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Krazy Kow Saves the World - Well, Almost

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Krazy Kow Saves the World - Well, Almost

  Jeremy Strong once worked in a bakery, putting the jam into three thousand doughnuts every night. Now he puts the jam in stories instead, which he finds much more exciting. At the age of three, he fell out of a first-floor bedroom window and landed on his head. His mother says that this damaged him for the rest of his life and refuses to take any responsibility. He loves writing stories because he says it is ‘the only time you alone have complete control and can make anything happen’. His ambition is to make you laugh (or at least snuffle). Jeremy Strong lives near Bath with four cats and a flying cow.

  Are you feeling silly enough to read more?











  Krazy Kow Saves the World


  Jeremy Strong

  – Well Almost

  Illustrated by

  Nick Sharrat



  Published by the Penguin Group

  Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3

  (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia

  (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

  Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Mairangi Bay, Auckland 1310, New Zealand

  (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  First published 2002

  This edition published 2007


  Text copyright © Jeremy Strong, 2002

  Illustrations copyright © Nick Sharratt, 2002

  All rights reserved

  The moral right of the author and illustrator has been asserted

  Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

  British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

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

  This is for my pal Hal.

  And I would also like to

  thank Yvonne H. for wrestling with Time

  Frames and a recalcitrant author and for being Seriously Cool at all times.


  1 How I Gave Birth to a Cow

  2 Reasons to be Cheerful/Miserable

  3 Krazy Kow’s First Adventure

  4 The Queen of the Night

  5 Krazy Kow and the Exploding Strawberries

  6 I Get the Job

  7 Too Many Strawberries

  8 Gobb-Yobb Sets a Trap

  9 Gloria Gives a Helping Hand

  10 Krazy Kow’s Last Battle

  11 In the Pink

  12 Stars and Stuff

  13 The Greatest Film Ever

  13½ Time to Tidy Up Loose Ends

  1 How I Gave Birth to a Cow

  I’m going to be famous. My name will be known all over the world. People will say: ‘Look! There’s Jamie Frink! I’ve met Jamie Frink! Let’s ask him for his autograph!’

  And I’ll say ‘Yeah, sure, have three!’

  You’ll see. Everyone will see, even my Big Bro. Yeah, that’ll show him. He thinks he’s so clever, but when I’m rich and famous he’ll look like a widdly-weeny ant next to me. He’ll be nothing. When he wants something, he’ll have to come to me. And I’ll say, ‘Hmmm, maybe.’

  And you know what’s going to make me rich and famous? A cow. Yeah, a cow.

  Her name is Krazy Kow. This is what she looks like.

  She’s fantastic, Krazy Kow. She’s got a lumpy head, a lumpy back and wobbly lumps underneath. She can talk too, and she’s got a Swiss army udder. She has, really! You know what a Swiss army penknife is like, with lots of gadgets? Well, Krazy Kow’s udder doesn’t just squirt milk. She also has a flame-thrower, rocket launcher, water cannon, high-beam spotlight, mega-powerful vacuum cleaner and mirror for checking her make-up. (Plus a small prongy thing for getting stones out of horses’ hoofs.)

  She’s got four stomachs too, and that means she can do four separate burps, all at the same time and on different notes. (Did you know cows have four stomachs? It’s true. I’m not kidding.) And she can do karate. Just in case things get close and personal.

  Krazy Kow lives in a house with Mr and Mrs Spottiswood and their two children, a boy called Bromley and a girl called Gosforth.

  Bromley has got football wallpaper all over his bedroom walls and a United duvet cover and a lampshade like a football. Actually his head’s a bit like a football too – nothing in it but air.

  Gosforth’s bedroom is full of pop stars. Not real ones, just photographs. Gosforth kisses every one of them before she goes to sleep at night.

  Krazy Kow doesn’t have a bedroom, because that would be REALLY SILLY. Everybody knows cows don’t have bedrooms. Ha! No, she sleeps under the dining table. She curls up beneath the table, with her blanket and teddy.

  Of course, she’s not real. And the Spottiswood family isn’t real either. I made them all up! They’re cartoon characters, inside my head, rushing about.

  I’m always sketching them. I’ve drawn cows everywhere, especially on my school books. My teachers think I’ve got cows on the brain, and I suppose that in an odd way they’re right. I have.

  I reckon Krazy Kow is going to be on TV one day and then she’ll be the most famous cow in the world. There’ll be Krazy Kow T-shirts and everyone will want them. There’ll be Krazy Kow mugs and everyone will drink from them. There’ll be Krazy Kow duvet covers and everyone will sleep under them – everyone except my Big Brother, but then he’s stupid.

  And best of all, everyone will do what Krazy Kow says, and because I’m telling her what to say, it means that everyone will be doing what I tell them. Awesome!

  Of course, she’ll only tell people good things, because she’s a good cow. Baddie cows are the pits. You can easily tell if a cow is bad because baddie cows always have plastic tags with numbers attached to their ears, which shows that they have been in cow prison for being bad.

  Krazy Kow is good. In fact, she’s a cow superhero and eco-warrior. She whizzes about preventing ecological disasters, Saving the World and stuff like that. Maybe she’ll save Big Bro too. I don’t know. Hmmm, maybe.

  Now, perhaps you are beginning to think: This guy is mad. What is all this stuff about cows sleeping under tables and being put in cow prison for being bad?

  I guess I’d better tell you how I thought up Krazy Kow, and why. At school we are ta
king part in a mega environmental competition. Schools right across the country are entering. The winning school gets a whole room full of computers. AND the winning project gets shown on TV The person who comes up with the winning idea gets a digital video camera and film-editing system. We are talking Seriously Big Prizes here, and I was desperate to get my hands on that DV camera.

  You see, all I’ve ever wanted to do is make REAL FILMS, with real actors and explosions and cars crashing down cliff sides, bounce, bounce, bang! And hurricanes and poisonous snakes and alien invaders with boiling green jelly for blood, and a nasty evil villain with one eye and steel teeth and claw hands, and giant crocodiles and volcanoes erupting living dinosaurs… and all that sort of stuff.

  Taking part in the environmental competition was Mrs Drew’s idea. She’s our head teacher. She’s a great one for Saving the Planet. You should see her car. She’s got this tiny little thing that she drives around. It does a million miles to a gallon of petrol, she says. In fact, I don’t think it has an engine at all. I think that each tyre has got one of those rotating hamster wheels strapped to it and she puts hamsters inside and makes them run as fast as possible. She’s got a four-hamster-powered car. I don’t know what she does if they’re asleep.

  Anyway, the back window of Mrs Drew’s car is plastered with do-good stickers. You know the sort of thing –

  Mrs Drew is really kind to animals. It’s just children she doesn’t like. No! I made that up. She does like them really. I remember we were in Assembly once and she told us that she had always wanted to work with animals and that’s why she became a teacher. I like Mrs Drew; she’s a laugh.

  Anyhow, Mrs Drew told us about this competition, and my ears perked up immediately. If there is one thing that a great film director needs, it’s a camera so that he can shoot films, so I thought to myself: I’ve got to win this!

  But winning the camera was not going to be easy. I knew that to have any chance of success I would have to do something VERY special, and first of all I would have to make sure that my idea was the one the school would choose.

  I reckoned almost everyone would either write something about the environment, or they’d paint a poster. And that was when I had my first, absolutely staggering idea. I would make a film – a proper film! It would have to be the biggest secret ever, because I didn’t want anybody else to get the same idea. I don’t think anyone in our school had ever made a real film before.

  I was so excited I had to tell someone. I had to say it out loud, so do you know what I did? I got inside my wardrobe. I pulled the door in close so that it wasn’t quite shut, and I stood there in the dark, imagining I was in a room full of people and I told the darkness how brilliant my idea to make a film was. (I realize this might sound strange but I like talking in the dark. You can say anything you want in the dark.) And then someone knocked on the wardrobe.

  It was Big Bro. (It would be.) I slowly pushed the door open and Matt gazed at me.

  ‘What are you doing?’

  I stood there among my clothes. ‘Nothing.’

  ‘You were talking to someone.’

  ‘Oh yeah, like I’ve got someone in the wardrobe with me,’ I said smartly.

  ‘You’re mad,’ said Matt.

  ‘So are you then,’ I snapped back. (We have these really neat arguments sometimes.)

  Matt snorted and pushed me back into the wardrobe. I tripped on a pile of trainers and sat down. The door swung to and clicked shut. I pushed against it and, sure enough, it wouldn’t open.

  ‘Matt, the door’s shut.’ There was no answer. ‘Matt? Stop fooling. I know you’re out there. Open the door. Matt? MATT!’

  I clambered to my feet, still shouting. I hammered on the inside of the door and the wardrobe rocked unsteadily. I carried on shouting and hammering and all at once the wardrobe toppled forwards and slumped at an angle across my bed.

  I ended up lying in a heap, completely entangled in clothes and wire coat hangers. I tried to get up and shake myself free but the noise was terrifying. It sounded like the Hundred-Legged Coat-Hanger Beast From Mars falling down the stairs.

  I gave up. Everything went quiet. I settled back on the pile of clothes, in the dark, and it was surprisingly peaceful. I lay there thinking about the film I would make. The thing was, I needed a really good main character to fight ecological battles, someone like Superman, or Batman. Then I thought: Why not have a character that nobody would think of? Maybe not even a person. An alien? An animal…?

  And that was when I had my second brainwave.

  Oh yes! An animal! A Super Creature! By this time my brain was humming into sixth gear. This was fantastic!

  There were footsteps outside. I called out. ‘Hello? Is that you, Matt?’

  ‘Jamie?’ It was my big sister, Gemma. She’s fourteen, but thinks she’s at least nineteen. ‘Where are you?’

  ‘In the wardrobe.’

  ‘How did you get in there?’

  ‘Just help me out, will you?’

  Gemma struggled to push the wardrobe upright. The door clicked open and I tumbled out, festooned with a clattering shower of coat hangers. Gemma looked mildly astonished.

  (Which is quite easy for her because of the vast amount of dark make-up she splatters all over her face.) Behind her was Matt, laughing his head off. (I wish it had fallen off.)

  Gemma helped me to my feet. ‘What were you doing in there?’

  ‘Thinking,’ I answered.

  ‘What about?’

  I smiled at them both.

  ‘A cow. A cow with a Swiss army udder.’

  2. Reasons to be Cheerful/Miserable

  Reasons to be cheerful:

  1. Can’t think of any.

  2. Oh yes, I’m going to be rich and famous.

  3. That’s the lot.

  Reasons to be Miserable:

  1. My dad likes football.

  2. My mum likes football.

  3. Big Bro is a football.

  4. I don’t like football.

  5. They think I’m stupid. (I’m not.)

  Anyhow, I’ve got news for everyone out there in the big, wide world. It’s OK if you don’t like football. That’s right, it is NOT compulsory. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with football as a game. I don’t mind watching football. I just don’t like playing football. What gets me is all those people who seem to think that BOYS MUST LIKE PLAYING FOOTBALL.

  Why? Don’t ask me. The boys in my class are mad about it. They’ve got favourite teams, even though half of them keep changing their minds. As soon as their team hits a losing streak they change sides. So much for loyalty. And they go on and on and on and on. Break time comes and off they shoot to the playground. What shall we do? Play footie!

  Last week I suggested something else. I said let’s pretend we’re making a film with loads of special stunts and stuff. They stopped dead and gawped at me like I was the Beast From the Bubbling Bog. Then one of them said, I know, let’s play footie. Yeah! They all shouted. They’re so imaginative.

  So I’m getting a bit fed up. I suppose that if I was any good at footie I might enjoy it more, but I’m hopeless. I’m the sort of person who takes a massive kick at the ball, completely misses and falls over backwards in the mud.

  Not to worry. I’ll show them. One day when they’re nobodies, they’ll be watching one of my multi-Oscar-winning films on telly and they’ll turn to their wives and their own little kids and they’ll say: ‘Wow! Do you see that? It says: Directed by Jamie Frink. I was at school with him.’

  Big Bro and Dad are football freaks. They’re always trying to get me to join in, but what’s the point if all you do is fall flat on your back and bang your head so hard that all your teeth rattle and your ears fall off? I played with them at the weekend. They put me in goal and you know what? I don’t think they were trying to get the ball in the net at all. They were just using me as target practice.

  Bamm! The first shot spun me round like Wibbly Wobbly Man. Bamm! The second sh
ot knocked my feet from under me and I fell flat on my face. I was just getting up (facing the wrong way of course and wondering where I was) when Bamm! The third shot torpedoed into my bum and catapulted me into the net. I was left hanging there like a dead spider.

  Sometimes I think they only want to play footie with me because I’m no good. After all, when I’m playing I make them look like geniuses. Mind you, Matt is pretty good. He’s being eyed up for the county team. I just wish he wouldn’t go on about it. Anyone would think he’d just been nominated for an Oscar.

  There’s something else I don’t understand and it’s this: the girls are just as bad. I’ll swear most of them are not the least bit interested in football, but who do they all like? Who do they all fancy? Tom Hardy.

  Who’s the best footballer in the school? Tom Hardy.

  Who’s team captain? Tom Hardy.

  Who’s Big Bro’s best mate? Tom Hardy

  Who’s got a brain like a bird dropping? Both of them.

  You might have guessed that I don’t like Tom much. It’s not because he plays football so well. It’s because of Rebecca. She’s in our class. How can I describe her? Well, she’s tall, long legs, suntanned, blonde, hazel eyes… Beautiful, I guess that’s the best word. Forget anything else I said and just concentrate on beautiful. Maybe even stunning. She’d make a wonderful film star.

  Rebecca’s got a brain too. She writes fantastic stories. I mean, they’re so good our teacher, Mr Oldman, reads them out to us. She uses really long words, like ‘infatuated’ and ‘phantasmagoric’.

  So, Rebecca is beautiful and bright. Does she speak to me? No. Does she speak to Tom Hardy? Yes. She even talks to my brother, for goodness’ sake! She SMILES at them! I mean, they’re not even in our class. They’re a year older!

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