Joy and heartbreak combine in this bittersweet tale of a champion greyhound’s journey through life – and from owner to owner…
“The sack wasn't just drifting gently along like everything else, it was turning of its own accord. There was definitely something inside it, struggling against the side of the plastic bag, kicking at it, squeaking and squealing in terror. He had no idea what it might be, only that it was alive and in danger of drowning.”
When Patrick saves a litter of greyhound puppies from the canal, he can’t bear to hand them all over to the RSPCA. He pleads with his parents: couldn’t he just keep one of them? But nothing will convince them and Patrick cries himself to sleep – only to be woken by a greyhound puppy licking his face!
Patrick christens his puppy Best Mate, and that’s what he becomes. Patrick’s favourite thing is to watch Best Mate running at full stretch on the heath, a speeding bullet, a cheetah-dog. Until one day Best Mate is kidnapped by a greyhound trainer, and begins a new life as a champion race dog. Suzie, the greyhound trainer’s step-daughter, loves Best Mate on first sight and gives him a new name, Bright Eyes. But what will happen when he can’t run any more?
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Praise for Born to Run:
“Pitch perfect… this hardened book reviewer kept having to wipe away the tears” Daily Mail
Praise for The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips:
"…a succinctly engaging tear-jerker, it is also full of happiness and affection and has a joyful ending… It is also about people who care enough to look after each other, offering a lesson in life as well as history. Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week
"From the first sentence of a Michael Morpurgo book, you know you are in the hands of a natural storyteller." Guardian
"As always, Morpurgo writes with solid confidence in a voice that's gentle yet spellbinding." Evening Standard
"Classic Morpurgo brilliance" Bookseller's choice, Publishing News
"…Michael Morpurgo weaves a touching tale that's full of surprises. A master storyteller at his best." Funday TimesFrom the Author:
Some ten years ago we went to a rescue centre looking for a dog and came away with a lurcher puppy. We called her Bercelet. I remember looking into the cages and wondering where all these dogs had come from, whose lives they had been part of. All sorts of questions came at once into my head. Had the owner died? Were the dogs abandoned perhaps, or neglected or abused? What were the lives behind their eyes? Anyway Bercelet stayed with us and became one of the family, and when she died three years ago it was devastating for all of us.
When Bercelet ran she ran like a greyhound. We simply loved standing there watching her. She seemed at her happiest at full stretch. She was very gentle and calm in the house, very attached to us and reliant on us for reassurance and affection. The more I heard of whippets and greyhounds and lurchers, the more I realised that they all seemed to be like this, very trusting and loving.
Then I read an article in a Sunday newspaper about what had happened to some greyhounds when they were no longer any use for racing. Of course many ex-racing greyhounds end up in rescue centres and find good homes, but the newspaper article wasn't about the lucky ones. It seems that some 10,000 greyhounds have been shot and buried in fields over a period of about fifty years or so. Such callous cruelty on such a massive scale angered me greatly. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to write the life story of a greyhound. And this is what I've done.
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