Trouble at the Garden Gate

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The boy who lives in the graveyard is how most of the island knows Leb. It’s a dinky little Florida island too, where everybody knows everybody, and nobody off the island much cares. Until they do. The press. The police. The hungry off-island faces crowding the graveyard gate’s iron bars. All of them chasing a glimpse of Leb now, the boy who lives in THE graveyard now. It’s the first time he’s ever half enjoyed being chased. But when his daddy, the graveyard caretaker, goes missing, eleven-year-old Leb is left to face the darkening world at his gate alone. Almost alone. Leb still has his graveyard friends—the ghosts and magic animals he half suspects are just in his head. He also has Elspeth and Luther, two fellow friendless classmates from school. The three outcasts barely know each other. They barely know their own dinky island, turns out. And they don’t know enough to run the other direction. If they get past the cutthroat treasure hunters, black-cloaked witches, and bicycle-riding police deputies, a darker, deadlier peril still waits. That much they do know, now.

Adventure / Mystery
John David Neal
Age Rating:


In the white moonlight, where the willow waves,

He halfway gallops among the graves—

A tiny ghost in the gloom and gleam,

Content to dwell where the dead men dream,

But wary still;

For they plot him ill;

For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm

(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.

Over the shimmering slabs he goes—

Every grave in the dark he knows;

But his nest is hidden from human eye

Where headstones broken on old graves lie.

Wary still!

For they plot him ill;

For the graveyard rabbit, though sceptics scoff,

Charmeth the witch and the wizard off!

The black man creeps, when the night is dim,

Fearful, still, on the track of him;

Or fleetly follows the way he runs,

For he heals the hurts of the conjured one.

Wary still!

For they plot him ill;

The soul’s bewitched that would find release,—

To the graveyard rabbit go for peace!

He holds their secret—he brings a boon

Where winds moan wild in the dark o’ the moon;

And gold shall glitter and love smile sweet

To whoever shall sever his furry feet!

Wary still!

For they plot him ill;

For the graveyard rabbit hath a charm

(May God defend us!) to shield from harm.

The Graveyard Rabbit

by Frank Lebby Stanton

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