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New-Moon Stones

 Story by Allen Morgan

 art by Doreen Foster

Full length novel: ages 9 - 12

seventeen chapters - 160 pages


Chapter Seven


The rest of the afternoon was wrapped in confusion. Moffat was unable to put any weight on one foot. After much fuss and a general cafuffle, he went off for x-rays in a taxi cab. As it turned out it wasn't as awful as it first appeared. His leg wasn't broken. But something was definitely sprained, and when he returned to the house his ankle was bandaged and he was using a cane. Mrs. Jones felt terrible. She blamed herself for everything. On the whole Jennifer had to agree.

But actually she was more concerned about whether or not her great-grandfather would be able to go looking for new-moon stones the next day. She knew they might have to call the whole thing off, but when she met Jamie in the back yard later that afternoon she put on a brave front. She assured him that her great-grandfather's leg would be entirely better when he woke from his nap, and they agreed to meet at ten the next day.

But as it happened, Moffat didn't wake up from his nap that afternoon after all, nor even that evening. After supper he was still fast asleep so Jennifer had to go to bed without seeing him. But still, she- did get to see someone that night. When she went to her room to get ready for bed, the skunk was there by her pillow.

"I missed you," she whispered.

She took the skunk into her arms and held him tight. He went right to sleep, and he stayed so still that when Mrs. Jones came in she thought he was one of Jennifer's stuffed animals and hardly noticed him at all.

"What a day!" she sighed as she sat down beside Jennifer. "You're poor great- grandfather! Well at least he didn't break any bones. A sprain isn't bad, but at his age who knows how long it will take to heal."

"I hope it doesn't take too long," said Jennifer, then she turned off the light and went right to sleep.

A little bit later she had the strangest dream. She found herself in a vast grass field that seemed to go on and on without end. The sun was big and orange and it floated in the sky like a large balloon. Sprites and elves and a number of other strange-looking creatures were standing all around her, waiting for something to begin. Jennifer felt like she was waiting as well.

Then quite suddenly the sun was gone and the moon appeared in the sky. But it didn't look at all like it usually did. It glowed with a beautiful silver light that seemed to be coming from somewhere very far away. And all at once Jennifer felt herself falling; falling up instead of down, and the moon high in the sky overhead was getting closer and closer, rounder and fatter and she was falling right at it ...

Jennifer woke up in her bed. When she opened her eyes she saw the raccoon staring at her from the bottom of the bed. For a moment Jennifer felt she was falling right into his eyes, just the way she had dreamt of falling into the moon. But the raccoon didn't seem to have any time to wait for that. As soon as Jennifer woke up he jumped down and headed impatiently for the door with the air of someone who had something much more important to do. Jennifer got up and followed him. He led her upstairs to the attic.

continue on to part two of Chapter 7

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