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dumpling and the cosmic wind

I just had to post this fabulous picture and story here for safekeeping! I've finished my Booktrust Writer-Illustrator in Residence post, and you can read all my blog entries on their newly refurbished website here.

And from the Dumpling the Unicorn competition, here's the picture by Silver Sleightholme, age 10, and the story it inspired by Philip Reeve. (See the original Booktrust blog post here.)



Back when everything was brand new, a giant blue space unicorn galloped among the stars. His name was Dumpling Von Twinklehorn, and he was very lonely, since he was the only giant blue space unicorn in existence (as far as he could tell). In fact, he seemed to be the only living thing of any sort. Everything was so new back then that there were only stars, shining their beams across the sky like lighthouses, and, here and there, a big, emp-ty planet.

One day Dumpling galloped past a planet that looked particularly pretty. It had red conti-nents and yellow oceans, and it reminded Dumpling a bit of rhubarb and custard (which was odd, because rhubarb hadn't been invented yet, and nor had custard). It definitely looked tasty, though, so he took a big bite, and then another. 'Hmm, just a bit more,' he thought to himself. 'Mustn't be greedy,' he mumbled, chomping another continent...

Before he knew it, Dumpling had eaten the whole planet, and his tummy felt awfully strange. He laid down among the stars for a snooze, but he could not get comfortable - he was too full, and the rumbling noises coming from his tum were too loud. Brrrmmmb-bbmmggmm, they went, and also Rmmmbgbmrbmmm. At last Dumpling stood up, lifted his tail, and did an enormous fart. THWAAAARRRRPPP it went. It was the loudest noise that there had ever been. The stars all blinked in shock. But Dumpling's tummy felt better at once.

And when he looked behind him, he saw that something wonderful had happened. Where there had just been empty space there was now a bobbing, twirling cloud of moons and planets. They glittered like jewels in the light of the young stars, and on lots of them Dump-ling could see animals and birds and people moving about. Some of them even had uni-corns! "I have farted my own universe!" said Dumpling happily, as he settled down to watch. "I shall call it, 'The Unicorniverse'.

And he never felt lonely again.