Magic Puppy: Classroom Princess, page 1
Sue Bentley's books for children often include animals, fairies and wildlife. She lives in Northampton and enjoys reading, going to the cinema, relaxing by her garden pond and watching the birds feeding their babies on the lawn. At school she was always getting told off for daydreaming or staring out of the window – but she now realizes that she was storing up ideas for when she became a writer. She has met and owned many cats and dogs and each one has brought a special kind of magic to her life.
Illustrated by Angela Swan
To Pash – gorgeous, charming spotty girl…
except for the snail-crunching!
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 2009
Text copyright © Sue Bentley, 2009
Illustrations copyright © Angela Swan, 2009
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
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Storm glanced up at the snow clouds gathering over the dark mountain slopes. It felt good to be back in his home world.
Suddenly, the young silver-grey wolf stiffened as a terrifying howl echoed on the still air.
‘Shadow!’ Storm gasped. The fierce lone wolf who had attacked the Moon-claw pack was very close.
He should have known that it was not safe to return. He needed to find a place to hide, and quickly.
There was a dazzling flash of bright light and a shower of gold sparks. Where the young wolf had been standing there now crouched a tiny fluffy brown-and-white King Charles spaniel puppy with bright midnight-blue eyes and a silky tail.
Storm hoped this disguise would protect him until he was under cover.
The tiny puppy's heart beat fast as he leapt forward and bounded up a steep slope. Storm looked from right to left as he ran, his little floppy ears flying out behind him, but there was nowhere to hide. No scrubby trees or bushes, not even a clump of grass.
As Storm felt himself tiring, he spotted a cluster of rocks. Perhaps there would be a small space he could squeeze into. But as the dark shape of a large wolf came into view, the tiny puppy whimpered with alarm.
This was it. Shadow had found him!
‘This way, my son!’ called the wolf in a deep velvety growl. ‘There is a cave where we will be safe for a while.’
‘Mother!’ Storm woofed in relief. He scrambled over the rocks and followed Canista as she led him down into the cave.
As the darkness closed over Storm, he licked his mother's muzzle in greeting, wriggling all over and wagging his tail.
Canista reached out a huge grey paw that was bigger than Storm was now and scooped her disguised cub against her warm furry side.
‘I am glad to see you again, but you have returned at a dangerous time. Shadow is hunting for you. He wants to lead the Moon-claw pack, but the others will not follow him. They will wait until you are strong enough to become leader.’
Storm's bright blue eyes flared with anger and sorrow. ‘Is it not enough that Shadow has killed my father and all my litter brothers and wounded you? Let us fight him and force him to leave our land!’
Canista's face softened as she gazed at her brave little cub. ‘I am still too weak from Shadow's poisonous bite and you cannot face him alone. Use this disguise. Go back to the other world and return when you are stronger.’
As she finished speaking, Storm saw her face cloud with pain. He leaned forward and huffed out a warm puppy breath filled with a thousand tiny gold stars. The sparkling mist swirled round Canista's sore leg for a moment and then sank into her fur and disappeared.
‘Thank you. The pain is lessening,’ she growled softly.
Suddenly, there came the sound of mighty paws digging at the rocks outside. An enormous wolf's head was outlined against the sky at the cave's entrance.
‘Go, Storm! Save yourself!’ Canista urged.
Storm whimpered as bright gold sparks ignited in his fluffy brown-and-white fur and he felt the power building inside him. A bright golden glow grew around him. And grew brighter still…
Kelsey Fisher frowned as she saw a car pull up outside. The doors sprang open and her dad's new girlfriend, Jo Wright, and her twin daughters got out.
‘What are they doing here so early?’ Kelsey wondered.
It was Saturday morning and she was still in her pyjamas. They had been a Christmas present from her mum, who now lived
in Australia with her new husband and Kelsey's little half-brother. The pyjamas had a pattern of little blue teddies and pink bows and Kelsey adored them, even though they were much too small for her.
As footsteps came thundering up the stairs, Kelsey quickly leapt back into bed and dived under the duvet to hide her pyjamas from the older girls.
The bedroom door banged open and Anna and Louise exploded into her room.
‘Surprise!’ Anna said cheerfully. ‘Mum's taking us all to the new riding stables.’
‘You're coming too! There's probably a quiet pony you can ride,’ Louise added.
Kelsey couldn't think of anything worse. Ponies terrified her. There was no way she was going anywhere near one. But if the twins found out that she was scared of ponies, they'd tease her even more than they usually did. ‘Thanks… but I'm… er… having a lie-in,’ she said quickly.
‘That's what you think!’ Anna grabbed Kelsey's pillow and started bashing her with it. Whump! Whump!
‘Give that back!’ Kelsey cried, leaping up and making a lunge for her pillow.
‘What soppy PJs. They don't even fit you!’ Louise said, giggling.
Kelsey blushed hotly. She grappled with Anna, but Anna was bigger than she was and much stronger. Anna threw the pillow to Louise, who caught it and tossed it on to the floor and then both of them pulled Kelsey's duvet off.
‘Now you have to get up!’ Anna crowed.
Kelsey's dad appeared in the bedroom doorway. ‘What's all this hoo-ha about? Ah, a pillow fight! Having fun?’ he said, smiling.
It's not fun, when it's o
‘We're trying to persuade Kelsey to come out with us. But she doesn't want to,’ Louise cried.
Her dad frowned. ‘Why's that, Kelsey?’
Kelsey scrunched herself up against the back of her bed and folded her arms tightly across her chest. ‘I can't go, because… I've got… um… tummy ache. I must have eaten too much pizza last night,’ she said.
Jo peered over Kelsey's dad's shoulder. ‘Why's everyone in here?’ she asked,
puzzled. Jo had a friendly smile and gentle blue eyes.
‘Kelsey's not coming with us, Mum. She got pizza blow-out!’ Anna said.
‘Poor old you.’ Jo's pretty face creased in concern as she looked at Kelsey. ‘Would you like to just come and watch? You might feel better in the fresh air.’
Kelsey stared at the floor. ‘I'd rather just stay here with Dad,’ she said quietly.
‘Maybe that would be best. It's a shame you're sick, but you can always come riding another time,’ Jo said kindly. ‘Come on, you two. We'd best be off. I hope you feel better soon, Kelsey. See you later.’
The twins followed their mum out. ‘See ya! Wouldn't wanna be ya!’ they chorused from the doorway.
Kelsey tingled with embarrassment as she heard them giggling all the way down the stairs. Her dad went down to the front door to see them out and the house was suddenly quiet.
Kelsey sighed. She wasn't sure how she felt about her dad having a girlfriend. It had been fine for the last couple of years with just the two of them. Jo seemed quite nice and she might even get to like her, but the twins were so hyper and full of themselves. Kelsey didn't even know if she wanted to make friends with them.
Mr Fisher came back into the room as Kelsey was straightening the bedclothes.
‘Those twins are real live-wires, aren't they? You'll have to start sticking up for yourself a bit more around them, love,’ he commented.
Kelsey nodded, blinking hard so he wouldn't notice her wet eyes. That was easy for him to say.
‘Will you be OK by yourself for a while, if I get on with some work?’ he asked, ruffling her curly light-brown hair. Her dad designed and built websites and sometimes worked from home.
Kelsey managed a wobbly smile. ‘I've stopped feeling sick now. I think I'll go
and read in the old summer house to cheer myself up.’
‘Good idea. You love it down there. Don't forget to wrap up well. It's quite mild today, but it's still only January.’
‘I will,’ she told him.
‘Right you are. Give me a shout if you need anything.’
As soon as he'd gone, Kelsey leapt out of bed and threw on her clothes. Grabbing her favourite book of dog stories and a fleece blanket, she went outside and down to the bottom of the garden. The summer house was a small wooden building nestling among the trees. She had played there with her dolls when she was little and a lot of her old toys were stored there.
Kelsey found a garden chair and snuggled up inside her blanket to read. The stories were so thrilling that she didn't notice time passing. One hour and then another ticked by. She was in the middle of a really exciting story about a lost puppy when, suddenly, a dazzling flash of bright gold light lit up the entire summer house.
‘Oh!’ Kelsey almost jumped out of her skin. It must have been lightning. She looked up from her book, expecting to hear a roll of thunder at any moment.
To her amazement, right in front of her was a tiny fluffy brown-and-white puppy. It looked up at her with enormous midnight-blue eyes.
‘Please help me,’ it woofed.
Kelsey did a double take. The book slipped off her lap and landed on the floor with a thud. She must have been so engrossed in her story that she'd just imagined the tiny puppy had spoken to her!
There was a big fence all round the garden and Kelsey couldn't see how a tiny puppy had climbed over it. Shrugging off the blanket, she got out of the chair and
looked down at the tiny puppy in front of her. ‘Hello there. Where did you come from?’
The puppy put its head on one side. ‘I used my magic to come to this world. I need to hide from my enemies. My name is Storm of the Moon-claw pack. What is yours?’ it woofed politely.
‘Oh!’ Kelsey gasped, taking a step back. As the backs of her knees brushed her chair, she sat down again with a jolt. ‘You… you really can… sp-speak!’ she stammered.
The puppy nodded. He sat down and curled his silky tail round his little brown-and-white body. Despite his tiny size Storm didn't seem to be afraid of her. He was looking at Kelsey curiously and seemed to be waiting for her to reply.
‘I'm… um… Kelsey. Kelsey Fisher,’ she said. ‘I live here in Long Morton with my dad.’
Storm dipped his tiny head in a formal bow. ‘I am honoured to meet you, Kelsey.’
‘Um… me too,’ Kelsey said.
She was still having trouble taking all this in, but she didn't want to frighten this amazing little puppy away. Kelsey slowly got up again and then crouched down to make herself seem smaller and less threatening.
‘Why do you need to hide? Is someone after you?’ she asked softly.
Storm's unusual blue eyes darkened as he nodded. ‘A fierce lone wolf attacked my Moon-claw pack. He is called Shadow. Shadow killed my father and litter brothers and wounded my mother. He wants to be leader, but the other wolves want to wait until I can lead them.’
Kelsey blinked at him in surprise. ‘But how can you lead a wolf pack? You're just a tiny pup–’
‘Keep back, please!’ Storm ordered.
Before Kelsey knew what was happening, there was another brilliant flash of light and a fountain of gold sparks gushed out all around her, before drifting harmlessly to the summer-house floor.
The tiny brown-and-white puppy had
disappeared and in its place a regal-looking young silver-grey wolf stood there proudly, almost filling the summer house. Its thick neck-ruff glimmered with thousands of tiny lights like gold gems.
‘Storm?’ Kelsey asked anxiously, eyeing the young wolf's sharp teeth, enormous paws and muscular body.
‘Yes, Kelsey, it is me. Do not be afraid. I will not harm you,’ Storm said in a deep velvety growl.
Before Kelsey had time to get used to Storm in this majestic form, there was a final dazzling bright flash of gold light and Storm reappeared as a tiny fluffy brown-and-white puppy with huge midnight-blue eyes.
‘Oh! That was incredible!’ Kelsey breathed. ‘What a brilliant disguise.’
‘Yes, but Shadow will see through it, if he finds me,’ Storm yapped softly. ‘I am in danger. I need to hide now.’
Kelsey saw that the tiny puppy had tucked his tail between his back legs and was beginning to tremble all over. Her heart went out to him. Storm was stunning as his real wolf-self, but as a small ball of soft brown-and-white fur he was totally adorable.
Kelsey held out her hand and rubbed the tips of her fingers together encouragingly. Storm edged closer until his little wet brown nose brushed her fingers. Kelsey picked him up and Storm licked her chin with his pink tongue.
Smiling, Kelsey stroked his soft little head. ‘What am I going to do with you? You'll be lonely hiding in the summer house, all by yourself. I'll ask Dad if I can keep you. He'll understand. He knows that I've always wanted a puppy to be my special friend and sleep in my bedroom.’
Storm showed his sharp little teeth in a doggy grin. ‘I would like that very much.’
‘Let's go into the office and ask him now. I can't wait to tell Dad all about you –’ Kelsey broke off as Storm reared up and placed one tiny brown-and-white front paw on her cheek.
‘No! You can tell no one my secret. You must promise me, Kelsey,’ he yapped, his little heart-shaped face suddenly serious.
Kelsey felt a bit disappointed that she couldn't share her brilliant news with her dad. He would have loved to know about Storm. It
‘OK. I promise. Cross my heart. No one's going to hear about you from me,’ she said.
Storm's muzzle lifted in a grin. ‘Thank you, Kelsey.’
As Kelsey stepped out of the summer house with Storm in her arms, she saw Anna and Louise striding down the lawn towards her. They looked hot and red-faced and their boots and jeans were muddy.
‘You just missed a brilliant riding lesson –’ Anna began and then her eyes widened as she spotted Storm. ‘Wow! Where did that cute puppy come from?’
‘Did your dad buy it for us all to share? Give it me. I want to hold it!’ Louise ordered, holding out her arms.
Kelsey stood there uncertainly, feeling tongue-tied by her usual shyness. But then a surge of protectiveness for Storm swept over her. ‘Storm's a “he” not an “it”,’ she found herself blurting out, to her own surprise. ‘I'd better keep hold of him for now. He's quite nervous until he gets used to you.’
Louise and Anna exchanged amazed glances. Kelsey marched past them while they were silent for once.
‘I don't know, Kelsey, you know how I feel about kids having pets,’ Mr Fisher said ten minutes later when Kelsey had finished giving her version of how she had found Storm in the summer house. ‘They have a habit of getting bored with them in no time and then the poor old parents are the ones who have to look after them. I think we'll phone the RSPCA. They'll find him a good home.’
Kelsey and Storm stood in the small kitchen, next to Jo and the twins. ‘But I won't get bored with Storm! He's special, Dad! He chose me to look after him,’ Kelsey exclaimed. Oh no, she hadn't meant to say that! She must be more careful.
Luckily her dad just laughed. ‘You and your imagination, Kelsey Fisher!’
Other author's books:
- A Summer SpellVacation DreamsClassroom ChaosMagic Bunny: Chocolate WishesA Splash of ForeverCircus SurpriseMagic Kitten: A Christmas SurpriseA Glittering Gallop
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