Sing a Song of Sixpence

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,

Four and twenty sweet plums baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened the plums were soft within,

Wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before my kin?

****

My dad was in the bathroom finishing his shave,

My mum was at the front door giving friends a wave,

My gran was in the garden sitting in the sun,

But they all came for plum pie with yellow custard on.

 

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Luke read the letter

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Story continues from yesterday:

Luke read the letter.

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

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

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

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

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

“One of us?”

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

“And did that make them answer you?”

“No.”

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

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

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

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

“Luke,” Dad began.

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

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

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

“I’m not.”

“Or threatening, or use any foul language.”

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

Dad still didn’t say anything.

Mum nodded.  “Good, okay.”

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

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

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

****

Luke opened his bedroom door and grinned at his friend.

“What?” asked Joe.

“We’ve had a reply from Maybury!”

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

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“I didn’t do it!”

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Story continues from Friday:

When he entered the kitchen Mum had her back to him but she knew he was there.

“I got a letter from the police,” she told him.

“About what?” asked Luke, trying to sound casual.  Mum turned to face him.

“Luuuke!”

“Whaaat?”

“Your face!”

Luke rubbed his face and smeared the tattoo.  “It’s alright, it’ll come off.”

“Is that my eye liner?”

Dad stepped out of the pantry and suppressed a smile.  “Sit down please Luke, we need to talk to you.”

Luke sat down.

“The police seem to think I’ve been harassing the Maybury trustees,” said Mum.

Luke raised his eyebrows.  “Why would they think that?”

“I can’t imagine,” said Mum, “unless someone else has been writing letters and signing my name on them.”  She clearly thought it was him but it wasn’t.  He wouldn’t do that.  Why would he?  That would be a very stupid thing to do.  Anything that led back to her led back to him.  He never signed his letters and he certainly didn’t put a return address on them.  So how had the police got her name and address?  Was he being watched?  Was he under police surveillance?  What else did they know?  This was very troubling indeed.

There was, in fact, a very simple explanation.  For over two years the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers had been writing to Maybury Centre for Animal Welfare, asking them to make their cafe vegan.  At first Luke wrote once a week, sometimes twice.  But when the Society realised the charity trustees were the decision-makers they decided to write directly to them.  There were six trustees so that meant writing six letters a week and stamps became prohibitively expensive.  But Luke wasn’t going to let a little thing like insufficient funds prevent him from doing something this important.  So, he continued to write and when he didn’t have enough money for the stamps he scavenged them from his mother’s purse.  He was sure she wouldn’t mind.  After all, it was Mum who suggested he write to them in the first place.  A couple of times, when there were no stamps to be found in her purse, he had hidden his letters in a pile on the kitchen counter.  Mum was quite a devoted correspondent herself.  She wrote to her friend Margaret in Wales; to Uncle Max and Auntie Beatrice who lived in Torquay; and to a couple of old school friends, Kath and Myrtle, who had moved to Stoke-on-Trent and Edinburgh respectively.  Sometimes there wasn’t much to tell them so she’d just write a brief note on a postcard but she always put whatever she was sending in a plain white envelope from the box in the sideboard.  Luke was getting all his envelopes from the same box so it was easy to slip his letters into her pile without her noticing and then she would put stamps on them at the post office by lifting the top right hand corner of each envelope just enough to add the stamp.  He’d seen her do it.  She never reviewed the names and addresses once she’d sealed the envelopes.  What Luke didn’t know was that she also put one of her return address labels on the top left hand corner of each envelope in the same way.

Mum was staring at him, waiting for an answer.

“I didn’t do it,” he said truthfully.  “I didn’t!  Why would I?”

“Did you write offensive letters to these people?” asked Dad coldly.

“I just ask ’em to make the cafe vegan.  Maybe that does offend ’em, I don’t know.”

“Nothing else?  You’re not threatening or abusive?”

“No!” said Luke, annoyed at the accusation.  “I jus’ tell ’em, like you said.  I tell ’em I don’t like ’em sellin’ meat an’ fish an’ everything that’s cruel to animals, and I tell ’em they should know better.  Stuff like that.”

Mum handed him the letter.  “So how do you explain this?”

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

but if you don’t want to wait you can click here to read it 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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“WE COME TO WARN YOU …”

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

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

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

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

“Well we know that.”

“Exactly.”

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

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

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

“Definitely!” agreed Luke.

****

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

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

They all closed their eyes.

“Focus on your breathing.”

They all breathed deeply and slowly.

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

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

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

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

“What?”

“Listen. That’s a …”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keep it low-tech!

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

“What for?”

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

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

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

“I looked it up.”

“What?”

“How to communicate with aliens.”

“Did you find anything?”

“Loadsa stuff.”

“Great!  So how do we do it?”

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

“Stuff we wouldn’t be able to do.”

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

“Enlightened?”

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

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

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

“How do we do that?”

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

“Like yoga?”

“erm, yeah, I guess so.”

“Isabel does yoga!  She could teach us!”

“Great!”

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

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

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

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

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

For the story so far, click here 😀

Chapter Nineteen:  Aliens

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

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

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

“Are you alright? Your eyes are watering.”

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m not finished!”

“Oh.”

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

“That’s not rea…”

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

“You mean it flew?”

“Yeah.”

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

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

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

“Yeah, it must’ve been.”

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

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

“You saw one – I’m sure of it!”

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

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

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

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

“How?”

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

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

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

“How d’ya mean?”

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

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

“We have to find out.”

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

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Alien illustration by Clker Free Vector Images of Pixabay

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