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Chapter 5 Title Chapter 5 – page 6

So J jumps up and glides across the dale, over heather, daisies, mushrooms and forget-me-nots, and plops down beside Pepper. Muff does the same. Pepper turns to look at him and you could hear him clearing his throat from the echo of the surrounding wall of trees. Then in a quiet little voice: "Pepper, can you hear me?". She looked right at him. "Of course I can hear you," she whispered right back at him. And Muff whispered: "So can I, and they all giggled. From a distance G saw J fall over on the grass. "Oh .. My … gosh" … says Julio. He got back up into a sitting position with Pepper eating nearby. Mober had perked up her ears and came over to see what was going on. She was a bully like that; always running Pepper away from the good grass, etc. But this time she didn’t come that close; just within earshot. So Julio continued, now that he had the attention of ALL of them. "Pepper … Mober …. Muff (throat clearing) … do you know what spiders are?" asked Julio. "No," the horses both answered. So Mober could talk too.

Cheesh, will wonders never cease! Muff wags her tail and says "I do, I do.. Me! Me!" "Ok, ok" says Julio as he swats at Muff’s enthusiasm. "They are these hairy critters that are right over there!" and he pointed nonchalantly towards his stomach, which the horses didn’t understand. Then he pointed with his finger behind his hand so the Chips wouldn’t see. The horses were still a little confused … so he got up and walked a little closer to the Chips and the horses followed. He faced the horses but pointed under his arm towards where the Chips were all gathered over the ground, on the rocks and in the trees … brown and black patches, green and purple patches, orange and yellow, salmon and white patches, pink and green polka dots, everywhere.

Then Julio came back close to the horses and asked: "Are you afraid of them?" It was Mober that spoke up since she was the oldest and wisest horse there, a whole 4 years old herself. "Of course we aren’t scared of those blobs of fur. We can just stomp them in the ground." "I’d rather you be scared of them, so we wouldn’t have to take some of them with us on our trip," said Julio. "Well how can we be scared of them?" asked Mober … "we are about a cazillion times bigger than they are."

"Ok, ok" said Julio. I’ll go tell Granma who was now sitting on the ground, messily eating mangoes, bananas, and the berries & mushrooms she had in the leaf packages tied to the horse blankets. "Come on J," she called out, almost forgetting his assignment, "come and have some fruit," as she waved to him with purple and red berry-stained fingers. So he did. But she could tell he looked kinda dejected. After the last slice of papaya, the McCaws came and cleaned up the peelings and leftovers. G & J headed down to the stream to wash up and this is where Julio told her that the horses could talk, Muff could talk, and they weren’t afraid of tarantulas at all. G got up and went as fast as she could to Mobe and demanded: "So you can talk?" "Well, I only usually talk to little people," said Mober. Granma about fell on a banana peel she was so surprised. "And you ain’t afraid of tarantulas?" asked G.

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