I am excited to announce that I sent the fourth Zelda book: The Adventures of Zelda: The Four Seasons to the editor this week. I'm aiming for a summer release, but I haven't nailed down a date yet.
To celebrate the upcoming release, I'm sharing the first sneak peek into the fourth Zelda book. Here is a good portion of Chapter 2: The Hike. Enjoy!!
Ben shoos me away. Fine. If they don’t want me here, I will find something else to do. I walk away from my family to search the clearing for something fun to do. My nose leads me on a trail to the base of a fallen tree. I know the smell is squirrel. I love squirrels!
I look at my family talking and eating. Peach sits on the ground beside them, hoping for food. Nobody is paying attention to me, so I leap on the log. I walk on the log further in the air. It leads to a tree. The smell continues up the tree to the branch above me. This tree is huge–the tree reaches high into the sky and its branches are almost as wide as the trunk.
I look up to the next branch. The gap is small. I make it to the branch with a long step. I cross the gap and follow the branch away from the trunk. The scent leaps to the branch above. I step up to that branch and walk across it to the other end. The scent is getting stronger. I leap across a small gap to another branch.
“Mom I’m tired,” Lucy says. I look to my family. They are way below me. I didn’t realize how high I climbed.
“I know. We are heading back soon,” Hannah says.
I don’t have much time.
The next jump is a big one. The branch on the other side is much smaller than this one. I’m sure it can hold a squirrel, but can it support a muscular pug like me?
“Where’s Zelda?” Ben asks.
Peach’s tail wags, her nose twitches, and she gazes into the air at me. She doesn’t hesitate.
I scramble back toward the tree, but as I move, I hear cracking noises. I freeze. The branch is breaking! I need to get out of this tree.
“She’s in the tree Nate,” Hannah says.
“How did she get there?” Nate says.
“I don’t know.”
“Can you reach her?”
I look at the next branch below me. It looks way too far of a jump to be safe. Is this the way I came?
Nate walks over to me. He stands underneath me.
“I can’t reach her. She needs to jump into my arms,” he says. I look down at him. It’s a long way down to him.
Crack. The branch isn’t going to last much longer.
“Here, take these treats,” Hannah says.
“Zelda, come here girl,” Nate says softly. I look into his eyes. “It’s okay. I’ll catch you.”
Peach barks and whines. She’s worried.
“Come Zelda,” he says again. Nate will catch me. He will catch me.
My pug courage returns. I take a deep breath, and then I leap off the branch. The free fall is terrifying until Nate catches me in his arms. My heart is pounding, but I am okay.
“Good girl Zelda,” Nate says. He gives me a bacon treat.
“Hannah, can you hand me her leash?” Nate says. He leashes me and places me on the ground. Peach sprints to me and licks my face seven times.
“How did she get in the tree dad?” Lucy asks.
“I have no idea Lucy,” Nate replies.
“Maybe she was hunting a squirrel,” Ben says.
“Or maybe she thought she was a squirrel again,” Hannah says. Nate chuckles.
“I don’t think we will ever know,” Nate says. “It’s another pug mystery.”