Authors: Sue Bentley
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 Ziggy – four-squat and ugly-cute, but full of character
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
Text copyright © Sue Bentley, 2008
Illustrations copyright © Angela Swan, 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
The young silver-grey wolf whined with fear as a terrifying howl rose on the icy air and echoed over the dark mountain.
‘Shadow!’ Storm gasped.
The fierce lone wolf, who had killed Storm’s father and three litter brothers and wounded his mother, was very close.
There was a dazzling bright flash and a shower of gold sparks. Where the young wolf had been standing there now crouched a tiny Jack Russell puppy with soft brown-and-white fur, a white tail and midnight-blue eyes.
Storm hoped this disguise would protect him. He leapt towards a clump of snow-covered rocks, his tiny puppy heart beating fast. He must find somewhere to hide – and quickly.
‘In here, my son,’ growled a soft velvety voice.
Storm plunged deeper into the shadows and ran towards the she-wolf who was slumped beneath a rocky shelf. Yelping a greeting and wriggling his little body, he licked his mother’s muzzle.
Canista reached out a large silver paw
and drew the small puppy against her thick warm fur. ‘I am glad to see that you are safe and well. But you have returned at a dangerous time. Shadow wants to lead the Moon-claw pack, but the others will not follow him while you live.’
Storm’s midnight-blue eyes flashed with anger. ‘Then perhaps it is time for me to face him!’
‘Bravely said,’ Canista growled softly. ‘But you are not yet strong enough to overcome him and I am still too weak from Shadow’s poisoned bite to help you. Use this disguise. Go to the other world and hide. Return when your magic is stronger.’ As Canista finished speaking, she gasped with pain.
‘Let me help you,’ Storm woofed,
blowing out a cloud of golden sparkles. They swirled around Canista’s paw for a moment before sinking into her fur and disappearing.
Canista gave a sigh of relief as a tiny bit of her strength returned.
Suddenly, another fierce howl rang out, sounding much closer. Heavy paws scraped at the rocks and Storm could hear harsh breathing.
‘Shadow has found your scent! Go now, Storm. Save yourself!’ Canista urged.
Storm whimpered as dazzling gold sparks ignited in his short brown-and-white puppy fur and he felt the power surging through him. The gold glow around him grew brighter. And brighter…
Jessica Tennant stood on the doorstep, clutching a bag of her favourite DVDs as she listened to her best friend’s mum in dismay.
‘I’m afraid Sheena’s in bed with a nasty cold and a sore throat. I was about to call just as you arrived. It’s a shame that your weekend’s spoiled. You’ll have to come and stay another time.’
‘Oh well, she can’t help being poorly,’ Jessica said, trying hard to hide her disappointment. ‘I’d better go then.’ She had a sudden thought and held out the bag of DVDs. ‘She can borrow these. Maybe they’ll cheer her up. Will you tell Sheena that I hope she feels better soon?’
Sheena’s mum smiled. ‘That’s really nice of you, Jessica. Sheena will probably ring you in a couple of days. Bye now.’
As the front door closed, Jessica’s shoulders slumped. She traipsed slowly back towards her parents who were waiting, parked outside in their camper van.
Mrs Tennant looked at her daughter in surprise. ‘What’s happened? Why aren’t you staying?’ she asked.
Jessica shook her head. ‘Sheena’s sick, so I can’t stay. We were going to have a film night and a midnight feast and everything. Now I don’t know what to do,’ she said miserably.
‘You’ll just have to come with us to the Balloon Festival,’ her mum said.
Jessica pulled a face. She didn’t want to go to the mega-boring old Balloon Festival with her parents. That was why she had been going to stay with Sheena in the first place. ‘Can’t I stay with Gran and Gramps?’
‘They’re on holiday, remember?’ Mrs Tennant said.
‘Well, what about Anjum?’ Jessica said. ‘Oh, no… she’s visiting her aunt. I know! I think Gemma’s at home. We could ask –’
‘Hang on, Jessica,’ her dad interrupted. ‘I’m afraid we haven’t got time to trail around all your friends’ houses on the off chance that you can stay with one of them. We have to get going. The rest of The High Flyers will already be on their way. Jump in, please.’
‘But…’ Jessica’s face fell as she realized that she didn’t have any choice. Sighing heavily, she climbed into the back and flounced down. Leaning over, she thrust her overnight bag under the seat.
‘Cheer up, Jess,’ her mum said, turning round to smile as Mr Tennant pulled the van away from the kerb and headed out of town. ‘I don’t like to see you with such a long face.’
Jessica felt so fed up, she could feel her face getting longer and longer. It would sag right on to the floor at this rate.