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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 Nine (part 3)


Jennifer and Jamie grinned at each other. Rachael looked stunned. She couldn't believe what was happening.

"This is impossible!" she whispered.

"This is neat!" whispered Jamie.

"Is it okay to ride in the wagon a while?" Jennifer asked the porcupine.


"Fine with me," agreed the porcupine and he looked in the sack to see what the rabbits had paid. "Look at this, not a penny in the lot! Two turnips, some pine cones and a handful of carrot tops! What rubbish! Makes me wonder why I even try! Don't ever enter the field of Commerce my friends! It's a vale of tears and a tale of woe... "

"You're in Commerce?" said the horse and he looked back at the porcupine with great surprise. "Really?"

"Of course I'm in Commerce. What else would I be in?"

"Couldn't say," said the horse."But if you're in Commerce then I'm in Transportation."

"Do you really know about new-moon stones?" said Jamie.

"Absolutely! Of course!" said the porcupine. "New-moon stones are my specialty."

"Neat!" said Jamie. "We've never gone looking for new-moon stones, and we're not really sure what's the best way to do it. How does it work?"

The porcupine looked somewhat uncomfortable. "It's hard to say just exactly how," he said.

"That's okay, just tell us how to start," said Jamie.

"That's a bit hard to explain too," said the porcupine.

"Why?" demanded Rachael.

'Well. . . " said the porcupine. "Because. . .

"Because why?"

"Because he's never tried to find one," said the horse.

"He hasn't?"

"I've been meaning to go and look for one," said the porcupine. "And I will go too, maybe today, I promise!" He held up his paw and looked very sincere and solemn.

"He's probably crossing his toes," said the horse.

"I'm not," said the porcupine, but he pushed his feet further under the seat as he spoke.

"Can't anybody tell us anything?" asked Rachael.

"I can," said the horse.

"About new-moon stones?" said Jennifer.


"Can you tell us the best way to find one?" said Jamie.

"Can't say as I can. . . " said the horse.

"Oh great!" said Rachael.

"But I have heard stories," the horse continued. "My mother once went to the place where the new-moon stones appear, and she told me all about it when I was just a colt. She's even found her own new-moon stone once, she showed it to me, so I know it's true."

"That's what we want to do," said Jamie

'Was it hard for her to find one?" asked Jennifer.

"The way she told it they're right in plain sight and easy to see," said the horse. "When the moon is new it has a special light, and the new-moon stones all shine."

'Bullfrogs, muttered the porcupine. "If you believe that, you'll believe anything."

The horse stopped dead in his tracks and looked back at the porcupine with an icy stare.

"Nobody calls my mother a bullfrog except me," he said.

"Didn't say she was, I was talking about the story."

"That's a mother's story."

"That doesn't make it true."

"Mothers never lie," said the horse.

The porcupine sighed. He leaned over and whispered. "Don't mind him, he can't help himself. He's all heart and no brain, that's why he's a horse instead of a camel."

'What do camels have to do with it?" said the horse.

"Nothing," said the porcupine. "I'm sorry I even mentioned them. And I'm sorry I called your mother a toad."

"A bullfrog."

"Okay, a bullfrog. I'm sorry she's a bullfrog too."

"You don't believe in anything do you?" said the horse.

"I used to," said the porcupine. "I used to believe in a lot of things, but now I've got something that's really real to really believe in instead!"

He reached under the seat and pulled out a large glass jar for them to see. It was completely filled with pennies. The porcupine bent over the jar and he started to whisper to it in a funny, sing-song sort of voice.

continue on to part four of Chapter Nine

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