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FRANCIS GOES TO EUROPE


francis europe cover

 

At last - the sequel to Francis The Horse That Is here at last:

Francis Goes to Europe consists of even more fun and frolic, as Francis is invited to race at Ascot in the UK.

Before travelling through Europe with unexpected and uninvited friends who turn up in the most unpredictable manner, and decide to disguise a shipload of cows and sheep to save their lives from a disastrous outcome; especially as they all have to hide from the immigration authorities in each country. Yet, still managing to get into so much trouble and making Arabian horses and other animals unhappy as they travelled. Whilst Fredrick on the other hand causes more problems, when he offers chewing gum to his friends, not knowing the unforgiving outcome and due to his hunger puts his friends at risk in each country.

The excitement at the Monte Carlo Horse Races again creates fun and unpredictability. The friends then fall victim to a kidnap and rescued only to fall upon an unbelievable find. Arriving in England forms another story filled with humorous surprises and not so predictable outcomes.

   

In Store Price: $AU25.95 
Online Price:   $AU24.95

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ISBN: 978-1-922229-61-8   
Format: Paperback
Number of pages:222
Genre:
Children's Fiction

Cover Design—Zeus Publications 2014

By the same Author :

Francis The Horse That Is

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Author: Sonia McNulty
Publisher:
Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2014
Language: English

CHAPTER ONE - sample chapter

The Letter

 

Months went by, after the historic moment of Francis’s big day at the Melbourne Cup. Talk of chaos surrounding the event went down in history as the most unforgettable, unimaginable and unforgivable circumstances. As time prevailed, embarrassment lent itself to forgiveness, then humorous signs showed it as being an event which was declared a pardon from the Racing Fraternity as being the funniest show on earth. The Melbourne Cup. The public talked about it for months and could finally laugh and joke about it with the help from the media.

That’s not all they talked about. At the James’s farm a particular little family became closer and closer. Francis had everything he could wish for, his mum and dad, and not forgetting his friends. This was where he was to spend the rest of his secured life.

Until?

The sound of a truck, hooting its horn louder and louder, as it came tearing up the drive. It was Mike James – the owner of the farm and owner of Francis’s mother Diva. Sasha, Mike’s wife, came running out of the house when she heard the noise.

The stable hands, Ray the trainer and his dog Tom, who kept barking with excitement, hurried to see what the fuss was about.

“What’s with all the noise?” Sasha asked as she ran towards the truck.

Mike came to a halt immediately. He jumped out of the truck waving something in his hand that looked quite official.

“This!” Mike exclaimed.

“What is it?” Sasha questioned eagerly.

“It’s a letter,” Mike said excitedly.

“I can see that; what’s so special about this letter?” Sasha asked, as she moved closer, with Ray and Tom by her side.

“It’s a letter from the Racing Fraternity; they received it from The European Council Racing Organisation,” Mike said with such eagerness.

“What does that mean exactly?” Ray asked, with great interest.

“It means Francis has made headlines in Europe, and they want him to do a grand tour of different countries as a guest, and enter the grand race at Royal Ascot in England,” came Mike’s overwhelming reply.

“Francis, our Francis, why? That’s just unbelievable news,” Sasha said as she took the letter from her husband’s hand to read it for herself.

Ray’s body slouched as he sat on the verandah step, looking quite shocked and lost for words. Tom also seemed very quiet, sitting next to him, tilting his head from side to side with ears pricked up.

“What do you think, Ray?” Mike asked.

“Well, I’m just over the moon for him, and for both of you. What do you think, Tom?” Tom didn’t bark or murmur. “You must be pretty shocked that your old friend Francis is heading overseas? Guess the cat’s got your tongue, hm?”

There was still no sound from Tom, as he was trying to make sense of it all.

“When is he due to leave?” Sasha asked.

“He, and us, and you as well Ray; it says we leave on the 12th July from Port Melbourne.”

“July 12th – that’s only two weeks away,” Ray calculated.

“Well, who’s going to take care of the horses and everything else, and how long will we be away for, does it say?” Sasha questioned.

“It could be for a few months; the agenda looks full on with a lot of commitments and travelling,” replied Mike.

“How will this affect Diva and Altiyan?” Sasha asked, quite concerned.

“I don’t know if they’ll understand that their boy is going to be taken away from them again,” Ray replied with uncertainty.

“Can’t they come as well?”  Sasha asked hopefully.

“I don’t think that’s wise, Diva hasn’t been feeling well lately and the excitement may not be the best for her health,” Ray announced.

“That’s true,” Mike agreed, “she’ll have to be under the watchful eye of Tim, he’s been the best vet a horse could have.”

“I think he should give Francis a thorough check up as well, don’t you think, Tom?” Ray suggested, but Tom still wouldn’t answer. “I think I know why you’re not talking, I bet it’s because Francis is going away, yep, that’s what it is.”

“Woof.”

“Thought so, I know you like a book,” Ray replied, as he looked into Tom’s big brown and sad eyes.

“Don’t worry Tom, Francis will be back in no time, besides you’ll have plenty to do around here,” Sasha said kindly, as she patted him on the head.

“Well, we can’t sit around chatting, we have a tour to prepare and tell Tim and the Carrigans our wonderful news,” Mike said.

“I’ll tell the stable hands,” Ray replied.

And I’ll tell our friends, Tom thought to himself.

The others went their separate ways to spread the exciting news, while Tom walked slowly into the stables with his tail between his legs.

“Hey, Tom! Look what I can do,” Francis said excitedly, as he conquered a new trick by standing on one leg, while Silver, Gold, Slippery Sally, the kookaburras, Baaabra and Fredrick cheered and clapped.

“Hm, that’s really cool,” Tom said with a lack of interest. 

“Why the long face?” Silver and Gold asked in unison.

“Nothing,” Tom replied with a frown.

“Nothing, hsssss, you call coming in here with your nose scraping the ground, nothing,” Slippery Sally added, as she slid herself under his chin and lifted it high.

“Come on Tom, we’re your friends, you can tell us anything,” Francis pleaded.

After a short pause Tom made the announcement: “All right; Francis is going away.”

No I’m not, where did you get a silly idea like that?” Francis said, as he tried hopping on one leg towards Tom.

“From Mike,” Tom replied.

“Wheeeeeeere is he goooooooing?” Baaabra asked.

“Yes, where am I going?” Francis questioned with enthusiasm.

“Abroad,” Tom replied with remorse.

“What’s abroad?” Francis asked.

“Far, far away,” Tom said with a big sigh.

“Can I fly there?” Girly asked as she flew down from a beam.

“No, it’s too far,” Tom said, not really wanting to discuss the matter.

“What am I going abroad for?” Francis asked curiously.

“A letter from the Racing Fraternity was received from The European Council Racing Organisation,” explained Tom.

“What the heck does that mean?” Fredrick asked anxiously.

“It means Francis has to go away – abroad,” Tom replied with a lump in his throat.

“We know; we’ve established that, but where?” Silver asked.

“Please don’t say abroad again,” Girly begged.

“All right – overseas,” Tom replied.

“That’s just as bad,” Girly added, “what’s he going for?”

“As a guest, to tour Europe.” Tom announced sadly.

“I don’t understand, what’s Europe and why me?” Francis questioned.

“I guess because you’re famous around the world,” Tom said.

I am? What’s the world?” Francis asked after a pause and with a screwed up nose.

Oh boy, this is going to be harder than I thought, Tom thought to himself. “I think I’ll get a map of the world and we can all sit around it, then I can explain it to you,” Tom said confidently.

“Why am I famous?” Francis asked.

“I don’t know, maybe because you’re the only horse in the world with only two legs,” Tom assumed.

“Hm?” Francis questioned.

“Hsssss, where’s the map?” Slippery Sally asked.

“It’s in the main house, stuck on the wall in the office,” Tom replied.

“Shall I fetch it?” Girly kindly offered.

“I think it would be easier if all you four kookaburras fetched it, then you can carefully fly it out, but make sure no-one sees you,” Tom added.

“Back to this tour; when do I leave?”Francis inquired.

“Two weeks,” Tom answered reluctantly.

“Two weeks?” Francis surprisingly replied.

“That’s fourteen sleeps,” Tom confirmed, for the benefit of the others.

“I’d better tell my mum and dad,” Francis said hastily.

“Not a good idea, your mum’s not well at present,” Tom replied.

“Well, if I don’t tell her, who will?” Francis asked.

“Ray or Mike? Look, I’m sure she’ll be really happy and proud of you,” Tom replied, trying to sound reassuring.

“But, I’ve only just found my parents, now we’re to be separated again. How long am I going away for?” Francis questioned, with mixed feelings of enthusiasm and bewilderment.

“I think it’s for quite a few months,” Tom presumed.

Francis stopped and thought. “Is that longer than fourteen sleeps?”

“Much, much longer,” Tom replied.

“How do I get to Europe?” Francis inquired.

“So many questions,” Fredrick interrupted.

“Beeeeeee quiet and paaaaaaatient. Francis can ask all the questions he wants, he’s faaaaaaamous now,” Baaabra replied.

“Faaaaaaamous! I mean famous, well this famous and travelling talk is making me hungry,” Fredrick said impatiently, mimicking Baaabra.

“You’re always hungry,” Silver said.

“I didn’t hear you,” Fredrick answered in a flippant tone, pretending he didn’t hear.

“He said, you ... are ... al-ways ... hun-gry,” Gold shouted, in his squeaky high-pitched voice, which of course Fredrick ignored.

“I heard,” Fredrick replied sharply.

“Getting back to your question Francis, on how you’re getting to Europe? You’re going on a big, big ship,” Tom explained.

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