Oliver Moon’s Christmas Cracker

Chapter One

Oliver Moon opened his eyes, yawned sleepily and stretched. Then an exciting thought struck him, and he sat bolt upright, wide awake all of a sudden.

It was the first day of the Christmas holidays, and Magic School was closed for two whole weeks! Even better, the weather wizards had predicted a white Christmas. Oliver really hoped it would snow soon. He and his best friend, Jake Frogfreckle, were dying to go sledging down Cacklewick Hill together, not to mention have a few good snowball fights, too!

Oliver grabbed his wand from the bedside table and pointed it at his bedroom window. “Curtain, open!” he commanded.

The end of his wand made a crackling noise…but nothing happened.

Oliver waited a moment, then sighed impatiently and blew on it to warm it up. His wand was very temperamental in the cold. He gave it a little shake, then tried again. “Is there snow? Curtain – go!” he ordered.

His wand crackled a bit louder, and a few golden sparks fizzled at its tip, but the curtain stayed firmly shut.

Oliver swung his legs out of his spiderweb hammock and ran to open the curtain himself…only to see the back garden as green and wild as ever, without a single snowflake in sight.

Oliver stared up at the sky, hoping to see a few snow clouds on the horizon. No such luck. The sun was shining, and a crow was cawing cheerfully in the tanglebranch tree. It looked more like spring than winter!

Pulling on his dressing gown, Oliver headed downstairs for breakfast. Never mind. It was only the twentieth of December today, so there was plenty of time for snow. And in the meantime there were all sorts of other fun things to do before Christmas Day – decorating the Prickletree, making paper chains, and, of course, helping his parents cook lots of yummy Christmas food… Mmm! Minced eyes! His favourite!