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Authors: Peter H. Riddle

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The Painted Ponies of Partequineus and The Summer of the Kittens

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The Painted Ponies

of Partequineus

 

and

 

The Summer of

the Kittens

 

Two Novels for Young Readers

 

Peter H. Riddle

 

CCB Publishing

British Columbia, Canada

The Painted Ponies of Partequineus and The Summer of the Kittens: Two Novels for Young Readers

 

Copyright ©2012 by Peter H. Riddle

ISBN-13   978-1-77143-005-0

First Edition

 

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Riddle, Peter H., 1939-

The painted ponies of Partequineus ; and, The summer of the kittens: two novels for young readers [electronic resource]
/ written by Peter H. Riddle – 1
st
ed.

ISBN 978-1-77143-005-0

Also available in print format.

1. Ponies--Juvenile fiction.  2. Kittens--Juvenile fiction.  I. Title.

PS8585.I4152P33 2009   jC813'.6   C2009-901227-8

Additional cataloguing data available from Library and Archives Canada

 

Extreme care has been taken to ensure that all information presented in this book is accurate and up to date at the time of publishing.  Neither the author nor the publisher can be held responsible for any errors or omissions.  Additionally, neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

 

All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

Publisher:

CCB Publishing

British Columbia, Canada

www.ccbpublishing.com

Other Books by Peter H. Riddle…

 

Fiction

 

Keeping Rebecca

Choices

Whistle Up a Wind

Coming Home Again

Running Away

Fourteenth Concerto

Thirteenth Summer

Twelfth Birthday

 

Children's Poetry

with illustrator Shelley Patterson

 

No Room

 

Non-Fiction

 

Trackwork For Toy Trains

The American Musical

Wiring Your Toy Train Layout

Track Planning Ideas For Toy Trains

America's Standard Gauge Electric Trains

Easy Lionel Layouts You Can Build

Tips & Tricks For Toy Train Operators II

Tips & Tricks For Toy Train Operators

Greenberg's Guide To Lionel Trains 1901-1942:  Vol. III

Wiring Your Lionel Layout, Vol. III

Wiring Your Lionel Layout, Vol. II

Wiring Your Lionel Layout

Trains From Grandfather's Attic

Author's Note: 
The two stories in this volume are very different, but are linked together by a beautiful book, now more than half a century old, that captures the interest of the two young protagonists. I can remember reading Paul Gallico's
The Abandoned
at the age of nine or ten, my first “adult” novel, and it had a compelling effect upon me. By introducing me to the power of the written word, it profoundly influenced the career choices I was to make. If you can locate a copy, I believe you too will find it rewarding. Pass it on for the young people in your life to read - they will be richer for the experience.

The Painted Ponies

of Partequineus

 

This story was written in honour of these fine young adventurers (alphabetically by first name):

 

Aaron Doerfler

Alexander Moggy

Christina Starr

Evan Doerfler

Frank Starr

Spencer Payne

Steven Moggy

Tristan Payne

 

And, of course, especially for

Vanessa Starr

who was the first to read it

Vanessa had plans. She was going to finish school, and go to university, and do something useful with her life. She wasn't yet sure just what that would be, but she knew that it was important for her to try to do her best, because every person on earth has the power to make the world into a better place.

 

ONE

 

Vanessa was just eleven years old. But in the land of Partequineus, she was ten, or possibly twelve. Or nine, or maybe even a hundred and twenty-two. Ever since the purple mist drifted out of the fireplace and into her bedroom one Friday afternoon at precisely four o'clock, she had begun to think about time in a whole new way.

At the beginning of the third week of August, Vanessa and her mother moved into a pleasant, well-kept home on beautiful tree-lined Chestnut Street near the edge of town. She was happy. It was a small house, but ever so much bigger than the tiny, dark apartment where Vanessa had been forced to sleep on a pull-out couch in one corner of the living room. From now on, her Mom had promised she could have her own bedroom, all to herself.

The house was very old - more than two hundred years, the real estate salesman said. Vanessa thought it was beautiful, with lots of windows that let in plenty of light, and a huge yard that looked almost like a park. Many different kinds of birds nested in the tall trees, and red and grey squirrels chased each other through the branches and ran up and down the telephone poles that lined the street.

They had just come from the lawyer's office, where they signed all the papers that meant the house really belonged to them. They climbed the porch steps and rang the doorbell. A few seconds later, a small woman with white hair, a wrinkled face and a wide pleasant smile invited them inside.

“You've come just in time,” Grace Baxter said. “I've already called for a taxi, and I'm just about to leave. I have your keys all ready for you.”

“Thank you, Grace,” Vanessa's mother said. They stepped into the bright foyer and followed the old woman into the living room. Vanessa looked around excitedly at the big comfortable sofa, the soft upholstered chairs, the polished wooden end tables, and the gigantic grandfather's clock that stood across from the fireplace. Everything inside the house was theirs, too. Grace Baxter was moving to an assisted living residence, and wouldn't need all that furniture any more.

“I'm so glad such nice people will be living in my house,” Mrs. Baxter said. “I've spent many pleasant years here.” She opened a desk drawer and took out a ring of keys. She handed them to Vanessa's Mom.

“The biggest one is for the front door,” she said, pointing to a shiny silver key. “The two smaller ones are for the back door and the outside cellar entrance.” She turned to Vanessa. “And here's an extra front door key just for you.”

“That's very thoughtful of you,” Vanessa's mother said. “Vanessa gets home from school before I'm finished at work, so she'll be able to let herself in.”

Grace Baxter stared thoughtfully at Vanessa. “That's strange,” she murmured. “It seems as if I've seen you somewhere before. Many years ago, perhaps.”

“I'm only eleven,” Vanessa said.

“I know,” the old woman said mysteriously.

Then they heard the sound of a car horn outside.

“There's my taxi,” Mrs. Baxter said. “I have to be going.” She headed toward the door, but paused with her hand on the latch. She looked back at Vanessa once more. She cocked her head to one side, as if trying to make up her mind whether to say more.

“There's something I think I should tell you both,” she said seriously.

“What's that?” Vanessa's Mom asked.

“Have you decided which bedroom your daughter will sleep in?”

Vanessa and her mother looked at each other, puzzled. “Not yet,” Vanessa's Mom said.

BOOK: The Painted Ponies of Partequineus and The Summer of the Kittens
3.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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