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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


"Disgusting creatures!" muttered the porcupine as he waddled around Jennifer. "No manners in the lot of them, just herding whichever way the road bends. Here now!" he shouted at a rabbit that had just hopped back onto Jennifer's shoulder. "Be off you turnip!"

The porcupine brushed the offending animal off to the side of the road. It scratched itself a few times and turned back to stare. All the other rabbits were staring too. The porcupine took Jennifer over to his wagon, reached under the front seat and pulled out a broom.

"I've got two friends..." said Jennifer uncertainly, as she looked back at all the rabbits along the road.

"I'll get them out." said the porcupine. "It's that new-moon stone that's to blame. Rabbits are fascinated by them, they'll hop for miles just to stare at one."

The porcupine grunted and waddled out onto the road again, sweeping his way through the rabbits towards Jamie and Rachael. His efforts seemed doomed to failure. There were far too many rabbits and although the porcupine raised quite a cloud of them as he went along, they just came hopping back onto the road again after he swept past.

"He'll never be able to clear the road," said Jennifer.

"That's a fact," agreed a deep voice beside her.

Jennifer turned to see who had spoken, but there was no-one there. No-one except for the horse that is. "Did you say something?" Jennifer asked him.

The horse nodded his head and smiled.

"But you're a horse!" said Jennifer.

"Yes, I am," he said and he spoke with such obvious enjoyment and pride that there was no denying it.

"And he talked too," said Jennifer. "He's a porcupine."

The horse considered this for a moment. "It's not nature's way to be fair," he said finally. "We can't all be horses."

continue on to part two of Chapter Nine

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