"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
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."