Authors: Tamsyn Murray
‘Top floor, pleeze,’ I heard the roadie say and the lift flew upwards.
The bell chimed as we passed the first floor. Whiskers twitching anxiously, I hoped one of the other passengers needed to get out soon. If the lift went all the way to the top of the hotel, I stood no chance of catching the tour bus before it left.
I was in luck. On the third floor, the lift slowed down and the doors opened. The crowd shuffled to let the passengers out. Now was my chance! I nudged the door of my basket with my nose, hoping EE’s clumsy fingers hadn’t fastened the clips properly.
The bottom of the door gave way and, quicker than you could say crinkly cabbage’, I wriggled out of the basket, leaping towards the inviting blue carpet.
yelled the roadie, grabbing at my powder puff tail. He was too late. The lift doors were closing and once my paws made contact with the floor I was off, scampering towards the stairs, and freedom. But, when I reached them, I skidded to a halt. There were a
of stairs and I didn’t have much time. What I needed was a super speedy way of getting to the bottom.
Then I remembered what Sam had said about sliding down the stairs when we’d arrived at the hotel. It was perfect for a Stunt Bunny like me – I’d be on the ground floor in no time!
I jumped up on to the banister and ears flat, I crouched low and whizzed round the corkscrew curves. As the hotel lobby zoomed into sight, I looked up. The tour bus was still there! With a giant thrust, I pushed off the banister with my back feet, flying through the air into the lobby.
Seconds later, I was racing across the floor, zipping through legs and hopping over the piles of suitcases. The revolving door spun as I shot out the other side. Then I was on the red carpet, but I could see the doors of the bus starting to close. With another giant final leap, I twisted sideways with my paws outstretched, closing my eyes and hoping I’d make it through the narrowing gap.
‘Harriet!’ cried Susie as the door hissed shut and I landed on the top step next to the driver. ‘Why aren’t you in your special car?’
She rushed to the front of the bus and gathered me up. Miranda and Doodle swapped disappointed glances as Susie fussed over me. Somehow, I knew they’d been behind my attempted bunny-napping, but they were no match for a Stunt Bunny.
EE grumbled about having to buy a new travel basket to replace the one I’d escaped from, but he didn’t have much choice, although he did make sure he bought a practically escape-proof basket this time. The rest of the tour went in a blur. Up and down Britain we went, amazing the audience in Manchester, flabbergasting the fans in Birmingham and crazing the crowds in Cardiff. Our final show was London, and Gloria warned us to expect our biggest audience ever.
‘Pull out all the stops, gang!’ she urged at our pre-show pep talk. ‘Doodle, hit those high notes. Lulu, spin it like you’ve never spun before. And Harriet—’ she paused and beamed at me. ‘You don’t need to change a thing.’
It was a proud moment. Susie tickled my cheek fondly and even EE seemed to be glad he was sitting next to me. Doodle, on the other hand, looked like someone had done a poo under her nose.
‘Don’t forget Mum and Lily are coming to see the show tonight, Harriet,’ Susie whispered. ‘Make sure you give them a wave.’
As if she needed to remind me. I’d give the performance of my life that night or my name wasn’t Harriet Houdini!
There was a crowd waiting when we arrived at the stadium. They cheered as we got off the bus and cameras flashed all around us. Then a sudden shriek split the air. ‘Harriet! Harriet Houdini!’ Rushing towards us was a girl around Susie’s age, wearing pink and white flashing bunny ears and an ‘I ♥ Stunt Bunny!’ T-shirt. Behind her was a harassed looking security guard. The girl skidded to a halt in front of us, ears wobbling. ‘Is it really you?’
‘Who else would it be?’ Miranda drawled, as she waved her hand in a big fake yawn.
Susie smiled at the girl. ‘That’s right. Would you like an autograph?’
Wide-eyed, the girl nodded. ‘I’m Stunt Bunny’s number one fan!’
I busied myself putting my paw print on to a photograph as the girl chattered away. I barely noticed Miranda disappear back on to the bus. By the time I’d finished with my super-fan and the guard had taken her back to her mother, EE had decided I’d be safer in my basket and he climbed aboard the bus to get it.
‘Where’s Harriet’s water bottle gone?’ Susie exclaimed when he placed it on the floor beside us. ‘It was attached to her basket when we set off.’
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of VIP who demands white roses from Paris or the hottest hairdresser, but a girl gets used to having her own things around and my water bottle was one of them. Apart from anything else, I’d nibbled the nozzle into just the right shape for drinking from.
‘Perhaps it fell off during the journey,’ EE said doubtfully.
‘Looking for something?’ Miranda popped up next to us. She was smiling.
‘Harriet’s water bottle has gone missing,’ EE said.
‘Is this it?’ Miranda asked, holding something towards us. ‘I found it rolling around the floor of the bus.’
‘That’s it!’ Susie exclaimed. ‘Look, Harriet, it’s your water bottle.’
As pleased as I was to see it, I couldn’t shake my feeling of distrust. Miranda was never helpful unless there was something in it for her. I stared at Doodle, trying to work out what the two of them were planning. Doodle stared back, her teeth bared in a friendly grin.
Susie took the bottle. ‘If it’s been on the floor I’d better give it a wash.’
‘No need!’ trilled Miranda, quick as a flash. ‘I already did that for you.’
Now I was definitely suspicious. Something was up. But Susie and EE didn’t seem to have noticed.
‘Thanks, Miranda,’ EE said with a grateful smile. ‘I don’t know what we’d have done if you hadn’t found it.’
Susie clipped the bottle back on to my basket and carried me through the entrance to the hotel. Peering over my shoulder, I saw Miranda and Doodle high five behind us. I didn’t know what they were up to, but I was ready. If they thought I was even
that bottle, they had another thing coming.
The dress rehearsal was a disaster. Spike-tacular fell in a heap, Lulu dropped her hula hoop and there were problems with the stage lights, which caused Gloria to rush around with a stressed look on her face, shouting a lot. By the time we’d finished everyone was feeling frazzled.