Series: The Pony-Mad Princess: Book 9
By Diana Kimpton
“Ouch,” said Princess Ellie, as she stabbed herself with the needle. She sucked her sore finger and stared pleadingly at her governess. “Please can I stop sewing now? I want to go to the stables.”
“You always do,” replied Miss Stringle. “But your ponies will have to wait. You need to finish your mother’s present. It’s Christmas Eve tomorrow.”
Ellie didn’t need reminding. She’d been looking forward to Christmas for weeks. She felt as if she’d been sewing for almost as long. But it was better than lessons, especially as she could do it in the ruby sitting room instead of the classroom.
She leaned back in the red velvet armchair and looked at her work. The cross-stitched crown looked lopsided. “Are you sure Mum wants an embroidered handkerchief?” she asked.
“I could have ordered her something much nicer from the catalogue.” She knew there was no point in suggesting she bought something in a shop. Princesses don’t go shopping, even at Christmas.
“I’ve told you before!” declared Miss Stringle. “The Queen can buy anything she wants whenever she wants it. So buying her a present isn’t special. It’s much better to make her one.”
“I always used to make my mother’s presents when I was a girl,” said Great Aunt Edwina, who was sitting nearby on a red velvet settee. “Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year.”
“It’s mine too,” said Ellie, as she started to sew again. “I want this to be the best Christmas ever. That’s why I want it to snow.”
“It would be wonderful if it did,” said the old lady, clapping her hands together in delight. “There has never been a white Christmas at the palace for as long as I can remember.”
“Of course there hasn’t,” said Miss Stringle. “Please remember your geography lessons, Princess Aurelia. We never have snow here.”
“We might this year,” argued Ellie. “Kate’s gran told me to make a wish when
I stirred her Christmas pudding mixture. So I wished for snow on Christmas Day – just like there is on all the cards.”
Miss Stringle shook her head and sighed. “I’m afraid no amount of wishing will make it snow. No matter what the palace cook believes, there is nothing in a Christmas pudding that can change the weather.”
Ellie didn’t want to believe her. Surely a wish could work sometimes. She glanced hopefully out of the window. But the sky was clear and blue. There were no clouds in sight.
Great Aunt Edwina didn’t seem to notice Ellie’s disappointment. She was busy remembering past Christmases. “We always had beautiful decorations when I was a girl.”
“We still do,” said Ellie, pointing proudly at the Christmas tree in the corner. It was her own special tree and she had decorated it herself. Its branches dripped with silver icicles, golden horseshoes and tiny glass ponies. Sparkly gold tinsel twisted in between them, glinting in the sunlight from the window.
The old lady glanced at the tree. Then she went back to her memories. “We always had wonderful presents when I was a girl.”
“That hasn’t changed either,” said Ellie. “There are heaps of presents under the tree in the ballroom.” She sewed the last stitch on the handkerchief and handed it to Miss Stringle. “I’ve finished now.
Please say I can go?”
But to Ellie’s dismay, her governess produced another handkerchief. “I thought you could do one for Kate as well. It could have a horseshoe instead of a crown.”
Ellie stared at her in horror. “Kate’s my best friend so I want to give her something she’ll be really, really pleased with. And that isn’t a hankie – she only uses paper tissues.” Just then, she spotted the postman’s van through the window and added, “Anyway, I’ve already ordered her the perfect present. That must be it arriving now.”
She raced out of the room and reached the front door at the same time as the postman. Higginbottom, the butler, took the bulging sack from him and tipped the contents onto a table. There were masses of cards, several boring-looking brown envelopes and two parcels.
“Which one’s mine?” squealed Ellie, hopping up and down with excitement.
“Neither of them,” said Higginbottom. “They’re both for His Majesty.”
“You must be wrong,” cried Ellie. “Kate’s present is supposed to come today.” She picked up the sack and turned it inside out. But there was no sign of the missing parcel. “What am I going to do?” she groaned.
“Don’t panic!” said Higginbottom. “There’s another delivery tomorrow morning. That’s the last one before Christmas.”
His words made Ellie feel slightly better. Tomorrow was Christmas Eve, so if the parcel arrived then she would be able to give Kate the perfect present. But if it didn’t come, she’d have nothing to give her at all.
Ellie is really looking forward to giving her best friend Kate a very special Christmas present, especially when Kate finds out that her parents can't make it home for Christmas day. But disaster strikes on Christmas Eve when the present Ellie ordered arrives - and it's all wrong. What can she give Kate now? More fun-filled illustrated adventures, featuring the feisty Princess Ellie, full of authentic pony facts and sparkly princessy detail!
Diana Kimpton is an experienced horse-riding instructor who has written a number of successful books and televisions scripts for children.
Diana Kimpton has two passions - horses and writing. So it is no wonder that Diana creates brilliant pony stories, which demonstrate her own love and understanding of ponies. Diana also has a mischievous sense of fun, not unlike Princess Ellie! Diana has written a number of books and television scripts for children. She lives on the Isle of Wight, just a short walk from the sea.
Visit www.dianakimpton.co.uk to find out more.
“A sparkling new series of books from Diana Kimpton all about ponies, adventure and being a princess - they're full of authentic details about riding and looking after horses, as well as Princess Ellie's palace life (which isn't always as fun as it might seem)!”
Pretty Pony Club Magazine
“A heady cocktail of princesses, horses and mystery is enough to make any girl giddy. The text trots along with humour and enough horsey fact to hold the attention, while the lovely drawings help fit faces to story.”