Nobody was in the house. Eddy stormed out the rear door to the back porch and saw Aunt Alex feeding her chickens, scattering cracked corn around their fenced-in yard. They were Black Rosecomb bantams with many-colored feathers. The rooster stalked around among the hens, sticking out his shining black chest and arching his green tail.
"Aunt Alex," began Eddy angrily, but the jaunty little rooster chose that moment to lift his head and shout, "ARK-ARK-ARK-AROOOOOO."
Looking up at his furious face, Aunt Alex stopped scattering corn and unrolled the chicken-wire gate. "Eddy, dear, what is it?"
"My bike! Have you seen my bike?"
"Oh, dear." Aunt Alex followed Eddy back through the house to the front porch, and together they stared at the place where last night there had been a bicycle, where now there was only a railing with a lot of lathe-turned spindles.
Eddy glowered at the bubbles of paint on the top of the railing, the bubbles he had so often flattened with his thumb. "You see?" he said, his voice choked with tears. "Somebody stole it right off the porch."
The Time Bike, Copyright (c) 2000 by Jane Langton. Reprinted with permission from HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
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No Man's Land
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Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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