For the story so far click here
to be continued ….
Story continues from yesterday:
Luke, wearing full school uniform, was finishing his jam and toast when his mum entered the kitchen at half past seven. She was stunned. Normally she had to call him at least three times before he’d get up, and even when he was up he had to be constantly nagged to get dressed and breakfasted. He didn’t appear to have had a shower and he was wearing Friday’s dirty shirt, but Mrs Walker decided to let that go.
“Morning Luke,” she said, apprehensively, “everything ok?”
“Yes thanks Mum,” he replied politely, “I want to get to school early today so I’m bein’ organised.”
“So I see. Any particular reason?”
Mrs Walker, known by Luke to be very distrustful, looked closely at her youngest son.
“Ok,” she said, eventually, “well done.”
Luke smiled, put his gobstopper back in his mouth and went upstairs to clean his teeth.
He was at school a good twenty minutes before most people got there. Even Mrs Tebbut wasn’t there yet. He went in to his classroom.
He furtively looked around to confirm he was alone and then rushed over to the drawers. Everyone had a drawer with their name on. They kept their books and pencils and stuff in them. He found Kenny White’s drawer and pulled it out. Then he took from his bag Kenny’s droppings – 1 panda pop can, 1 crisp packet and one half-empty sherbet fountain. He pushed them into the drawer and closed it. Then he ran outside to kick a ball around on the playground until the bell went.
After the register had been called everyone had to line up for assembly. Luke took his place at the end of the line, followed the rest of his class into the hall and sat down on the floor behind class 3. He watched all the other classes file in and the assembly began. He sat still, faced forwards and pretended to be interested. When it was half way through he tried, quietly, to get Mrs Tebbut’s attention.
“Psst, psst, Mrs Tebbut,” he whispered.
She didn’t hear him. He coughed. She didn’t turn her head. He faked a loud sneeze. She frowned at him.
“Mrs Tebbut,” he whispered again, “can I go to the toilet?”
She silently shook her head.
“Please Mrs Tebbut, I really need to go,” he whispered a little louder.
The children near him started to snicker and Mrs Tebbut reluctantly gave in.
“If you must,” she hissed, “slip out the back.”
Luke did as he was told.
Once back in the classroom he grabbed his bag and exited through the cloakroom. He ran to class 6, the long way round so as not to pass the hall, and entered their cloakroom. He scanned the names above the coat pegs until he found what he was looking for. Yes! There it was. Haines.
On Haines’s peg hung Haines’s coat and into its pockets Luke deposited Haines’s droppings: 1 Tango can, almost empty, upside down; 1 crisp packet, almost empty, upside down; and 1 used piece of …… oh no! Luke found that the chewing gum he’d wrapped in paper when he’d recovered it from the crime scene, was now as hard as plastic and therefore unfit for purpose. He needed something sticky.
Of course! With almost no hesitation – he reminded himself it was for a very important cause – Luke spat what was left of his gobstopper into Haines’s inside pocket. Part three complete.
“Who are you? What are you doing in here?”
The man’s voice behind him made Luke’s cheeks flush hot. He turned round and reached into his bag.
“My brother is in this class,” he said, meekly, “’e forgot ‘is English book so I brought it for ‘im. I was jus’ lookin’ for ‘is bag on ‘is peg.”
He handed Jared’s book to the Year 6 classroom assistant.
“Oh, I see. Thank you,” he said as he took the book, “I’ll see that he gets it.”
“Thanks,” said Luke and ran back to his own class.
He opened the door just in time to witness Mrs Tebbut holding up a cola-soaked, sherbet smeared, grease-stained copy of the new History text book while shouting at Kenny White.
Luke sat down quietly and waited for lessons to begin.
Story continues from yesterday:
Luke put the gobstopper back in his mouth and wiped his sticky hand on his trousers. There were seven Year 6 boys again. The missing two had returned with snacks. Luke knew their faces but not their names. One of them was Katia Haines’s brother so his surname must be Haines. Luke picked up his comic again and peered over it in their direction.
The big boys hung around the swings, some sitting, some standing. The tall one thought it was funny to throw one of the swings over the top of the frame, over and over again until it was too high up for anyone to sit on.
They all had crisps and pop. Katia’s brother spat chewing gum on the ground before getting stuck in to his crisps. There was a litter bin next to the swings and when the boys had finished snacking they, one by one, tossed their rubbish into it. Each boy took his throw further from the bin than the one before him, to demonstrate his superior skills.
Haines went last and missed. The others laughed and teased him for his ineptitude when his rubbish hit the ground, so he proved them wrong by hitting every one of them with the football. All seven scuffled noisily out of the park.
Luke picked up his notebook and pencil,
LITTER: 1 TANGO CAN, 1 CRISP BAG, GUM
DROPPER: HAINES, YEAR 6
then he went over to the swings and collected the rubbish.
Suddenly he heard Butler’s loud shouting voice. The class 4 kids were coming back! Quickly he ran north and concealed himself behind the trees next to the pony paddock. He watched them through his binoculars. They sat together on the bench, eating crisps and drinking pop. Kenny White also had a sherbet fountain. Luke waited patiently for Butler to drop his rubbish on the grass. His pencil was poised for the inevitable notebook entry. Simon Butler would then be taught a lesson. But Simon Butler did not drop his rubbish on the grass. He put it in the bin, as did Christina and Becca. Luke was begrudgingly impressed.
He looked at his watch. It was 1.54pm. 1.54! Mum had said 2 o’clock, don’t be late! He had to get home for dinner! But he couldn’t come out from behind the trees, they’d know he’d been spying on them. He had to wait. So he waited. And he waited.
“Don’t you lot ‘ave ‘omes to go to?” he asked under his breath.
He looked at his watch again: 2.01. He heard Becca shouting.
“Let’s go on the swings!”
They all ran and Kenny, being the last to get there, found no swing for him (the fourth having been wound around the top of the frame). He shrugged and said he was going home for dinner. The rest of them followed his example.
2.09. Luke emerged from his hiding place and ran across the park. As he sped past the bench something caught his eye. He stopped. Looked back. There was something on the ground under the bench.
LITTER: 1 PANDA POP, 1 CRISP BAG, 1 SHERBET FOUNTAIN
DROPPER: KENNY WHITE
Sunday evening. It was nearly bedtime. Luke emerged quietly from his brother’s room.
“Hey! What are you doing in my room?” Jared scowled.
“Jus’ doin’ you a favour, that’s all!” said Luke, returning the scowl. “You left your school bag downstairs so I put it in your room. Mum gets cross when you leave stuff out so I’d say I did you a favour alright!”
Jared eyed his younger brother suspiciously. It wasn’t like him to be so considerate. Luke stomped off to his own room.
Monday morning. Time to implement part three of the plan.
We’re so glad you’ve been enjoying the adventures of Luke Walker, animal stick up for-er, and thought you might be interested to know that he has made a notebook. It’s not the prettiest of notebooks as it’s just an exercise book, originally intended by Mrs Tebbut to be his maths book, which Luke felt would be much better put to another purpose.
He’s setting up a secret sersiety of animal stick up for-ers and welcomes others with prince pauls like him to join. All new outlaws should have a copy of this notebook and put their name on the list of proppa members.
All member outlaws must agree to the plej …
… and follow the sersiety rules.
According to Luke, to be an outlaw you must think to question everything you’re told …
… to consider if it’s really true.
Luke has worked hard on this notebook, all by himself. He has included lots of useful information – like people from history who had prince pauls, …
… and how to make your own secret code-maker/breaker which is an essential for every secret sersiety member.
Plus he has left lots of space for new members to write in.
There is even a top secret coded message which new member outlaws will be able to decipher when they’ve made themselves a code breaker. And there’s space for more coded messages to be added by new members.
All in all, Luke is very pleased with his Privut Notebook which is available from Amazon at the very reasonable price of £2.75
You can’t say fairer than that 😉
Here are a couple of Luke’s friends with their copies:
Story continues from yesterday:
In a few short minutes Luke and Emma were crossing the meadow side by side, heading for the woods. Luke chatted away non-stop while Emma swished her tail and listened contentedly.
“Truth is Emma,” he explained, “I’d love to take you home with me but I really don’t think me dad’d let me. Honestly, you should ‘ave ‘eard the fuss ‘e made over a couple o’ rabbits.”
On the other side of the wood was another meadow, even more beautiful, with trees here and there and, to Luke’s delight, something else.
“Ooh quick Emma, over here! It looks like a lake or somethin’!”
Luke rushed ahead laughing and calling her to follow. Cautiously, she did. It was such a lovely hot day that Luke couldn’t resist getting into the clear, cool water.
“Come on, it’s ok, it’s not deep,” he called, “come in with me, it’s fun!”
Emma tentatively dipped her trunk into the water and had a good long drink. Luke grinned.
“Yeah, that’s it! Now come all the way in and play with me.”
He laughed and sloshed about and splashed her so that soon she wanted to join in. She reached out her trunk to him and he put his hand out to her and she trod heavily, slowly, down into the lake. She drew up a big trunk full of water and showered it all over herself, and Luke. She splashed and she played and felt free. And so did Luke. It was just the best afternoon.
When they got out of the water Emma laid down on the warm grass to be dried by the sun, and Luke sat with her, leaning against her chest. Eventually, reluctantly, he looked at his watch. 4.32.
“I have to go now,” he told her sadly, “but I will come back if I can.”
He didn’t know when that might be.
“You do like it here don’t you?”
He knew she must and was satisfied his outlawing had paid off again – she’d be much happier here than in that concrete enclosure. She’d have freedom; she’d have space; he only wished she wouldn’t be on her own.
“There’s prob’ly rabbits here,” he told her, “rabbits make good friends. The thing with rabbits is, you ‘ave to be patient. They might seem a bit stand-offish at first but once they get to know you they’re very friendly.”
He stood up and said goodbye, confident she’d understood.
He slipped back in to the zoo and locked the gate so that everything, well, almost everything, was as he’d found it. He decided it would be a good idea to hang on to the keys – he’d need them next time he visited Emma.
It was 4.57 when he arrived at the coach so he was in good time for Mrs Tebbut’s prompt 5pm departure, but for some reason she was crosser than he’d ever seen her.
“Luke Walker! Do you have any idea what you’ve put us through? You have disrupted the day for the whole class! You are a selfish, thoughtless child and I will be sending a letter home to your parents!”
“For what?” thought Luke.
Unbeknown to Luke, seven months later, in a national newspaper:
THE DAILY NEWS
Elephant Finds Sanctuary At Last
Seven months after the 24-hour disappearance of the lonely elephant at Dillingsgate Zoo, she has been found a place at The Elephant Sanctuary. ‘Companions for Nelly’ campaign organiser, Joanne Russell said she cannot adequately express her joy at today’s outcome.
“We can only thank God for bringing to light Nelly’s lonely existence by causing her to wander off by herself and ignite a media storm. If it hadn’t been for the zoo’s mishap of leaving her gate open, the world might never have been aware of her miserable solitary confinement.”
Seven months ago the alarm was raised at Dillingsgate zoo when keepers discovered that Nelly was missing. She was found the following day in neighbouring woodlands but not before the news was reported in local, national and international media. This put the spotlight on conditions in which Nelly was kept.
“Elephants are very social animals,” said Ms Russell, “and it was heartbreaking to learn that Nelly had been without any companionship of her own kind for almost twenty years.”
Thanks to the overwhelming public support for Ms Russell’s campaign, Nelly has now been found a place at the award winning Elephant Sanctuary where she will be able to live out her days in natural surroundings in the company of her own kind.
You can read the whole of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er Chapter 2 here.
Chapter 3 coming to this site soon!
Want it now? No problem – just order the paperback from Amazon! (It’s got the first eight chapters) 😀
The story continues from yesterday:
It didn’t take long for Luke to work out where he might find what he was looking for.
“Somebody what works here will have keys!”
It never occurred to him that he would need a particular key for the particular lock he wanted to open but, as it happened, that wasn’t going to be a problem. When the zoo was built over thirty years earlier, it boasted the largest number of animal enclosures in the country. It was deemed impractical to have hundreds of different keys so the same three locks were fitted to everything: one for animal enclosures; one for outer gates; and one for buildings. Each key-holder carried the same three keys. That was all anyone needed. It was all Luke needed.
Back in the hubbub of the zoo, Luke kept a low profile. It felt good to be outlawing again. He saw plenty of zoo workers but there was no way of knowing whether they had keys without asking them. Then he heard a familiar jangle.
“I know what that means,” he thought, triumphant, “that man’s got keys on his belt!”
The man was alone. At a grassy, low-fenced enclosure inhabited by small, furry animals Luke didn’t know the name of, he caught up with him. The man seemed engrossed in what he was doing, or perhaps lost in his own thoughts. Luke could see the keys dangling against his hip and crept up so close behind him he could almost reach them through the wire fence. Just as he was about to touch them a loud voice, crackling from the man’s walkie talkie, startled his hand back. The voice sounded impatient.
“Brinley! Can you hear me? I need you to open the Goods Entrance – the delivery’s just arrived.”
“I heard you! I’m on my way.”
The man, and the keys, hurried out of the enclosure. Luke followed him at a discreet distance. He went past a sign which said ‘STAFF ONLY’ and up to a big gate. No one else was around. The walkie talkie shouted at the man again.
“HURRY UP BRINLEY! It’s that bad tempered lorry driver!”
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” said Brinley.
In his rush he left the keys in the gate after unlocking it and rushed up the track. He would probably only be gone for a moment or two. But that was enough.
Luke ran as fast as he could to get back to the elephant. It was easier to go unnoticed than it had been on the way out because there was some kind of commotion on the other side of the zebra enclosure. He overheard something as he passed through which assured him it was nothing to concern him. The elephant was waiting right where he’d left her.
“I got it! I got the key! Sorry it took so long.”
He unlocked the gate and led her out.
“That’s it, out you come,” he encouraged her, “I don’t know your name so if you don’t mind I think I’ll call you ……… Emma.”
Emma seemed as happy as he was about her outing and she trumpeted with joy.
“Shhh shhh,” Luke looked up into her big, dark eyes, “we’ve got to be sneaky, remember?”
He pointed to a gate behind Emma’s enclosure beyond which he could see a wide open space – a meadow bordered with woodlands.
“Let’s go this way,” he suggested, “don’t worry, no one’ll see. They’re too busy lookin’ for a lost little boy. Hope they find ‘im.”