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Authors: Chloe Ryder

A Singing Star

BOOK: A Singing Star
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With special thanks to Julie Sykes

Contents

 

The Pony Royal Family

Map of Chevalia

 

Prologue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Epilogue

 

Chevalia Now!

In the middle of the Horseshoe Hills
, far away from the Royal Court and Stableside Castle, lay the ruins of a smaller castle. Its crumbling walls were choked with ivy. Bats flew from the turrets and spiders scuttled along the empty passageways.

In a damp room at the back of the castle, a chestnut pony with bulging eyes and a square nose, wearing a dark cloak, was bent over a glass container supported above a small fire. A gooey liquid, thicker than syrup, bubbled fiercely in the container, sending clouds of black smoke swirling into the air. The pony’s eyes watered and she coughed violently. She buried her nose in her cloak until the smoke thinned.

‘At last it is ready.’ Divine, the pony, carefully lifted the container away from the fire with a pair of tongs and carried it over to a sturdy oak table. She watched as the bubbles settled and then, when the liquid was still, she poured it into a bottle and sealed it with a cork.

 

 

Divine spoke softly at first. ‘No one understands me. All I ever wanted was for the ponies of Chevalia to love me. And soon they will.’ She held the bottle up and her lips curved into a smile. ‘With this magic potion the ponies will all love me the most. Then Chevalia will be mine!’ Her voice rose to a shout and ended with a cackling laugh.

With great care Divine tucked the bottle of black liquid into a pocket of her cloak. She turned to a cracked mirror hanging from a nail on the wall and pulled up her hood, arranging the material to cover her face. ‘Ponies of Chevalia,’ she whispered, ‘fear not. I have a plan!’

Chapter 1

 

Pippa MacDonald was helping her mum set up a picnic in the riverside park. It was a bright, warm Sunday afternoon, but Pippa’s mind was elsewhere.

‘I need to rehearse my lines for the school play,’ said Pippa. She reached over to the picnic hamper and picked up her script. ‘Can you help me, Mum?’

‘No, no,’ said Jack, Pippa’s little brother. ‘Mum said she’d play football with me, didn’t you, Mum?’

Pippa sighed. Jack was always begging for Mum’s attention. ‘I did promise Jack I’d play with him,’ she said. ‘But I expect Miranda will listen to you.’

Miranda looked up from her book. ‘Do I have to?’

‘You could play football with your brother instead,’ offered Pippa’s mum.

‘Not much of a choice,’ huffed Miranda. ‘Come on, Pip, let’s find somewhere quiet to practise your lines where we won’t get hit by Jack’s football.’

‘Great,’ Pippa handed Miranda the play script. ‘We could go under that big tree, away from the river.’

Miranda sat under the tree and stared at Pippa from over the top of the script. Pippa’s stomach knotted and she shoved her hands in her pockets.

‘Stand up straight,’ Miranda said, bossily. ‘It says here that you’re a knight but right now you look more like a sack of dried pasta.’

Pippa flushed as she took her hands out of her pockets and pushed her shoulders back.

 

 

‘Better,’ said Miranda. ‘Go on then, say something.’

‘Um . . .’ For one heart-stopping moment Pippa couldn’t remember her lines.

‘Dragons,’ prompted Miranda.

Dragons, of course! In a rush Pippa said, ‘I will fight the dragon. Bring me my armour, and Jasper, go and saddle my horse.’

‘Slower,’ bellowed Miranda, ‘and much louder. I can hardly hear you.’

Pippa’s face burned with embarrassment. She started again but she was so self-conscious that she muddled up her words.

‘Stop!’ Miranda cut her off with a wave of her hand. ‘You sound like a little mouse. Do it again, but more like a dragon this time.’

Pippa tried again but with Miranda’s bossy comments ringing in her ears she couldn’t concentrate. Almost every time she spoke she either forgot her lines or she wasn’t loud enough. Her heart sank. She wondered if maybe she should stick to riding ponies instead of acting.


Go on, Pippa, you can do it.’ Mum
ran past, chasing a football. ‘It’s like riding a pony – you just need to practise.’

‘I am practising and it isn’t working,’ Pippa said, desperately.

Mum ran back. ‘You need to practise some more then. And more importantly you need to believe in yourself. You
can
do it.’

As Mum went back to the game of football, Miranda held up the script. ‘Is there any point in trying again?’ she asked.

Pippa shook her head. She felt hopeless at acting. ‘I think I’ll have a rest,’ she said. Biting back the tears welling in her eyes, Pippa wandered over to the river. As she stared into the blue-green water she thought how her best Princess Pony friend, Stardust, would never tease her for not being good at something. But she couldn’t tell Miranda that. She’d never believe her.

Stardust, and her magical home of Chevalia, was her special secret. A month ago, on Pippa’s seaside holiday, two giant seahorses had taken her to Chevalia, an island where Royal Ponies reigned. Chevalia had been in danger but Pippa and Stardust had saved it by finding eight golden horseshoes. The horseshoes had been stolen from a wall in the ancient Stableside Castle by a mean-spirited pony who was called Baroness Divine. Divine had escaped but, with the horseshoes back in their rightful place, the Princess Ponies felt safe again.

BOOK: A Singing Star
5.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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