swear,' Gwyn said in solemn tones, 'to keep my secret
tell nobody ever till I say you can. Swear.'
listen,' Gwyn said, full of seriousness. 'We have to be
now. I don't want to scare it. Okay?'
nodded, trembling from cold and excitement.
eyed him. 'Don't forget, Billy-Will. You swore not
tell. Not anybody. Ever.'
know, I know,' William said through locked teeth. 'Get
fashion, Gwyn leading the way, they stalked into
should have hired a caravan, like we always do,' said William
when he saw the Welsh cottage his parents had rented for their
summer holiday. He didn't like the cottage. He didn't like Gwyn,
the boy from the nearby farm the adults thought would be such
company for him. He was thoroughly bored and fed up. Until Gwyn
led him down the cliffs and along the beach to see 'the thing'
Gwyn had found lying in a cave. Gwyn knew exactly what he was
going to do with it. William knew he had to stop him. And this
was something William had to do secretly and alone.
me the strength in this excellent little story is not the ecological
tale but in the murmuring undercurrents of aggressive emotion.
The fears and selfishness of all in the tale, adults and children
alike, are finally quieted but not fully tamed. There is a tugging
tension throughout the story that causes it to move along most
satisfactorily. A super book for all children of ten or more
to read alone or in groups. There is a lot to think about and
discuss.' CL in Books for Keeps.
Dutch Silver Pencil Award 1985
published by Bodley Head, 1980
edition, Red Fox pbk, 1999
contents are ©Aidan Chambers unless otherwise stated.