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Chapter 8 Title
Chapter 8 – page 1

So they went that-a-way, after the horses had a big drink at the river. Back up to the stone road they had come in by, they turned left and kept going … faster now … klippity klop klop.. ..klippity klop klop … maybe they would make it to the Marshmallow Waste before dark. It seemed like forever since they had left Mangoes End.

The stone road turned into dirt again about a half mile down … and tufts of silvery blue grass were coming up in the middle of it. Pink bell-like flowers grew along the sides of the road. The yellow sun was warm on them, with just a slight tropical breeze that almost felt like ocean. Soon they thought they heard banjo music. They looked around and strained their necks and finally figgerd out it was coming from the silvery blue grass growing in the middle of the road. Guess that is why they call it bluegrass banjo muisc.

The music brought out the Chips who once again resumed their places on J’s shoulders and along the manes of the horses. It seemed suspiciously like there were more of them now than before. When Granma looked back at Julio she could see that the Chips were also hanging onto Mober & Pepper’s tails. Mober’s bronzy-brass tail looked like it had a pretty pink & white bow tied at the top of it. Pepper was sporting a red bow at the top of her tail.

"Ai yai yai …" exclaimed J. "We forgot da Muff!" Sure enough, Muff had been so busy playing that she hadn’t even seen them leave. "Do you think she wants to stay there?" asked G. "I’ll just pull out my handy whistle in my pocket here, and see if she comes," said the J-man. "I didn’t know you had a whistle! That could come in real handy." said G. You know how little boys always have their pockets full of stuff ... screws, nails, eraser, knives, tools … handy stuff like that. "I have a pencil," said G. "That already came in handy too." (remember when they wrote a note to PKK on the table about taking the hammock?) Anyway . . .

So Julio got his shiny metal whistle out of his pocket and put it on a red string around his neck. "Man, that whistle looks familiar," said G. "Wonder where you got it?" "I dono," quips J. Then he blows ..real hard …. Man, they shoulda prepared the horses. Not good, not good, not good. They both took off like lightning from a thunder cloud! Mober was not one to loose her head tho’ and she stopped as suddenly as she started and turned around for a look-see. Pepper was the scaredy cat baby who dumped Julio and was giving the Chips the guacamole treatment. Well, the whistle noise had come from J, so Pepper got the worst of it. Luckily for the Hoo, he landed on some of the soft, silvery, blue-green banjo music grass in the middle of the road and was sitting there a little dazed. Pepper was over by Mober - shaking. G caught up her bridle and held onto her so J could climb a rock and get back on. Little boys bounce right back after a bucking off like that ~ not so with ole decrepiddy Granma's tho. Maybe Pepper would bow down, but G had her doubts about that after the whistle incident. "So Hoo, you're gonna' have to go a little ways off and blow that thing!" said G.

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