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Unicorn School: the Treasure Hunt, page 1

 

Unicorn School: the Treasure Hunt
 


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Unicorn School: the Treasure Hunt


  PUFFIN BOOKS

  Unicorn

  School

  The Treasure Hunt

  At last all the teams had their maps and

  bags and were ready to start.

  The Tricorn raised his head so that his

  horn sparkled in the sunlight. ‘Let the

  treasure hunt begin!’

  Linda Chapman lives in Leicestershire with her family and two Bernese mountain dogs. She used to be a stage manager in the theatre. When she is not writing she spends her time looking after her two young daughters, horse riding and teaching drama. You can find out more about Linda on her website lindachapman.co.uk or visit mysecretunicorn.co.uk.

  Books by Linda Chapman

  BRIGHT LIGHTS

  CENTRE STAGE

  MY SECRET UNICORN series

  NOT QUITE A MERMAID series

  STARDUST series

  UNICORN SCHOOL series

  (Titles in reading order)

  FIRST CLASS FRIENDS

  THE SURPRISE PARTY

  THE TREASURE HUNT

  Unicorn

  School

  The Treasure Hunt

  Linda Chapman

  Illustrated by Ann Kronheimer

  PUFFIN

  PUFFIN BOOKS

  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3

  (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

  (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

  Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park,

  New Delhi – 110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand

  (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank,

  Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  First published 2008

  1

  Text copyright © Working Partners Ltd, 2008

  Illustrations copyright © Ann Kronheimer, 2008

  All rights reserved

  The moral right of the author and illustrator has been asserted

  Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition

  that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise

  circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other

  than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition

  being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

  British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

  978-0-14-191643-9

  To Luca Misra, who is a real treasure

  Contents

  Chapter One Exciting News!

  Chapter Two The Healing Lesson

  Chapter Three Flying Through Snow!

  Chapter Four Troy’s Treasure Hunters

  Chapter Five The Treasure Hunt

  Chapter Six The Noise in the Trees

  Chapter Seven Lost!

  Chapter Eight Dragon’s Peak

  Chapter Nine Wish Magic

  Chapter

  One

  Exciting News!

  ‘Oh, wow!’ Willow stared at the new poster pinned on to the school notice board. The title was written in large purple letters:

  WINTER TREASURE HUNT!

  Willow read quickly:

  A treasure hunt will take place this Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. All unicorns in the school may take part but they must be in teams of four. The clues will be hidden around Arcadia by the teachers. Each team will have six clues to solve that will lead them to six objects. The first team back with all their objects will win a term’s supply of shamrock! All teams wishing to take part must register with the chief elf by Friday.

  Willow snorted in excitement. A treasure hunt! She couldn’t wait to tell her best friends, Sapphire, Storm and Troy. She was sure they would want to enter. We can be a team together, she thought. It’ll be such fun!

  She set off across the Assembly Fields towards Moonlight Meadows where she had last seen her friends.

  Willow and her friends were all in Year One at Unicorn School. All the unicorns who lived in Arcadia went to school when they were nine to learn how to use their magic powers. They stayed at school until they were fifteen and when they left, the cleverest and bravest unicorns were chosen to be the Guardians of Arcadia. It was the job of the Guardians to look after all the other creatures who lived there. Willow loved being at Unicorn School and she really hoped she would be a Guardian one day!

  She cantered into Moonlight Meadows where all the unicorns ate and where they usually hung out between classes. The elves who worked at the school were clearing away lunch from four long tables. There were unicorns chatting, playing tag, grazing by the stream, flying through the air. Willow spotted her three friends near one of the oak trees.

  ‘Hi, Willow!’ said Sapphire as Willow cantered over. ‘Where have you been?’

  ‘Looking at the school notice board. You’ll never guess what!’ Willow exclaimed.

  ‘What?’ Troy asked curiously. He was a very sporty-looking unicorn with a noble face and long golden horn.

  ‘There’s going to be a treasure hunt!’ Willow’s eyes sparkled. ‘Isn’t that cool? It’s on Saturday, for teams of four.’

  ‘We can be a team!’ said Storm. He was very big for his age but was very gentle and kind. ‘We can all go in it together.’

  ‘I’ve heard about the school having treasure hunts,’ said Troy. ‘They organize them to help us learn about the different bits of Arcadia.’

  ‘Did the notice say what the prize is?’ Storm asked Willow.

  ‘A term’s supply of shamrock!’ Willow declared.

  Her friends all whinnied excitedly. Shamrock was their favourite food. It had magic in its leaves and tasted sweet and tingly.

  ‘I hope we win!’ said Storm.

  ‘Me too, but even if we don’t, it should be great just taking part,’ Sapphire put in.

  Storm and Willow nodded but Troy shook his head. ‘I don’t want just to take part, I want to win!’

  Willow grinned at him. ‘You always want to win everything, Troy!’

  ‘That’s because winning’s fun,’ said Troy. ‘We’d better get practising.’

  ‘Practising?’ Storm echoed.

  ‘How can you practise for a treasure hunt?’ Sapphire asked in surprise.

  ‘Well, we can practise flying and galloping as fast as we can,’ said Troy. ‘And we can study old treasure hunt maps and practise solving the clues on them. And learn the maps of Arcadia. There’s loads of stuff we can do.’

  It all sounded a lot of work to Willow.

  Just then one of the elves blew a note on a large shell.

  ‘We’d better go,’ Sapphire said. ‘Or we’ll be late for class.’

  Willow followed the others across the meadows, excitement buzzing through her. This treasure hunt was going to be fun!

  Chapter

  Two

  The Healing Lesson

  ଀Good afternoon, class,’ Sirona, the healing teacher, said as all the Year One unicorns gathered round her at the start of the l
esson. ‘Today I am going to tell you about some of the magical creatures in Arcadia that you may one day need to heal if you become a Guardian, and then we will practise your own healing skills using some plants.’

  Healing was one of Willow’s favourite subjects at school. But as Sirona talked about the different magical creatures that lived in Arcadia, Willow found herself daydreaming about the treasure hunt. How many other teams would enter? How difficult would the clues be? Whereabouts in Arcadia would they be sent? Willow hadn’t been to many places in Arcadia. She only really knew the meadows and woods where her parents lived and the school grounds. It would be so much fun to go exploring!

  Suddenly she was aware that Sirona had just asked the class a question about kelpies – a type of pixie-like creature that lived in streams.

  I’d better concentrate, Willow thought guiltily as she realized she couldn’t answer the question because she hadn’t been listening to what Sirona was saying.

  But it was hard when the thoughts of the treasure hunt were whirling around in her brain and Willow was glad when Sirona stopped talking and they actually got to do some healing magic themselves.

  Sirona gave them each a wilted plant. The flower head and leaves on each plant were all floppy.

  ‘I would like you to try to heal the plant I have given you,’ Sirona said. ‘Concentrate on feeling well and healthy. Let that feeling grow in your mind and then touch the plant with your horn. Your horn will start to glow if the magic is working. If your magic is strong enough the plant will be healed.’

  Willow looked at her plant. Its orange flower was drooping sadly. I can do this, she thought confidently. She was good at healing. She shut her eyes and thought about feeling healthy. She let the feeling build and grow and when it felt as if it was about to burst out of her, she opened her eyes and touched her horn to the orange flower. Sparks seemed to shoot through her. Her horn glowed a brilliant silver and she felt magic flowing from her into the flower. To her delight, the flower began to move upwards towards the sky and the stalk stiffened. Willow took her horn away. The flower was healed!

  ‘Well done, Willow!’ Sirona exclaimed.

  Willow looked around the class. Although some of the others had managed to make their flowers look a bit healthier, no one else had managed to heal their plant the way she had. Sirona smiled. ‘You have a natural talent for healing, Willow. Maybe you’ll be a Guardian of Arcadia one day.’

  Willow glowed. Sirona couldn’t have said anything to make her happier. ‘I’d love to be!’ she said.

  After the class had finished, Storm, Sapphire and Troy joined Willow as they headed back to Moonlight Meadows.

  ‘You healed your plant really well,’ Storm said to Willow.

  ‘Thanks.’ Willow smiled.

  ‘I wish I was as good as you,’ said Sapphire enviously. ‘I’m useless at healing. My plant didn’t get better at all.’

  ‘You’re loads better than me at rose-quartz gazing, though,’ Willow told her. ‘You always manage to see things in the rose quartz. I usually just get a blur.’

  When unicorns touched their horns to rocks of rose quartz they were supposed to be able to use their magic to try and see what was happening in other parts of Arcadia. But it was quite tricky to do.

  ‘We’re all good at different things,’ said Storm. ‘I really liked it when Sirona was telling us about the other magical creatures in Arcadia. I never knew that dragons sometimes lose their puff, or that kelpies can catch colds.’

  Sapphire nodded. ‘It was really interesting.’

  Willow began to wish she’d listened harder at the beginning of the lesson. ‘What was Sirona saying?’ she asked.

  Troy snorted. ‘How can you three talk about boring lessons when we’ve got the treasure hunt to think about? After tea tonight let’s go to the library and look up old treasure hunt maps and practise solving the clues. Then tomorrow morning why don’t we meet early and practise flying?’

  Willow exchanged looks with the other two.

  ‘Do we really need to?’ Storm asked.

  ‘Yes,’ Troy said bossily. ‘We do.

  We’ll meet at the library at six o’clock. OK?’

  They nodded slowly. ‘OK,’ they all said.

  Troy stamped his hoof. ‘When we win the treasure hunt you’ll thank me. Just wait and see!’

  Troy, Willow, Storm and Sapphire met at the library at six o’clock as planned.

  ‘The maps and clues for the old treasure hunts are kept over here,’ Troy whispered, leading the way to the back of the big room. ‘I spoke to the librarian earlier and she said it was fine for us to look at them. The clues will all be different on this year’s hunt so it’s not cheating, it’s just practising.’

  He pulled a dark leather book off the shelf with his mouth and put it down on a nearby table. They all crowded round. Inside there were ten maps of Arcadia, each with six clues to different places and a set of answers.

  ‘Look at all these names,’ Willow said. There were so many places marked on the map. She read some of them out: ‘Dragon’s Peak, Mermaid Beach, Butterfly Hollow, Cockatrice Cavern, Lion Forest, Echo Cove, Phoenix Mountain.’ She looked at the others. ‘Oh, wow, I can’t wait to go exploring!’

  ‘Let’s read the clues and see if we can work out where they are leading to,’ Troy said. ‘Here’s the first one. It’s supposed to help you find a place on the map.’ He read out: ‘“I have a floor but no walls or a door. I make no noise but I sound like I roar.”’

  Sapphire looked blank. ‘What does that mean?’

  ‘I don’t know,’ said Willow. ‘What’s got a floor but no walls or a door?’

  ‘A forest!’ said Storm. ‘It’s an easy clue. I bet it means go to Lion Forest. A forest has a floor but no walls or a door and it doesn’t make any noise but its name makes it sound as if it roars.’

  ‘You’re right!’ said Troy, checking the answers.

  ‘Let’s try another one,’ said Willow. She read out: ‘“Scales aplenty and snorting flame, follow me to play the game.”’

  Once again Storm got the answer really quickly. ‘I think it means go to Dragon’s Peak because dragons breathe fire and have scales.’

  Sapphire checked the list of answers. ‘You’re right again. You’re really good at this, Storm.’

  ‘I like solving problems,’ Storm said happily.

  ‘This is brilliant!’ said Troy, looking delighted. ‘We’ll stand a great chance of winning with you answering all the clues, Storm.’

  They practised solving more clues and then Troy spread all the maps out on the table. ‘Now, let’s try and memorize these,’ he said. ‘They’ve all got different bits of Arcadia labelled on them. If we learn them all, we’ll know where all the places are and when we get our clues on Saturday we won’t have to spend ages looking over the map trying to decide how to get there.’

  ‘Do we have to? I’m tired now,’ Willow said.

  ‘Me too,’ Sapphire yawned.

  Storm nodded. ‘We can look at the maps tomorrow, Troy.’

  ‘I want to look now!’ Troy insisted.

  Storm and Sapphire hesitated but Willow shook her head firmly. ‘Count me out. I think it’s silly. We don’t need to learn the maps. We’ll have a map with us.’

  ‘Fine,’ Troy said huffily. ‘You lot go back to the stables then but I’m going to stay and learn the maps because I think it’ll help us to win.’

  Sapphire, Storm and Willow left him in the library. ‘Troy’s taking this treasure hunt really seriously, isn’t he?’ said Sapphire.

  Willow nodded. ‘I wish he could see that it’s going to be fun whether we win or not.’

  ‘Do you think he will try and make us get up early to practise flying?’ Storm said.

  ‘I hope not,’ said Sapphire. She didn’t like getting up early.

  Willow grinned. ‘I bet he will!’

  Chapter

  Three

  Flying Through

  Snow!

&
nbsp; ‘Wakey wakey!’ Willow blinked her eyes open the next morning. Troy was standing next to her in the stall. He poked her with his horn. ‘Come on! We’re going to practise flying, Willow!’ He bounced out of her stall. ‘Time to wake up, Sapphire! Come on, Storm!’

  Willow yawned and got slowly to her feet. It was very early in the morning.

  ‘Do we have to get up now?’ she heard Sapphire complain.

  ‘Yes!’ Troy said. ‘The more practice we get the better and it’s a lovely morning for flying!’

  They all left the cloud stable and went outside. Troy was certainly right about it being a lovely morning. The sun was shining although it was very cold. The grass in Moonlight Meadows was covered with frost and their breath froze on the air.

  ‘Come on, come on!’ Troy said bossily as soon as they reached the Flying Heath. ‘Line up and let’s practise racing starts.’

  ‘But why?’ Willow asked. ‘We’re not going in for a race, we’re going on a treasure hunt!’

  ‘Yes, but every second might count,’ said Troy.

  Willow opened her mouth to argue but Sapphire nudged her. ‘Just do what he says,’ she said in a low voice. ‘Otherwise we’ll never get back in time for breakfast!’

  Willow knew Sapphire was right so she didn’t say anything but lined up with the others.

  ‘On your marks. Get set. Go!’ Troy shouted.

  They all took off. Troy was easily the quickest but he always was. He was one of the fastest unicorns in the whole school even though he was only a Year One.

  ‘Come on, you can do better than that!’ he said to the rest of them. ‘Try again! Storm, you have to push off quicker – push down with both of your back legs. Sapphire, you took off OK but then you slowed down – you must keep going. And Willow, you didn’t look as if you were trying at all. Let’s have another go.’

 
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