Ha’Penny Jenny by Dani Haviland

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She walked to the front of the wagon, reached into her pocket, and grabbed a handful of oats for the big Belgian. Xerxes wasn’t her pet—he was a work horse—but she liked to think of him as a big dog that just didn’t know how to fetch or roll over. Slurp! But he sure could lick the treats out of her hand.

“Well, if it isn’t Ha’penny Jenny,” called a voice from behind the wagon.

Jenny froze. She knew that voice. And there was only one person who had ever called her that. Her eyes darted side to side. She didn’t see him, but he must have seen her. Quick! Find Daddy!

Jenny ran toward the store, but was intercepted by the grizzled and stinky old man. “Well, if it isn’t Ha’penny Jenny,” he repeated with a sinister laugh.

“I guess your brothers didn’t want you after all, eh?”

“Da…”

Jenny’s scream for her father was cut off by a grimy hand to her mouth. “Were you going to call for your daddy?” he asked. “You and I know your daddy died a long time ago. What I think is that you’re here to rob the store. And then take all the goods to the devil. You’re his child now, aren’t you?”

Dick Short was back, causing trouble, but this time, his intended victim was too small to fight back.

Or so he thought.

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