CHAPTER 9

A Monstrous Machine

"Ow!" Moony hit the pavement with a THUMP.

"I'm still alive!" said Red Bean, emerging from a pile of used bun wrappers.

But Suzhou Ham wasn't. For all his doom and gloom, he'd been such a solid friend.

chapter 09 v01Nutty wasn't either. But for all his nuttiness, he'd been such a wise old cake.

For some reason, remembering them so, Moony didn't feel so afraid of being eaten. "Never mind the moon fairies," he said. "Let's just get out of this smelly bin bag and look for a nice child to take us home."

Monstrous mooncakes! The bin bag was tied at the top.

And the city was coming alive. Taxis honked, trams screeched, and ding ding, eight o'clock chimed the clock, as people crowded into Chan's bakery.

Shake, SHAKE! What was happening? Like popping corn, Moony and Red Bean bounced around the bin bag.

An animal with scrabbling paws and a very wet nose was rooting for a bag of bones.

Moony and Red Bean quickly wriggled towards the light and rolled down the pavement.

"Shoo!" called a man from a noisy, orange, metal creature which slowed and stopped beside the mooncakes.

"Keep going," called Moony, when he realised that the rubbish collector was talking to the stray dog.

The shelves at the back of his machine were moving, crunching, grinding. Horrible!

Collector Wong jumped out of the cab and took off his gloves. "What have we here?" he said.

He picked up the mooncakes, and handed Red Bean to another rubbish collector. "For someone special," he said.

"Thanks, big brother, my daughter's favourite."

Beep, BEEP! "Get a move on, lads," shouted the driver.

"I'm in luck," called Red Bean as he disappeared into Collector Chan's pocket.

"Goodbye, dear friend," called Moony.

Then he was popped into a pocket too.

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