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