Keeper of the Unicorns

 

keeperoftheunicorns

Filip the stable boy is out of his depth. The entire household has left for Prince Joe and Princess Christina’s wedding, leaving Filip, the stable master, the gatekeeper and the housekeeper to watch over things while they are away. But witches arrive, stun the gatekeeper and the stable master, and steal the winged unicorns. With no one to help him Filip must rescue the unicorns before the witches catch him too. Will he succeed or will the witches manage to extract a special elixir from the unicorns before he can save them?  Find out in this latest fairy tale for children 6-11 years available soon.

 

Keeper of the Unicorns (extract)

A woman’s voice intruded on Filip’s daydreams. He lifted his head off Pudding’s gently rising and falling stomach and sat up. Peering through a crack in the stall wall, he saw three women standing in the stable doorway, staring at Briggs.

Briggs finished hammering a nail into Tempest’s hoof, placed the hoof on the ground then straightened up, wiping his hands.

“Can I help you?” he asked.

“Are you the stable master?” asked one of the women.

Briggs nodded.

“We want to see the winged unicorns.”

“You’ll need the code to see them,” said Briggs.

“Green grass grows great geraniums.”

Filip smiled. The gatekeeper changed the code daily and finally someone had got it right.  After weeks of waiting Filip would be able to see the unicorns again. He was supposed to be cleaning the stalls, but if he stayed far enough behind Briggs he would never know.

Filip waited until the stable was empty, then nudged Pudding. The dog sat up, leaning his head on Filip’s shoulder and slobbering all over his shirt.

“Come on, let’s go,” said Filip, pushing Pudding’s head away.

They followed at a distance. Every now and then one of the women’s colourful cloaks lifted in the breeze revealing a black skirt and boots.

Filip frowned. “There’s something a bit odd about those three,” he said to Pudding as Briggs and the women disappeared behind a line of fir trees.

An explosion ripped through the air. Filip jumped and started running, but Pudding raced past and rounded the fir trees first. Another blast and Pudding bolted back through the trees, yelping; smoke trailing from the end of his tail.

Filip covered his ears as high-pitched squeals filled the air. He ran faster, but stopped at the edge of the trees. Briggs lay face down on the ground, and in the field beyond Filip could see the unicorns kicking and rearing as they tried to throw off two of the women who were astride their backs.

If you liked this extract watch out for Keeper of the Unicorns, available soon.

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