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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 Twelve


When the horse pulled the wagon out onto the troll bridge, the smell was overpowering. An unmistakable odour was coming up from underneath, an unwholesome sort of smell that reminded everyone of old basements and dirty tunnels with a good many mouldy old trunks and mildewy closets thrown in.

"Maybe you better use pennies after all," said Jennifer.

"Won't," said the porcupine, sulking.

He shook the stones in his fist a few times, pulled back his arm and threw them over the side of the bridge.

"Pennies for the troll," he called out loudly.

The stones hit the water with a plop-plop-plop. For a moment there was silence. Then an enormous splashing occurred underneath the bridge and the stones came flying back up again, landing in front of the wagon.

"Oh-oh," said the horse. "That's not a good sign."

A great roar echoed out from underneath the bridge and rattled the wagon like thunder. The horse bolted for the other side, but he found his way blocked by an enormous troll. It was hairy and scarey and big and fat; as fierce as a wildcat and as strong as a bear, only more so, with sharper teeth and longer claws. Its hair was like a bramble of prickers. Its eyes were like sparks spat from a fire. Its breath was indescribable.

The troll started towards the wagon with a bellow of rage. The horse backed away only to be met by another bellow from the other end of the bridge. A second troll, even bigger and more horrible than the first, was climbing up behind them and the wagon was trapped in between.

"Oh nol" gasped the horse. "It's a family business!"

The whole bridge started to shake as the two trolls approached the wagon from opposite directions. It was time for someone to do something fast.

"Help!" squeaked the porcupine and he fainted.

"Don't eat the horse! Don't eat the horse!" cried the horse hysterically and he closed his eyes tight.


"Back off you trolls!" shouted Rachael.

"Go away or we'll call the police!" called out Jamie.

The trolls just continued to stomp closer. They had obviously never heard of the police.

"The pennies! " cried Jennifer and she undid the lid.

She grabbed a handful of pennies from the jar, so did Jamie and Rachael, and they all threw them into the air.

"Pennies for the trolls!" they shouted.

They threw handfuls of them into the air and suddenly there were pennies everywhere. The trolls went after the cash in a flash, they dashed this way and that, gobbling up the coins like candies. The horse opened one eye to see if he was eaten yet, and when he saw that he wasn't he gave a whinny of relief and galloped away off the bridge. But the children didn't stop throwing pennies.

"Pennies for the troll! Pennies for the troll!" they called over and over until the jar was all empty and they had collapsed exhausted on the seat.

continue on to part two of Chapter 12

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