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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 Sixteen


They left the new-moon clearing behind and went into the field. They walked on and on for what seemed like hours, though it was hard to tell. The time seemed to go on endlessly just like the field. The grass was very high and they couldn't really see which way they were going. It felt like they were underwater in a deep green ocean. High overhead the top of the grass churned like waves as, the wind blew past, while far away down below on the ground they pushed a path through like divers.

Then all at once the tall grass ended and suddenly they could see for miles. The grass was cut short and the field spread itself out in front of them like a beach, stretching off all the way beyond the distant horizon where the fat orange sun still sat. But there still didn't seem to be any end to it.

"How much further?" groaned Rachael.

"I don't know," admitted Jennifer.

"You don't know?" said Rachael. "Oh, that's just great! And you want us to follow you?"

"I'll know when I get there," explained Jennifer.

"But if you won't know till then, how'll you know which way to go now?" asked Jamie.

Jennifer shrugged helplessly. "I'll just know", she said.

"Just like that?" asked Rachael. "Okay, okay! If it takes some crazy way to get us across this crazy field then we better just do it the crazy way then. But let's get going before I start to get crazy myself, okay?"

As they stood there deciding what to do, they noticed a number of field mice cutting the grass nearby. A gopher was working close by too, raking the hay into piles.

"Hi," said Jamie.

"Hello," said the gopher.

"Nice day," said Jennifer.

"Sure is," replied the gopher. "Nice and dry, no rain. Good weather for taking in hay, I'd say. Going to try to cut the whole field today, might just do it too if the rain holds off and the sun stays high."

"The sun doesn't look like it ever sets," said Jamie.

"Get serious!" said Rachael. "The sun always sets, it has to. If it never sets then the day never ends."

"So maybe the day never ends around here," said Jamie.

"Don't be a doughnut," said Rachael.

"Can't have a doughnut without a hole," observed Jamie. 'And you're the hole!"

He stuck out his tongue. Rachael returned the salute.

"How far does the field go?" Jennifer asked the gopher.

"Can't say as I know that it ever stops," he told her. "But I guess you'll probably get to somewhere if you keep on going. This field's so big it goes anywhere you like."

"Makes sense," said Rachael. "If something goes on for ever it must get to everywhere sometime."

"If the field can go on and on and never stop then the sun can stand still in the sky!" said Jamie defiantly.

"The sun'll set sometime," argued Rachael. "It has to!"

"Do you think it will?" Jennifer asked the gopher.

"Hard to say," he replied. "That sun's been up there getting ready to set for as long as I can remember. Maybe it will, maybe it won't; can't say as I know, can't say as I care. But one thing for sure though, there's grass to rake up and there's hay to take in. It might be a mighty long day all right, but that hay field's mighty big too!"

continue on to part two of Chapter 16

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