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Kidnapped!, страница 1

 

Kidnapped!
 

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Kidnapped!


  Contents

  1. Jabbed with the Eiffel Tower

  2. An Awful Lot of Fuss Goes On

  3. Training Trevor

  4. Fun on the Ferry

  5. A Busy Day, with Saucepans and Pirates

  6. A Rather Wet Adventure

  7. I Become an International Criminal!

  8. We Become Ace Detectives

  9. Buckets of Water and Other Shocking Behaviour

  10. It All Gets Terribly Exciting!

  11. Croissants! Baguettes! Postcards!

  Follow Puffin

  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 his wife, Gillie, three cats and a flying cow.

  www.jeremystrong.co.uk

  ARE YOU FEELING SILLY ENOUGH TO READ MORE?

  THE BEAK SPEAKS

  BEWARE! KILER TOMATOES

  CHICKEN SCHOOL

  DINOSAUR POX

  GIANT JIM AND THE HURICANE

  KRAZY COW SAVES THE WORLD – WEL, ALMOST

  THERE’S A PHARAOH IN OUR BATH!

  JEREMY STRONG’S LAUGH-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF JOKE BOOK

  JEREMY STRONG’S LAUGH-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF EVEN MORE JOKE BOOK

  The Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog series

  THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG

  CHRISTMAS CHAOS FOR THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG

  LOST! THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG

  THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG GOES FOR GOLD

  My Brother’s Famous Bottom series

  MY BROTHER’S FAMOUS BOTTOM

  MY BROTHER’S HOT CROSS BOTTOM

  MY BROTHER’S FAMOUS BOTTOM GETS PINCHED

  MY BROTHER’S FAMOUS BOTTOM GOES CAMPING

  Meet Streaker and her human, Trevor.

  They are off on holiday to sunny France.

  But wherever Streaker goes, chaos isn’t far behind!

  This is my hundredth book and I think it’s a good time to thank all the animals that have been a constant source of inspiration and comfort, namely our pets – mine and yours! Here are just a few of mine that need a special mention: Lucy, Tau, Machiavelli, Rubbish, Bandit and, of course, Jeeves.

  1 Jabbed with the Eiffel Tower

  You can’t blame me. All I did was jump out of the window. OK, so it was the big window at the vet’s surgery. Mrs Vet-Person shouldn’t have left it open, should she, and anyhow, what would you do if a vet came at you with a whopping great big needle?

  ‘Just a tiny jab,’ Mrs Vet-Person said. Oh yes? I saw the evil grin on her face AND I saw the size of the pointy needle. Big? It looked like the Eiffel Tower! I was off like a streak of lightning. (No, actually, I was off like a Streaker because that is my name – Streaker – and I am the speediest speedster in the World of Dog-Speed.)

  I saw the vet, I saw the needle and I saw the open window. SWOOOOOSH! I was gone in a flish-flash! Ha ha! You can stick that needle in someone else’s bottom, Mrs Vet-Person!

  They all came chasing after me of course, but I was way too fast for them. Those two-legs can’t run properly at all. I keep barking at them. ‘Use all four legs! You can’t run properly on two! You’ve got to use all four legs, like me!’ But they never hear. That’s because they have very small ears, unlike mine, which go flip-flap like towels on a washing line. I can catch the teeny-tiniest sounds, even like an ant sneezing or an earwig with earache going ‘Ooooh!’ in a very small earwiggy voice like that.

  Of course I was in big trouble at home after I’d run away from Mrs Vet-Person. Even Trevor Two-Legs, the boy I have to take for walks, was fed up. I thought he’d be pleased at my nifty bit of escapery but he wasn’t. He was upset.

  ‘It’s for your own good, Streaker,’ he told me.

  Oh, really? My own good? I don’t think so! I said, ‘I’d like to see you get vaccinated with the Eiffel Tower!’ Of course he didn’t understand a word I said. Humans are hopeless. What’s the point in having a dog as a pet if you can’t understand what it tells you?

  I had a long chat with Erik the Cat about it after I’d got home.

  ‘Of course,’ Erik said to me as he lay across half the sofa the way cats do. ‘You do realize that you won’t be going on holiday with them?’

  ‘What holiday? What do you mean?’

  ‘If you ever paid any attention to the two-legs, instead of living in a dreamworld made of sausages and pies, you would know that they are going on holiday in a few weeks, to France.’

  A dreamworld of sausages and pies? I don’t think so! Sausages and pies are VERY REAL and IMPORTANT! Plus, if I was about to go on holiday I would need a suitcase full of them, unless the place we were going to had plenty. So I asked Erik.

  ‘France? What’s that?’

  ‘It’s another country,’ sighed Erik. ‘Sometimes I wonder about your education. Don’t you know anything?’

  ‘I know lots and lots,’ I told him. ‘But I don’t know about France. Can you eat it?’

  ‘No. It won’t fit in your mouth.’ Erik smiled. I think that was meant to be a joke but only he understood it. I was still in Mystery-land.

  ‘It’s another country on the other side of the sea. Two-legs go there for holidays. Sometimes they take their pets with them. Your pal Trevor wants to take you, but they won’t let you into France unless you have had your vaccination.’

  I looked at Erik. My legs were going wobbly. ‘You mean that thing like the Eiffel Tower?’

  ‘Oh, do stop being such a drama queen,’ sighed Erik. ‘It’s just a tiny jab.’

  ‘That’s what the vet said,’ I muttered.

  ‘Do you want to go on holiday to France, or not?’

  ‘Is France nice? Do they have dogs there?’

  Erik groaned loudly. ‘There are dogs everywhere, numbskull.’

  ‘Even on the moon?’ I asked, wide-eyed.

  ‘Only you would ask a question like that,’ sighed Erik again. ‘Of course there aren’t any dogs on the moon.’

  ‘But you said they were everywhere, so numbskull yourself. Nurr!’ Ha! I’d caught Erik out all right, pretending he was so clever. That moggy didn’t know much at all. I knew there were no dogs on the moon. I was just checking.

  Anyhow, that conversation made me think. The two-legs were going on holiday and wanted to take me with them but I couldn’t go unless, unless – woofy-aaaargh! – the Eiffel Tower!

  No wonder Trevor had been upset. I was going to miss out on a holiday with him. But what sort of holiday? I would have to be a doggy detective and find out, so I followed them around with my ears going flip-flap in case I caught a clue or two.

  It turned out that Mr Trevor’s dad wanted to play golf. In France. I don’t know why he likes golf so much. Those white balls are horrible – and I should know because I ate one once.

  CRUNCH CRUNCH! It’s like chewing a whole pile of rubber worms. YUK! I had to spit it out. SPLURRGH! SPLURRGH!

  Anyhow, Mr Trevor’s dad had booked a camping holiday near a golf course in France. (France doesn’t just have dogs, it also has golf courses.) But Mrs Trevor’s mum said she hated golf and she hated poky tents even more and she’d rather stay in a beehive. (Is she nuts?????? I shall never understand those two-legs.)

  Then Trevor said golf was the most boring game in the world and Mr Trevor’s dad went red and began spluttering all over the place and marching about the room waving his ar
ms around like a policeman directing the traffic only there weren’t any cars, just a sofa and two armchairs – and they weren’t even moving.

  Mr Trevor’s dad was trying to tell them that the campsite didn’t just have golf nearby, it had mountain biking and archery and rock climbing and paintballing and canoeing and they wouldn’t be in a tent at all because he had hired a caravan. A special silver caravan.

  That was when they all went bonkers. Actually, first of all there was a long silence while they all looked at each other and Mr Trevor’s mum said ‘Mountain bikes?’ in a kind of squeaky excited voice and Trevor said ‘Canoeing?’ in an even more squeaky excited voice and Mr Trevor’s dad said ‘Yes.’ Then they began shouting and screaming and bouncing around like three ice creams that had just won first prize in an ice-cream-on-a-trampoline show.

  When they had stopped being ice creams Trevor went all quiet and said he couldn’t go on holiday unless Streaker was with them. (That’s me, Streaker! As you can imagine my ears REALLY pricked up at that point. In fact my ears stood up like rockets on take-off.)

  Mr Trevor’s dad didn’t seem very happy about me going on holiday with them. In the end, though, they decided that Erik could stay behind and be looked after by a cat-sitter but they couldn’t leave me because I was unreliable. I have no idea what ‘unreliable’ means but it must mean I am something very special and precious otherwise they wouldn’t be taking me on holiday, would they? Anyhow, to go on holiday I need a rabies vaccination.

  ‘I don’t see the point,’ muttered Mr Trevor’s dad. ‘Streaker behaves as if she’s already got rabies.’ And they all laughed. I asked Erik what was so funny but he was laughing so much he fell off the sofa. Serves him right too.

  Eventually he told me.

  ‘Rabies is a disease that makes you froth at the mouth and snarl a lot and it looks like you’ve eaten a bar of soap. In fact you go mad. And then you die.’

  ‘I’m not mad,’ I said. Erik just looked at me. ‘I’m not,’ I repeated.

  ‘You jumped out of the vet’s window,’ Erik pointed out, ‘and last week, you ate a cushion because it had a picture of a burger on it. You’re completely insane.’

  Huh. Erik can be so … catty. I went up to Trevor’s room. He was lying on his bed looking sad so I lay on his bed and looked sad too. Then I realized he couldn’t see me looking sad because I was lying on his head and in any case he was waving his arms about because he couldn’t breathe, so I got up and rested my head on his stomach and said I was sorry and I’d go to see Mrs Vet-Person with him if he really wanted.

  I said all that without even moving my lips. I did it with sign language, using my ears. I’m pretty good at that and Trevor is clever so he knew what I was telling him.

  He looked me in the eyes and nodded. ‘Tomorrow, then. Tomorrow.’

  So that’s it. Tomorrow I’m going to have the Eiffel Tower stuck in me.

  2 An Awful Lot of Fuss Goes On

  I’VE DONE IT! I’ve been vaccinated! It was easy-peasy. I didn’t feel a thing! I went with Trevor and he gave me three jam doughnuts and by the time I’d finished eating them Mrs Vet-Person had done it and I didn’t even notice. I don’t know why Erik made all that fuss about it.

  There was lots more fuss today because first of all we had to go off to this funny box kind of place and Trevor tried to get me to sit on a seat, which was impossible because the silly seat was only just the size of my bottom but there was still the rest of me, wasn’t there, like my stomach and legs and stuff and where was all that lot supposed to go?

  ‘Just sit up,’ Trevor kept telling me. ‘Stop moving and keep still. KEEP STILL!’

  How was I supposed to keep still when my legs kept falling off my seat? Then my legs would pull my tummy off because they were all joined together and my tummy was joined to my neck and head and then they were dragged off until eventually all of me was on the floor. Again.

  Mr Trevor’s mum was there and she spent most of the time leaning against the box thingy and having hysterics. Eventually Trevor got under the seat and held as many of my bits up as he could while the machine went flash-flash at me and made me blind. We had to wait after that until something came out of a little slit in the side of the box and I thought it was chocolate like you get from a chocolate machine at the station so I ate it.

  Guess what? It wasn’t chocolate. It was some horrible glossy thick paper thing that tasted like someone’s sick so I spat it out. SPLURRGH! Then I was in trouble because apparently they were the photographs for my passport so we had to do the whole thing all over again.

  Now I have my own passport and it’s got a picture of me on it looking smart except that my mouth and jaw have gone wonky and my tongue’s sticking out. That was because Trevor’s hand was holding my muzzle very still while the photo was taken. Trevor’s hand is in the picture too so I guess the customs control people will let Trevor’s hand come on holiday with me because it’s in the photo but I don’t know about the rest of him. I hope that can come too.

  When we got home Mr Trevor’s dad laughed at my picture and so did everyone else, including Erik. I don’t know why but most people seem to either laugh at me, or yell. Or both. Well, I’ll tell you something about Erik that will wipe the smile off his face. Do you know what his real name is? The family call him Cutie-Pops. Ha ha! Cutie-Pops. Is that a respectable name for anything? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t even call a tadpole Cutie-Pops. (I’d call it Froglet, which is like a frog, but smaller. Or Tiddles.)

  Anyhow, Mr Trevor’s dad had something to say to Trevor. ‘We have to get Streaker used to travelling on long journeys in the car.’ My ears went on red alert. (Although actually they’re black but you know what I mean.)

  ‘Right,’ said Trevor, nodding wisely.

  ‘So that’s your job,’ Mr Trevor’s dad added.

  ‘But I can’t drive,’ Trevor spluttered. ‘I’m eleven.’

  ‘I’m not asking you to drive, Trevor. I want you to train Streaker to sit still. That’s all.’

  ‘THAT’S ALL?! THAT’S ALL???!!! ’

  (I put those words in big black letters because Trevor shouted very loudly.)

  And he went on.

  ‘Train Streaker to sit still? That would be like training a snake to do handstands; in other words, impossible.’

  Well really, do you have any idea what he meant by that, because I don’t. I thought it wasn’t a very nice thing to say. I’m not at all like a snake except for my tail and in fact I can do handstands but only for a tiny bit of a second. It’s when I run too fast and do a somersault and there’s that bit in the middle of a somersault when your legs are in the air instead of your head and your head is where your legs are. That’s the handstand bit, only it’s more of a paw-stand I suppose.

  Trevor was pretty fed up about training me to sit still and he decided he definitely needed help so he rang Tina on his mobile and she came round at once. Tina always comes round immediately because she fancies him only he doesn’t know, or at least he pretends he doesn’t know. In fact Trevor is Tina’s boyfriend but Tina is not Trevor’s girlfriend. I think I got that the right way round. Trevor says Tina is just his friend, without the girl bit.

  Excuse me while I have a good snigger because I saw them kissing once. OK, so it was her kissing him but they were definitely kissing. She crept up on him from behind and kissed his cheek. You should have seen him jump! He rushed upstairs to the bathroom and washed his face. Three times. With soap and everything.

  Anyhow, today Trevor told her about going away on holiday and that all led to another big fuss. Tina turned white and collapsed on the sofa. I thought she’d fainted because her eyes were closed but then I saw her open one eye halfway and take a quick glance at Trevor to see if he was paying attention. Crafty, or what? It didn’t do any good, though, because Trevor wasn’t taking any notice.

  ‘You’re going away,’ she answered in a kind of half-dead voice.

  ‘Yes! Two weeks! In France!’ (I don’t think
Trevor had even noticed the fainting bit.)

  ‘I shan’t see you for TWO WEEKS. I shall need trauma counselling,’ murmured Tina.

  Trevor just grunted. ‘Don’t overdo it,’ he said. ‘Honestly. Girls. Everything’s a drama.’ He sat down and folded his arms across his chest. ‘You’ve got to help me,’ he told her.

  ‘Have I?’ she answered, rather coolly, I felt.

  ‘Please,’ he added hastily.

  ‘Maybe. What’s the problem?’

  Trevor explained about the training. ‘After all,’ he went on, ‘you trained Mouse really well. He sits still, doesn’t he.’

  ‘I never taught him to do that. He’s just lazy,’ Tina pointed out.

  Ha ha! That is so true! I’ve known Mouse for years. He’s a huge St Bernard. You know – they’re the ones that look like Shetland ponies with no neck. He’s as lazy as a retired rock.

  ‘You will send me a postcard, won’t you?’ Tina asked.

  ‘I haven’t gone yet,’ Trevor scowled.

  ‘I know, but I feel really weird about you going away,’ said Tina. ‘It feels as if we’re getting a divorce.’

  Trevor suddenly began coughing furiously, like a million very big words had all got jammed in his throat and he was trying to get rid of them. ‘A divorce! Tina, I’m eleven! You’re eleven! We’re not MARRIED!’

  I can tell you I was rolling on the floor. I have never seen Trevor look so horrified and embarrassed at the same time. Tina just watched him and waited until he’d finished.

  ‘I know. It’s just that … I shall be lonely when you’re not here.’

  ‘I’m only going away for two weeks. I’ll send you a postcard, OK?’

  ‘Only one?’ Tina pulled such a miserable face I thought the furniture would start crying.

  ‘All right, TWO postcards. Can we please train Streaker? Have you got any ideas?’

  ‘Three.’

 
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