"This horse is a real bookworm indeed", thought Little Nani in her way to the little town. Little Nani was walking towards the bookshop, since the horse had made it very clear that he wanted to read some of Georgette Heyer's books. "But, what about Jane Austen?" asked Little Nani to the horse. "Oh, I read all of them already" said the horse quite matter-of-factly. "How! In two days?" exclaimed Little Nani, utterly astonished. "Why, they were very nice and I had nothing else to do" said the horse, boldly.

"OK, I will go to the bookshop to get the book for you" agreed Little Nani. "Can't you make them appear here by using your magic wand?" asked the horse. "Oh no, I just took the elementary course. And, anyway, any time I take my magic wand out of my pocket, my two ostriches cringe and run away. I wonder why..." said Little Nani.

A screeching sound startled Little Nani, who jumped in the air, did a flip, and fell on her feet again. "Oh, dear, did I scare you?" said the horse. "I was trying to play this accordion, but I guess I am not gifted to do that" explained the horse, while one of the ostriches was angrily pecking at the horse's side. "Oh, don't worry" said Little Nani, "but you'd better stop trying to play that accordion. It belongs to Skinny Nikki and he is very possessive about it" added Little Nani with a nod towards the angry ostrich.

"WATCH OUT!!" The loud shout made Little Nani wake up from her daydreaming, she jumped in the air for the second time on that fine morning, did a double flip and landed on top of a tree. "Hey, little girl! Are you OK?" said a voice. Little Nani looked down from her vantage point on top of the tree and saw a turtle. "Oh, yes, kind turtle, I am fine, but you scared me. Why did you shout at me like that?" said Little Nani. "Well, I didn't want to knock you out with my super-high speed" explained the turtle. "Super-high speed?" asked Little Nani in awe. "I thought that turtles were slow animals."

"Nonsense! We are very fast, but we like keeping secrets, so we pretend we are slow", said the turtle. "But you are telling me the secret now, so you are not keeping the secret any longer" claimed Little Nani. The turtle went from his natural green colour to a very  deep shade of red. "Oh, no, now They will punish me!" blurted the turtle. "Who?" asked Little Nani. "They!" said the turtle. "But who are them?" insisted Little Nani, a bit exasperated. "I am telling you! They!" said the turtle. "Our chief turtle's name is They." "Ah, that makes sense then" said Little Nani. "And what is your name, dear turtle?"

"My name is Thunder, and I am the fastest turtle in this region", said proudly the little turtle. "My name is Little Nani, and I am not very fast, but I have other skills. I wonder..." Little Nani smiled cunningly, as a fantastic and absurd idea started forming in her head. "What's wrong, Little Nani?" asked Thunder, the turtle, with a worried look. "Oh, nothing to worry about" said Little Nani while rummaging inside her little pocket. "What are you looking for?" wanted to know Thunder, the turtle. "I need my magic wand" said Little Nani. "Oh, here it is!" and with a fancy, silly movement, she took it out of her pocket.

"Ooooh, you are a witch!!" said Thunder, the turtle, scared and attempting to run away. "STOP!" said Little Nani. "If you let me cast a spell on you, I won't tell They that you told me your secret about your amazing speed." Thunder, the turtle, considered the options for a moment and then said, "What kind of spell?" "Oh, a very simple one. A spell to make you big enough so I can ride you to the town and back home" explained Little Nani. "But if you enlarge me, everybody will see me and my secret won't be safe again" complained Thunder, the turtle. "True, but you haven't heard the second part of my plan. Once you have taken me back to my house, I will make you small again, and then I will cast a spell on the town so everybody will forget about having seen a big, fast turtle" said the smiley Little Nani.

"Are you sure it will work?" asked Thunder, the turtle, full of doubts. "Yeah, because I found the lost magic lessons. They had gone to my Spam folder, but now I recovered them" said Little Nani, happily. "Have you learnt those lessons?" asked Thunder, the turtle. "No, but I am telling you that I found them. Oh, you don't understand me! You are just as Big Billy and Skinny Nikki. They didn't trust me either" said Little Nani, folding arms and pouting.

"Oh, yes, Little Nani. I trust you" said Thunder, the turtle. "Let's do it." He was worried about Little Nani spilling the beans about the secret. "OK then, so don't move." Little Nani made some silly movements with her arms and said some bombastic words while pointing at the little turtle with her magic wand.

There was a blinding flash of light and lots of sparks ran wildly across the air. When everything went calm again and Little Nani opened her eyes, she saw that Thunder, the turtle, was as big as her ostriches... Oh wait... "Uh-oh, if I had taken one of my ostriches to go to the town, this wouldn't be happening now. Silly me!" thought Little Nani.

Once Little Nani was sitting astride on top of Thunder, the turtle, the trip to the town and back home just took them a few minutes. Little Nani's cheeks were flushed because of the exhilarating super-high speed of her ride on top of the turtle. "There you go" said Little Nani to the horse, handing him a bag full of books. "But these are not the books I asked for" complained the horse. "I know, they didn't have Georgette Heyer's books, so I bought Victoria Holt's books instead. You will like them. After all, both authors' surnames start with the same letter" giggled Little Nani. Fuming and muttering imprecations under his breath, the horse went inside to settle to read. "You'd better solve that problem with the turtle, before someone comes to ask about it" said the horse before disappearing.

Little Nani thanked Thunder, the turtle, for giving her the lift to the town and back home. First, Little Nani cast the spell to make Thunder be small again, and it worked again. Now it was time to cast the spell to make the people in the town forget their shock of watching a huge turtle running at top speed all over the town.

Little Nani closed her eyes to fully concentrate on the spell, stretched her arms before her, and started muttering words in a solemn voice. After a couple of minutes, a web of colourful strings started flowing from her magic wand and started surrounding Thunder, the turtle, and it extended across the fields. The strings disappeared little by little, and Little Nani said, "All done. Now your secret is safe." "Thank you, Little Nani, you are a good girl" said Thunder, the turtle. "And now I must go. See you soon."

Thunder, the turtle, turned around and made a movement to start running as fast as he could, but he fell on the ground, face first. "What is this? What happens? I cannot run!" Little Nani was tiptoeing to the house, but Thunder, the turtle, stopped her with an angry shout. "Oi! You cast the wrong spell and made me be slow." "I am so sorry. I told you I haven't finished the magic course yet. I guess now all you turtles are slow. So no problem. People will think they dreamt about a very fast turtle and will forget about it soon" said Little Nani, sheepishly. Thunder, the turtle, looked at Little Nani with scorn and left.

And that is why turtles are so very slow.



06/03/2012 4:30am

This was a great story. I especially loved the ending of it. I am looking forward to reading more about Little Nani and seeing more illustrations once your book is finished :D

Keep up your great work!

06/03/2012 4:53am

Thank you, Rob!! I am very excited about seeing my stories and the illustrations together in my book, and I am very happy since I see that people are already liking them :D That's the best reward for any writer, knowing that people enjoy reading what we write. Thanks.


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