Authors: Tamsyn Murray
First published in Great Britain in 2012 by Simon and Schuster UK Ltd,
a CBS company.
Text copyright © 2012 Tamsyn Murray
Cover and interior illustrations copyright © 2012 Lee Wildish
This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
All rights reserved.
The right of Tamsyn Murray and Lee Wildish to be identified as the author and illustrator of this work respectively has been asserted by them in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-84738-831-5
Printed and bound in Great Britain by
CPI Cox and Wyman, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 8EX
To Dizzy, Snoop and Dre – the ‘other’ bunnies.
Animals come in all shapes and sizes. Some are giant and growly, others are small and squeaky, and some – like me – are cute, fluffy and born for the big time. So when I was talent-spotted at our village pet show, it wasn’t long before my brilliant backflips had bagged me the starring role on Saturday night TV programme
, and Great Britain went Bunny Barmy.
Of course, I can’t take all the credit. If the Wilson family hadn’t picked me out from all the other rabbits in Noah’s Ark Pet Shop and taken me home, who knows what I’d be doing right now? Nibbling hay in some boring back garden probably, daydreaming about dandelion leaves. And if my eight-year-old owner, Susie, hadn’t been smart enough to enter me into that pet show, I wouldn’t be wowing the world with my sensational stunts.
The rest of the family have done their bit, too. Mrs Wilson organises my
schedule, Susie’s little sister, Lily, is a big fan and Mr Wilson makes sure I get to the studio on time. He’s even helped me out of a few sticky situations – but it hasn’t made him any less grumpy with me. That’s why I still call him Evil Edward, or EE for short. In fact, if you didn’t know any better, you might even say he didn’t like me. I can’t think why – I mean, what’s a quick finger-chomp between family?
Anyway, being Britain’s Best Loved Bunny isn’t all fun, fans and fur-raising stunts – most of the time, it’s hard work. That’s why
presenter, Gloria Goodwood, is always coming up with new ideas – to keep all the cast on our toes and make sure we keep the top spot on Saturday night TV. So when she heard about a new international competition for sporty animals, she couldn’t wait to tell us about it.
“It’s called the Animalympics and will be held in London next month,” she explained as we finished filming the last show before our summer break. “Animals from across the globe will be competing to win medals for their country in lots of different events, just like the real Olympics. At the end of the games, the country with the most medals will become the Animalympics world champion!”
“Can anyone enter?” EE asked.
Gloria shook her head. “Only specially chosen, athletic animals can join in. I’m very excited to tell you that the Animalympic committee has invited the stars of
to take part!”
I pictured myself going for gold and taking my place on the winner’s podium. Beside me, Tornado Taz let out a
of excitement and I guessed he was dreaming of the same thing. He might look like the cat next-door but, underneath that tabby fur, Taz is a lean, mean, racing machine. When he joined the show, we’d both taken part in an obstacle race on
, and he’d been really fast. I had no doubt he would leave everyone else standing in the Animalympics one hundred metre race.
“Obviously, Taz is our number one racer but your pets could clean up in the diving tournament, Trevor,” Gloria was telling the owner of the tumbling terrapins. “Lulu the chimpanzee can put away her hula-hoop and try gymnastics instead. And I hope some of you will join in with the opening ceremony celebrations?”
Sam looked at his troupe of break-dancing hedgehogs and nodded.
I waited, wondering which event I could enter. I couldn’t think of many sports that would involve my backflipping stunts and Taz had the races all sewn up.