My Secret Unicorn

My Secret Unicorn

Keeper of Magic

Lauren looked at the box. What was inside?
As she held it, a tingle of magic seemed to creep
over her fingers. Lauren was sure that whatever
was in the box was something about unicorns.
If only she could open it. But she had to wait.
How long for though? When
would
it be the
right time?

Books in the series

THE MAGIC SPELL

DREAMS COME TRUE

FLYING HIGH

STARLIGHT SURPRISE

STRONGER THAN MAGIC

A SPECIAL FRIEND

A WINTER WISH

A TOUCH OF MAGIC

SNOWY DREAMS

TWILIGHT MAGIC

FRIENDS FOREVER

RISING STAR

MOONLIGHT JOURNEY

KEEPER OF MAGIC

My Secret Unicorn

Keeper of Magic

Linda Chapman

Illustrated by Ann Kronheimer

PUFFIN

PUFFIN BOOKS

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, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, 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

penguin.com

published 2007
1

Text copyright © Working Partners Ltd, 2007
Illustrations copyright © Ann Kronheimer, 2007
All rights reserved

The moral right of the author and illustrator has been asserted

Except in the United States of America, this book is 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

To Helen Levene, my Puffin editor,
for loving Lauren and Twilight as much as
I do and for sharing their adventures with
such skill and enthusiasm. Thank you.

CHAPTER
One

‘Higher, Twilight!' Lauren laughed in delight as Twilight swooped over the treetops. His snowy-white neck was warm beneath her hands and his ears were pricked up. Happiness rushed through Lauren as the stars blurred around them. She felt as if she could go on flying forever. She loved having a unicorn of her own!

‘This is fun!' Twilight said as he swooped down and jumped over the top branches of an oak tree. His mouth didn't move but as long as Lauren was either touching him or holding a hair from his mane she could hear his voice in her head as clearly as if he had spoken. It was part of his unicorn magic. Most of the time, Twilight looked just like any other small grey pony, but when Lauren said the magic words of the Turning Spell, he changed into a beautiful unicorn with a glittering silver horn.

‘I wish I could tell Hannah about you, Twilight,' Lauren said, thinking about her fourteen-year-old cousin who was
coming to stay in a day's time. Hannah lived a long way away so they didn't get to see each other much but Hannah loved ponies and Lauren got on with her really well. Lauren knew Hannah would have loved to have seen Twilight as a unicorn but unicorn magic had to be kept secret from anyone who didn't have a unicorn of their own.

‘I can't wait to meet her,' Twilight said. ‘What's she like?'

‘Pony crazy,' Lauren answered with a grin. ‘Mum has arranged for her to borrow a horse from Orchard Stables while she's here so we'll be able to go on long rides together.' She patted Twilight. She couldn't wait for Hannah to meet him, even if she would only see him when he was a pony. ‘We'd better go home now,' she said. ‘It's getting late.'

They flew back to Granger's Farm where Lauren lived with her mum, dad, eight-year-old brother, Max, and Buddy, his Bernese mountain dog. Twilight's paddock was tucked away around the back of the farm and could only be seen
from Lauren's bedroom window. Behind it towered the shadowy wooded slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Twilight landed lightly on the short winter grass. Lauren dismounted and was immediately aware of the chill of the air on her face. When she was on Twilight's back, his unicorn magic meant that she never felt cold, but now she was on the ground, she could feel the damp in the November air.

‘I'll put your rug on you tonight to keep you warm,' she told him.

He nuzzled her. ‘Thank you.'

Lauren quickly said the magic words of the Undoing Spell that changed him back into a pony.

There was a flash and suddenly Twilight was standing there looking just like any other regular grey pony. His winter coat was long and fluffy and his mane and tail were slightly tangled but there was still a magical sparkle in his eyes.

Lauren fetched his waterproof New Zealand rug from the tack room and quickly rugged him up. ‘See you in the morning,' she whispered.

Twilight rubbed his head against her.

Smiling happily, Lauren ran to the house. Her parents and Max were fast asleep. Reaching her room, Lauren changed quickly into her nightdress and looked out of her bedroom window. Twilight was standing by the fence.

‘'Night, Twilight,' she said softly.

Twilight glanced up at the window, almost as if he had heard her. She smiled and then, closing the curtains, got into bed.

‘Isn't it cold today?' Jessica Parker, Lauren's friend, said the next day as she and Lauren and Mel Cassidy got off the school bus.

Lauren nodded and pulled her coat closer around her. The sky was grey and full of rain clouds. She thought longingly of the long hot days of summer – the picnic rides, taking the ponies to the creek in the woods – and sighed. ‘I wish it could be summer all year round.'

‘Do you?' Mel said in surprise. ‘But if it was then we wouldn't have frosty mornings when it's cold but the sun's shining and we wouldn't have snow.'

‘I guess,' Lauren said. ‘And it's fun going to indoor horse shows in the winter.' She thought about her cousin, Hannah. ‘It never gets really cold in Florida, where Hannah lives.'

‘She's arriving tomorrow afternoon, isn't she?' Jess said.

Lauren nodded. ‘She's got a four-day weekend like we have with Monday and Friday off school. You'll have to come round and meet her. I bet she'd really like to see Shadow and Sandy. She's crazy about ponies.' Shadow and Sandy were Mel and Jessica's ponies.

‘Sounds like we'll get on then,' Jessica grinned.

‘Hey, I've had an idea!' Mel exclaimed. ‘Why don't we do a pony party to welcome her? We could get the ponies looking really great, make a banner and do food with a pony theme.'

‘Yeah!' Lauren said, loving the idea. ‘It
was Hannah's birthday last week so we could make a cake too. I'm going to get her a present after school today.'

‘We could come over and get everything ready tomorrow morning before she arrives,' Jessica suggested.

‘Cool!' Lauren grinned round at her friends. This was going to be so much fun!

CHAPTER
Two

Mrs Foster picked Lauren up after school. ‘How was your day, honey?' she asked as Lauren got into the car.

‘OK, thanks,' Lauren said, dumping her school bag down by her feet. ‘I've got loads of homework though. I can't believe the teachers have given us so much. We've only got two extra days at the weekend.'

‘You'd better get it done tonight before Hannah arrives tomorrow,' her mum said. She began to drive to the shops. ‘Now, I thought we could buy her a book for her birthday. Shall we call in at Mrs Fontana's bookshop?'

‘Oh yes,' Lauren said eagerly. ‘I bet Mrs Fontana will suggest something good.'

Mrs Fontana was one of the few people in the world who knew about Twilight. She had once owned a secret unicorn too and when Lauren had first got Twilight, Mrs Fontana had given her an amazing old book called
The Life of a Unicorn.
It had lots of information about unicorns and the magic land they came from which was called Arcadia.

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