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The Brightest Star

by Immy Chatfield, aged 9

The Brightest Star by Immy Chatfield

Read by Chris Pavlo from the BBC Radio Drama Company

Bang! The car door slammed loudly behind me and the engine started rumbling, like a volcano about to erupt. It is hot and sticky in the car so I put my paw up at the window and magically it opens. I stick my head out of the window, my ears flying behind me – boy that feels good! ‘We’re nearly there’, I bark with delight. But suddenly something happens and we miss the turning. ‘What? Why aren’t we going for a walk?’ ‘What’s gone wrong?’

Instead we drive into a new place which looks a bit like my home but much bigger. I want to jump out of the car and run away. Penny, my owner, opens the car door and I cautiously get out, hiding behind her, not knowing whether to make a run for it. She straps a lead onto me and pulls it tightly around my neck, trying to get me inside. Eventually I give in and follow her in. Something smells weird. I can smell perfume and food. And food! Great, maybe this isn’t such a bad place after all....

I timidly enter a big room. It’s full of people. Grey people. Wrinkly people. Gloomy looking people. People start reaching out to stroke me. Oh no, these hands are bony with spots on. Their faces are old, really old. I’m starting to think they might be ghosts. I go a bit closer to one old lady, wearing grey slippers sitting alone in the corner, like a statue. I sit down beside her and she bends down and gives me a biscuit. Delicious! Maybe this place isn’t as bad after all. Maybe.... Maybe I could do something to cheer them up? I know - that trick that Penny has been teaching me...

So I go for it. I lie down roll over and then stand up on my back paws and spin around. The old lady’s face starts lighting up. It’s like a rainbow has just hit her. So I do some more. And that’s when an amazing thing happens: she gets up out of her chair, holding onto her walker. She starts clapping and everybody joins in. I feel like the brightest star in the sky. I’m the centre of attention. People start giving me treats and patting my soft brown fur.

I wouldn’t mind coming here again. But where’s Penny? I feel a rush a fear. But its okay, there she is sitting and chatting, clapping me on, with a blushed face, looking proud of me. ‘Come on lets go for a walk now’, she says, ‘It’s hot in here, I need some fresh air to cool me down’. ‘Yippee!’ I bark.

She takes me back to the car and I jump in. We drive to my favourite place. This time I leap out of the car, eager to get going. Because even though the old people’s home was fun, and I liked seeing her face light up when she saw my tricks, I still prefer walks!

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