Badger the Mystical Mutt and Daydream Drivers

BOOK: Badger the Mystical Mutt and Daydream Drivers
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THE LUNICORN PRESS

Glasgow

Text © Lyn McNicol and Laura Cameron Jackson 2013

Illustrations © Laura Cameron Jackson 2013

All rights reserved

The moral right of Lyn McNicol and Laura Cameron Jackson to be identified as author and illustrator of this work has been asserted. 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 prior permission of The Lunicorn Press.

First published 2013 by The Lunicorn Press

1

Printed by Martins the Printers, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Designed and typeset by Heather Macpherson

at Raspberry Creative Type

Set in 14.25 pt Gentium Book

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-0-9569640-4-5
eISBN: 978-0-9569640-9-0

www.badgerthemysticalmutt.com
www.facebook.com/badgermutt
www.twitter.com/badgermutt

For Betty Smith, Colin Thomas
and Norma Jean
.

Contents

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

A round of “up-paws” for
Badger the Mystical Mutt

“Pitch-perfect subtlety and wit.”

Shari Low, The Daily Record

“Using Badger books is an excellent way of opening communication channels with how your child gets on at school.”

Missing Sleep

“There are some underlying morality themes that should allow vigorous class discussions”

Stephen King, The School Librarian Magazine

“I have to say I just love these books; they are written so well and sweep you up in tales of chaos, mayhem and fun, with a little bit of magic.”

BFK Books

“Kids’ book takes world by storm.”

The Scottish Sun

“A moving and joyful story, which warmed the heart of this cynical old journalist.”

That’s Books

“First-time winner.”

The Evening Times

“A toast-loving, magical hound, who has been winning fans in book shops, libraries and schools across Scotland.”

The List

“A charming and very funny children’s story.”

Diana Cooper

“McNicol & Jackson have created a charming new book character; a toast-crunching hound named Badger.”

Aye Write, Glasgow’s Book Festival

“A truly magical story, which has all the hallmarks of a future children’s classic!”

Ursula James

“A magical 21
st
-century narrative, which will delight and inspire folk of all ages.”

Alex Lewczuk, Southside Broadcasting

“The toast-crunching, spell-muffing Badger the Mystical Mutt is a delightful, madcap, magical character, who worms his way into your affections.”

Maggie Woods, MotorBar

“Badger the Mystical Mutt is the coolest doggie around, and in his brilliant stories he helps young kids understand their world and believe in themselves and their ambitions.”

Vegetarian Living Magazine

ALSO BY MCNICOL & JACKSON

Badger the Mystical Mutt

Badger the Mystical Mutt and the Barking Boogie

Badger the Mystical Mutt and the Crumpled Capers

It was two puffs of a dandelion clock to summer. In the lane, noisy clangs and bangs, dings and dongs, rustles and bustles could be heard from Badger the Mystical Mutt’s garden. He was rummaging in his favourite plant pot to find the bits and pieces he needed for a very important spell; a spell to stop screeches and screams in nasty dreams; the all-important spell to conjure up a magnificent Dreamcatcher.

He dug out a rusty old bicycle bell and looked at it thoughtfully.

“Nope, that won’t work, too loud.”

He peered back into the pot and tugged at an old wellie boot and a cricket bat. He shook his head and threw them both aside.

He had another delve, and spotted a shiny basketball ring. “Aha, this is looking better”. Then he spied a ball of string and a tattered feather filled pillow.

“Splendid, these are
exactly
what I need to help Lennie with his nightmares… if I could only remember the spell.”

He scratched his head, closed his eyes, thought really hard and then uttered the magic words:

“Feathers flutter to this ball of string,

Weave your web to the basketball ring.

Tickle the nightmares and give them laughter,

Make them cheery and happy ever after”

Badger stood back and waited. Sparkles of light twinkled around him as the feathers, the string and the basketball ring lifted up, twirled around and headed straight for him.

Out in the lane, the birds were watching their youngsters try to fly, the alley cats were lounging in the shade of the old oak tree, and all was well in the neighbourhood. All except for Lennie, the new leader of the gang. A little further along the lane, Lennie was undergoing a terrifying torture. He was trapped in a murky dungeon and was tied to a strange stretching contraption. His tail was being pulled at one end while a tin watering can drenched his head at the other.

In a dank corner, Pogo Paws and Pickle sniggered as they turned a huge creaky wheel. With each turn, a mallet thumped Lennie’s snout, and his tail was yanked even further.

“Stop, please stop!” whimpered Lennie.

“Not until you admit you’re a rubbish gang leader and resign immediately,” shouted Pickle.

As the mallet struck him one more time, Lennie woke with a start.

He rubbed his nose and tried to wag his tail. All was fine. It had just been another of his horrible nightmares.

That’s it
, he thought.
I need to go and see Badger the Mystical Mutt, and find out if he’s finished my Dreamcatcher
.

As Lennie trotted towards Badger’s garden, he spotted Pogo Paws and Pickle in the distance.
Oh no
, he thought,
I’ve had quite enough of those two already today in that dreadful dream
.

He crouched behind the old oak tree and hid until they had disappeared out of sight. As he let out a huge sigh of relief, his nose caught the distinct whiff of a newly delivered p-mail. He sniffed the trail and read the message.

“Who is the Earl of Doodlepoppington?” he wondered aloud. “And why is he coming to visit Badger?”

He carried on to the famous crack in the fence at the bottom of Badger’s garden, and peered through. He saw his friend in a bit of a fankle.

There were feathers everywhere. Badger was flat on his back with his bottom wedged in the basketball ring, and string strung from all angles.

“Oh, you look a bit tied up, Badger! Let me help,” offered Lennie.

“Ah yes. The spell didn’t quite work, but it’s getting there,” said Badger sheepishly.

With feathers tickling his nose, he wiggled his bottom free of the basketball ring, and shook himself.

Lennie chuckled and said: “I have a message for you. I just picked up a p-mail from the Earl of Doodlepoppington. He’s coming to see you. Do you know him?”

“Doodles?” groaned Badger “Yes, I’m afraid I do. He’s my distant cousin, and
the rogue of the family. I wonder what he wants.”

“Is he posh? He sounds posh?”

“He thinks he is. He lives with his father, the Duke, in a stately kennel in Upper Barkingford. His dad is a luxury doghouse developer, and a dastardly dealer. He’s due to retire soon, and Doodles is set to take over.”

“Gosh, that does sound posh, but I wouldn’t swap where we live now for a stately kennel. I love it on the lane. If only I could get Pogo Paws and Pickle to be nicer…” Lennie sighed.

“I know. I love it on the lane too. Home is where the heart is, after all, and there’s a lot of kindness around here. Not counting Pogo Paws and Pickle, obviously,” said Badger. “I’m sure that the reason you’re having nightmares is because you’re worrying about being gang leader,” he added.

“I never wanted to be the leader. Pogo Paws and Pickle get up to mischief
all
the time, and they insist on me joining in. I’m fed up with them both,” grumbled Lennie.

“Well, maybe the Earl will distract them when he visits. Did he say when he’s arriving?”

“Later today, I think.”

“Yikes! I’d better get this place tidied up then,” said Badger, looking at the feathery mess in his garden.

“Badger, just one thing… when do you think the Dreamcatcher will be ready? I’ve just had another nightmare, and this time Pogo Paws and Pickle were really horrible.”

“Oh Lennie, I’ve got the feathers, I’ve got the ring and I’ve got the string, but I still need one other thing. In the meantime, try this under your pillow at night. Or sniff it whenever you feel upset.”

Badger gave Lennie a small bag filled with calming lavender and camomile.

“Thanks, Badger, and good luck with
your visitor. I’m sure he can’t be all bad if he’s related to you,” said Lennie.

“If only that were true!” sighed Badger.

As Lennie slipped through the crack in the fence and wandered up the lane, he took a deep breath and sniffed his little bag of calm. But when he rounded the corner, he bumped smack-bang into Pogo Paws and Pickle.

“Did you get the p-mail about the Earl?” yelled Pogo Paws.

“Who exactly
is
this Earl of Doodlepoppington anyway?” snarled Pickle.

“I know!” said Lennie triumphantly. “He’s Badger’s cousin, and by all accounts, he’s a bit of scoundrel.”

“Oh really?” glowered Pickle. “Being a scoundrel is
our
job. Who does he think he is, coming on to our patch? We’ll sort him out, and show him who’s who.”


And
tell him whose territory this is,” added Pogo Paws.

Pickle looked at Pogo Paws and said, “Hang on a minute. That’s our
leader’s
job.”

They both looked expectantly at Lennie.

“So what’s the plan then?” asked Pickle.

“Erm… I need to think about that,” jittered Lennie.

“Well, you better think about it fast, because he’s arriving soon. We’ll meet you here at dusk, and you’d better come up with something, or else you’re not fit to call yourself our leader,” snarled Pickle.

Pickle spied the little bag that Lennie was clutching.

“What’s
that
?” she pointed a paw in his direction.

“Just something to help me sleep better” said Lennie.

“You’re so namby-pamby, Lennie.” Pickle lunged at the little bag and tore it apart. The lavender and camomile scattered in the lane as Pogo Paws and Pickle ran off sniggering.

Lennie was left trembling and scrambled about to pick up whatever sprigs were left of the relaxing herbs.

He sat alone in the middle of the lane with his heart pounding. His breathing was fast and shallow.

“This is a nightmare, and I’m still awake,” he panicked. “They want me to show this Earl who’s boss. How can I do that when I don’t even want to
be
the boss?”

BOOK: Badger the Mystical Mutt and Daydream Drivers
4.4Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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