Magic Kitten: Moonlight Mischief

BOOK: Magic Kitten: Moonlight Mischief
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Sue Bentley’s books for children often include animals or fairies. She lives in Northampton and enjoys reading, going to the cinema, and sitting watching the frogs and newts in her garden pond. If she hadn’t been a writer, she would probably have been a skydiver or a brain surgeon. The main reason she writes is that she can drink pots and pots of tea while she’s typing. She has met and owned many cats and each one has brought a special sort of magic to her life.

SUE BENTLEY

Illustrated by Angela Swan

PUFFIN

To Misty, my grumpy blue-cream Persian girl

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, Mairangi Bay, Auckland 1310, 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

penguin.com

Published 2006
2

Text copyright © Susan Bentley, 2006
Illustrations copyright © Angela Swan, 2006
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

ISBN:978-0-14-190656-0

Prologue

There was a flash of dazzling white light and silver sparkles. Where the young white lion had stood, now crouched a tiny kitten with long sandy fur. The sun beat down on a grove of nearby thorn trees.

An old grey lion ran up to the kitten and bowed his head. ‘Prince Flame. You shouldn’t be here. Your uncle Ebony
searches for you,’ Cirrus growled.

The kitten trembled but he stood up and shook himself. ‘One day I will fight Ebony for the kingdom he has stolen from me!’ he mewed bravely.

Cirrus nodded his shaggy head and his eyes glowed with affection. ‘We all hope that day is soon, Prince Flame. But first you must grow strong and wise. Go far from here and hide in the other world once more, where you will be safe. Then return, to claim the Lion Throne.’

‘Nowhere is safe from my uncle’s spies…’ Flame broke off as a deep terrifying roar rang out.

Cirrus moved quickly, shielding the tiny kitten with his body.

A huge black adult lion came from
behind a thorn tree. It lifted its head and sniffed the air. Suddenly it stiffened and its cruel eyes fastened on Cirrus.

‘Ebony has your scent! Quickly Flame! Go now!’ Cirrus yowled urgently.

The adult lion snarled and bared its enormous teeth. It leapt forward and bounded towards Cirrus. Its mighty paws pounded the grass, and the ground beneath Flame’s tiny paws shook.

Silver sparks glittered in Flame’s long sandy fur and the kitten mewed as he felt the power building inside him. All sound faded. The ground seemed to sink beneath him and he felt himself falling. Falling…

Chapter
* ONE *

Eve Dawson stared gloomily out of the car as it came to a halt on the drive. There was a wooden sign by the front gate, which read, ‘Ross Cattery. Open All Year.’ A basket of cheerful purple and yellow pansies hung below the sign.

‘Well, here we are. Right on time,’ Mrs Dawson said brightly, glancing at
her watch. ‘Sally has arranged for someone to meet us here with a key.’

Maybe they’ll have lost the key and we can go straight back home,
Eve thought, getting out.

She stood with crossed arms, looking up at the grey stone house.

Mr Dawson came over and put his arm round Eve’s shoulder. ‘Cheer up, love. It’s only for a few days, while Sally’s away. You might even enjoy yourself.’

‘Oh, right. Clearing up tons of smelly cat litter! My favourite way to spend half-term. Not!’ Eve muttered.

She had reluctantly agreed to come and help her mum and dad look after the cattery only because she really liked the owner, Sally Ross. Sally was an old
schoolfriend of her mum’s. She never forgot Eve’s birthday and always sent brilliant Christmas presents through the post. But Eve couldn’t help thinking about her own schoolfriends who would be meeting up and having fun without her. She just wished the cattery was nearer home.

The door of a cottage across the road opened. A young woman, a girl and a little boy came out. The woman waved as they all crossed the road and came up the drive.

‘Hello, everyone! I’m Jo Hinds. Sally’s home help,’ the woman said cheerfully. ‘I’ve got a set of keys for you. I’ll let you in and show you around. This is my daughter Alison and my son Darren.’

‘Nice to meet you all,’ Mr and Mrs Dawson said.

Darren beamed up at Eve, his big blue eyes sparkling. He had curly blond hair and a sweet face and was clutching a bright-red fire engine. Despite herself, Eve smiled at the cute little boy who looked about four years old.

Alison was tall with long brown hair and looked about twelve. She had a
pretty face, which was spoiled by her sulky expression. She glanced at Eve. ‘What’s your name?’ she asked abruptly.

‘I’m Eve,’ Eve said, smiling. ‘It’s nice to meet…’ she began, but the older girl had already turned her back.

Alison stuck her hands in her jeans pocket and slouched after her mum who was showing Eve’s parents through a side gate.

Eve stared after the older girl, surprised at her unfriendliness. But she shrugged and followed her. At the back of the house, a big L-shaped extension took up most of the garden. Near the house there was a tiny patio with a table and chairs. Tubs of plants stood in front of a fence. From the faint sounds
in the background, Eve guessed that the cats’ pens must be behind the fence.

‘I’ll put the kettle on,’ Jo said, once they were all in the light, modern kitchen. ‘I’ve made some sandwiches. Maybe we could all have lunch after you’ve had a quick look round.’

BOOK: Magic Kitten: Moonlight Mischief
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