We are very proud of our young son Ryan, he has just had an amazing report for his first term at big school. He has a big heart and a very kind and caring nature, and deserves this success. Ryan has helped me co-author three children’s books. Our very first joint venture was a charming little tale of against all odds, courage, faith and LOVE conquering all. I hope you enjoy a little taste from our first chapter :)
Beautiful Violetta craves excitement and when a beauty pageant is staged in her sleepy Somerset village she is determined to win the first round and go on to become ‘Queen of the World.’ With her head full of dreams, vain Violetta sets of for the bright lights of Victorian London. Forgetting all about the little Mouseling she has left behind Violetta’s heart is set on finding fame and fortune. Magdalena wakes to find Violetta has vanished in the night. Determined to find her, the little Mouseling bravely sets off in hot pursuit after her wayward Mama. Although her journey is littered with many pitfalls, perils and full of danger, taking her all the way from England’s shores to the New World, she never gives up hope. Will Magdalena find Violetta. And if she does, will vain Violetta return back home? Follow Mouseling Magdalena on an amazing adventure and find out just how with a lot of courage and a big heart she becomes ‘Maz the Marvellous Mouse‘!
Chapter One ~MOUSELING
Our story takes places a long time ago in Victorian times in England. This was an exciting age of new mechanical inventions, of steam boats and trains and adventure. Yet there were still many quiet and rural places where life went on pretty much as it always had. The little Hamlet of Wychwood deep in County Somerset was one such place. Wychwood consisted mostly of a scattering of farms. There was the Norman church with its big square tower and cosy church hall, the Inn and a small shop selling provisions and haberdashery. It was on a cold Winters eve with the ground all covered with a bitter frost that a tiny Mouseling was born on one of the farms down by Four Acre Field. Her home was a large old tithe barn. In Medieval times, many centuries before, the tithe barn had belonged to the Monks of the great Abbey at Glastonbury, which was just a few miles away. It had been used to store all manner of good things the Monks would need, such as grains from the golden crops that grew in the fields all around. There is nothing unusual about mice being born. Some still in that old tithe barn, which having stood the test of time is still standing.
However, there was something quite remarkable about this little mouse, and what happened to her in her life. The new-born was tiny and pink. The mewing creature was called Maz. Her name had been shortened from the most elegant Magdalena. Her Mama, Violetta, had thought this a most pleasing and fitting name for her precious Mouseling. Her Mama was sure her little Mouseling would be just as beautiful as she was, with her soft golden brown fur, shiny black eyes and lovely long and silky tail. However, much to her dismay her baby Magdalena was small, pale and delicate and did not look as if she would make it through that harsh Winter’s night.
Violetta, was very vain and quite silly and found caring for a sickly child just too much bother. Violetta soon realised that being a Mama was just no fun at all. She longed for excitement, for something different from her quiet life on the farm.
Sadly, all Violetta cared about was looking her beautiful best. Violetta was so disappointed that her special name she had chosen did not suit the weak little creature, and so lazily shortened it to Maz. Violetta meanly thought the little Mouseling was rather thin, and much too plain and just did not deserve such an elegant name as ‘Magdalena’ after all. The shortened Maz was far more suitable. A small name, for a small and totally unimportant Mouseling. As unkind as Violetta was, her daughter loved her Mama absolutely.
One night, little Maz popped her little black nose out of the safety of their mouse hole home. Her whiskers twitching warily, she scuttled across the scary floor of the old barn. She was hungry and she was desperately looking for food. Violetta, as usual, had much more important things to do, like attending to her beauty, than feeding hungry little Mouselings. Maz could not ignore her tummy as it rumbled noisily.
She was scared, it was a big world outside of the mouse-hole, but she was very hungry. She ventured out into the dark night. The other mice, who often brought her food, had told her that in the old stone farmhouse across from the barn there was a kitchen. The Farmers’ wife cooked all manner of tasty food on the big black range cooker in the warm kitchen. Under cover of darkness the crafty mice often scuttled out of the safety of the barn sneaking into the kitchen to see what tasty morsels they might find. Maz liked cheese, she liked it very much, especially the rich yellow cheddar that was made on the farm.
Maz crept quietly into the Kitchen to see if she could get some of that rich, tasty yellow cheese. Her hungry tummy rumbled again, as loud as a volcano that might erupt at any moment. In the huge farmhouse kitchen the big scary farm cat was snoozing in his comfortable bed by the fireside. The fire was nearly burnt out, just warm orange embers gave a warm glow to the room. The noise of Maz creeping across the flagstone floor woke him up with a jolt. The other mice had told Maz that the cat was a very mean cat, which you could guess by his name which was Fang. He hated the pesky mice. He hated how they sneaked into the kitchen to steal the food. It was his job to get rid of those pesky mice and he took his job very seriously indeed.
It was a brave mouse who would enter the farmhouse kitchen when Fang was there. No one had mentioned this to Maz. No one thought she would be so silly or so brave to venture out all alone in the dark when she was so young. No one thought that her Mama Violetta would be so selfish as to go out to a party held by the Voles, otters and other river creatures down by the stream, and forget to feed her hungry little Mouseling before she went.
Fang stirred. Fang saw Maz. Fang chased Maz…
© Eily Nash & Ryan Nash