

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious, looking for clues, trust no one, we’re detectives, amusement arcade, lost and found, blue book that Soren took, Quennel and Demetrius, Demetrius Fennel, everyone seems suspicious when they’re being questioned.  Finders keepers, are you in trouble?  Where’s my dog? music shop

Do you have any theories?

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p5 reducedS&G3 p6 reduced

Story continues on Monday 😀

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

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious, looking for clues, trust no one, we’re detectives, amusement arcade, lost and found, blue book that Soren took, Quennel and Demetrius, Demetrius Fennel, everyone seems suspicious when they’re being questioned.  Keep an eye, take plenty of photos.

We’ll retrace her steps and look for clues

Sherman & Geynes episode 3 continues:

S&G3 p3 reduced

S&G3 p4 reduced

Story continues tomorrow 😀

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

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, secret code, missing book, secret identity, follow the clues, through the park to the arcade! Which arcade?  I really don’t like losing things, here’s our card.

The mystery of the missing book

Sherman and Geynes #3 starts today

S&G3 p1 reduced

S&G3 p2 reduced

Find out what happens next tomorrow 😀

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

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, playing checkers and waiting for the phone to ring, the mystery of the missing book, looking for clues, trust no one, , imaginary, funny, two boys and a dog, detectives waiting for their next case, concentrate on the game!  Ring ring, you win, hello?

The Dragons of Durga

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

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

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

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

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

Author:  Simone L Spearman

Illustrator:  Jason Weaver

Genre:  Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy & Magic

Recommended for readers aged 8 and up

Published in August 2017

Format:  Paperback (552 pages) & Kindle

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

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

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Wild speculation

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p7S&G2 p8

Story continues on Monday 😀

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

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious plotters plotting their schemes, In the library with the elastic band, looking for clues, trust no one, you might get a look at their dastardly plans, imaginary, funny, a shoe, a pen, and an elastic band, impossible, steal a train and take it to Scotland, convert it into a space rocket, that’s why they need maps, that’s why the woman in yellow keeps shaking her head,

Freedom

Story continues from yesterday:

Yay Venus! She saved the day again!

If you want to know what she did next, go to episode 4

If you want to know what she did before this, go to the Venus Aqueous page 😀

Have a great day, see you tomorrow ❤

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Art Attack

Story continues from yesterday

Phew! Thank goodness for that.  Find out tomorrow whether Venus can save the basking shark😀

or read the whole story now 😉

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Butt-faced miscreants!

Story continues from yesterday 🙂

Oh no! Find out tomorrow how Venus and her dad cope with these idiots 😀 (or read the whole story now 😉 )

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan comic, children’s comic, animals, marine animals, veggie kids, basking sharks,

Aftermath

Now we continue with episode 3 (for the story so far, click here 😀 )

What’s Dad got?  Find out on Monday 😉

Have a great weekend 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan superhero, vegan comic, vegan children’s story,

Staying in front

Story continues from yesterday:

Nevermind the dinghy Venus, somebody needs your help!  Story continues tomorrow, but click here if you want to read it now 😀

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