So Luke had new shoes. Mum said it would be a good idea to wear them around the house for an hour on the first day, then two hours the next, gradually increasing the time until they were comfortable enough to wear all day.
“Wouldn’t have had to do this with plimsolls,” thought Luke as he paced up and down his bedroom.
A week later he wore them to school. He had to admit it was good timing because it had started to rain and it wasn’t pleasant being stuck in wet socks all day. His new shoes kept his feet dry. He would say that for them. And he got a few compliments. Joe said he liked them, and so did Eddie and Susan. Miss Shaw said they were very smart, which undermined his confidence in them a little, but at least Mrs Tebbut hadn’t been impressed. At lunch time Luke changed into his plimsolls for football on the playground – hard, shiny shoes just weren’t good for running in. When the bell went he returned to the cloakroom to change back into his shiny shoes and found Simon Butler looking at them. Luke scowled.
“Wouldn’t have thought you’d wear them ,” said Simon smugly, “that makes you a hypocrite.”
Luke had no idea what a hypocrite was but knew that if Simon Butler was calling him one, it wasn’t something nice. He assumed he was making some derogatory remark about the shoes and decided he was glad that Butler didn’t like them. He didn’t like the stupid stuff Butler wore either.
“If I’m a hypocrite so are you – that horrible jumper makes you the biggest hypocrite in the world for wearing it!” said Luke as he walked away, very satisfied with his comeback.
“You don’t know what hypocrite means do you?”
Luke blushed. Simon enlightened him.
“It means someone who doesn’t practice what they preach. You say you won’t eat animals because you don’t want them killed but you’re wearing cow skin on your feet!”
“I am not!” Luke shouted, “these shoes are made of sprayed canvas, stupid! Don’t ya think I made sure o’ that before I let me mum buy ’em? Don’t ya think I’d make sure o’ that?”
Butler smiled his insufferable smile.
“Those are made of leather, it says so on the label. Leather is cow skin!”
Luke trembled with indignation. He knew Butler was lying because he’d seen the label inside his shoe. The word ‘leather’ was not on there. They had an audience now, the whole class was gathering round, eager to see who would get the last word. Luke would not let it be Butler. He took off one of his shoes, looked inside it and then proudly held it up for everyone to see.
“I do not kill animals! I do not pay for animals to be killed! I do not eat animals and I do not wear animal skin!” he said with gravity.
“What is going on out here?” Mrs Tebbut entered the cloakroom in search of her missing class.
“Mrs Tebbut,” said Simon politely, “we were wondering what this means,” he pointed to the label inside Luke’s shoe.
Story concludes tomorrow, but you can read to the end here now if you don’t want to wait 🙂