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Amy Wild, Animal Talker
The vanishing cat
by Diana Kimpton
Amy faces her biggest challenge yet when one of the clan, Willow the Siamese cat vanishes. What has happened to Willow and can Amy track her down before it’s too late?
“Animal lovers everywhere will be instantly enchanted by this Doctor Doolittle for a new generation.”
Betty Bookmark website
Diana Kimpton has two passions - horses and writing. So it is no wonder that Diana creates brilliant pony stories, which demonstrate her own love and understanding of ponies. Diana also has a mischievous sense of fun, not unlike Princess Ellie!
Diana has written a number of books and television scripts for children. She lives on the Isle of Wight, just a short walk from the sea.
Visit www.dianakimpton.co.uk to find out more.
THE VANISHING CAT
“I’d like to send this, please,” said Amy Wild, as she pushed the parcel across the post office counter.
Miss Pickle, the postmistress, glanced at the address. “You’re in good time,” she said. “The post for the mainland hasn’t left yet.”
“Good,” barked Hilton, the cairn terrier. He tapped Amy’s leg with his paw. “Don’t forget the letter.”
Amy wasn’t surprised to understand what he said. The string of glittering paws she wore around her neck was magic. It gave her the power to talk to animals.
She reached in her pocket and pulled out the letter the dog had mentioned. “There’s this too,” she said, as she handed it to Miss Pickle. “I’ve been collecting tokens from the dog food labels to get Hilton a rubber bone.”
The postmistress peered over the counter and smiled at the terrier. His words had only sounded like barks to her. “Bless him! He’s so excited. It’s almost as if he understands.”
Amy resisted the temptation to tell her that he did. Her special power had to stay secret – her great-aunt, Granty, had told her so. It was Granty who had given her the necklace when Amy first came to live on Clamerkin Island. And Granty was the only other human in the world who knew that Amy could talk to animals when she was wearing it.
Miss Pickle put a stamp on the letter and tossed it into a sack hanging under a narrow shelf on the back wall. On top of the shelf lay a Siamese cat. She was stretched out full length with two paws and her tail hanging over the edge. She was also fast asleep.
Miss Pickle weighed Amy’s parcel on the scales and stuck on the right number of stamps. Then she tossed that into the sack too.
The parcel landed with a thud so loud that it woke the cat. Her blue eyes snapped open and she tried to stand up. But the shelf was so narrow that she lost her balance.
“Oh no!” cried Amy, as the cat tumbled over the edge.
Luckily, she didn’t fall into the sack. She hit the edge instead and bounced off onto the floor, landing neatly on her feet like cats always do. Then she stuck her nose and tail in the air and rubbed herself against Miss Pickle’s legs.
The postmistress laughed and tickled the cat’s ears. “Silly old Willow. Whenever she falls off that shelf, she always pretends it was what she meant to happen.”
“What’s she fallen off?” asked Hilton, who was too small to have seen what had happened.
Willow jumped onto the counter and looked down at the terrier. “I didn’t fall,” she insisted. “I just sort of slid, deliberately on purpose.”
“Oh dear,” said Miss Pickle, who could only hear barking and mewing. “I do hope Willow and Hilton aren’t going to fight.”
“I’m sure they won’t,” said Amy. She knew the cat and dog were good friends. As if to prove her right, Willow jumped down on Amy’s side of the counter and sniffed noses with Hilton. Then she strode out of the post office.
Amy watched her go. Then she handed Miss Pickle the money for the postage, said goodbye and started to leave.
“Wait a minute!” called the postmistress, waving a teddy bear at Amy. “This belongs to Benny Croft. He must have dropped it when his mum was telling me about the work they’re having done to Holly Cottage. I can’t leave the post office unattended, so I wonder if you could take it back for me?”
“Of course I can,” said Amy. She tucked the bear in the crook of her arm and set off with Hilton by her side.
Willow was sitting outside in the sunshine, washing her face with her paws. Amy bent down so she was close enough to speak to the cat without anyone else noticing. “Are you all right?” she asked. “I hope you didn’t hurt yourself when you fell.”
Willow turned her head away to show she was offended. “I’ve told you before. I didn’t fall. I got down quite deliberately.” Then she shook herself from head to tail and changed the subject. “Have you heard about the clan meeting?”
Amy nodded. “Einstein told me during history.” He was the school cat and, like Hilton, Willow and Amy, he belonged to the clan – the group of animals that looked after Clamerkin Island.
“Einstein told me too,” said Hilton. “He said there’s a problem we need to solve.”
“I wonder what it is,” purred Willow. “I love solving problems.”
“So do I,” said Amy. She was keen to learn more about this new one, but the meeting wasn’t due to start for ages. And in the meantime, she had an errand to run. “Come on,” she called to Hilton. “We’ve got a bear to return to its owner.”
Diana Kimpton has already captured the hearts of a multitude of children with her Pony-Mad Princess series, and now Amy Wild and her menagerie of madcap animal characters look certain to win an army of new fans. Full of enchanting illustrations by Desideria Gucciardini, this is a gentle and reassuring story for children facing changes in their lives, and a thrilling adventure for the thousands of youngsters who dream of being able to talk to animals. And reading between the lines, they can learn the value of making the right choices, the virtues of patience, the benefits of helping others and the joys of making the most of your talents. As for Amy, her escapades with a quirky assortment of creatures look set to run and run...’
Lancashire Evening Post
Amy Wild’s got a special secret power – she can talk to animals! Follow her amazing adventures and meet her cute furry and feathered friends in these wonderful Amy Wild Animal Talker books, published by Usborne.
Easy Peazy Issue 33
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