- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Ships from: Waresboro, GA
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from: Plano, TX
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
The landscape was green and gently rolling, grazed closely by the hot sun. Above it the sky was blue, filled with small cotton clouds.
It was quiet, as were all of the mornings during this long summer vacation, when even the birds seemed lazy.
In the middle of the peaceful valley was a small garden by a river that flowed past an unusual-looking house. It had a long balcony and was made entirely of wood. To one side stood a large garage with a huge wooden water tank perched on top.
An old windmill kept watch over the garden, much like a lighthouse watches over its boats. It seemed to turn just for the fun of it. In this little corner of paradise, even the wind blew gently.
Nothing on this beautiful morning hinted at the terrible adventure that was about to begin.
The front door exploded open. A large woman filled the entryway. "Arthur!" she yelled, in a voice that could make glass shatter.
Grandma was about sixty years old and rather round, even though her elegant black dress, trimmed with lace, was designed to hide her plumpness.
She finished putting on her gloves, adjusted her hat, and yanked violently on the ancient doorbell. "Arthur!" she yelled again. No answer.
"Where on earth is that boy? And the dog! Has Alfred disappeared, too?" Grandma grumbled like a distant storm as she wentback into the house.
Inside, the wooden floor gleamed with polish, and lace seemed to have conquered all the furniture, the way that ivy takes over walls.
Grandma put on her house slippers and crossed the room, muttering; " 'An excellent watchdog, you'll see!' How did I ever fall for that?"
She huffed up the stairs.
"I wonder what exactly he's watching, this 'watchdog'!
He's never in the house to watch it! He and Arthur just breeze through!" she grumbled, opening the door to Arthur's bedroom. Still no sign of Arthur.
"Do you think it bothers them that their poor grandmother must run after them all day long? Not at all!" She continued down the hall. "I don't ask for much--only that he keep still for just five minutes a day, like other ten-year-olds!" Suddenly she paused, struck by a thought. She listened to the house, which was unusually silent.
Grandma began to speak in a low voice.
"Five minutes of peace . . . when he could play calmly . . . in a corner . . . without making any noise . . . ," she murmured, gliding toward the end of the hallway. She reached the last door, on which hung a wooden sign engraved with the words keep out.
She opened the door quietly and peered into the forbidden room.
It was an attic that had been converted into a large office, and it looked like a cross between a merry antique shop and the study of a slightly nutty professor. On either side of the desk were large bookshelves overflowing with leather-bound books. Hanging above it all was a silk banner bearing a cryptic message: words often hide other words. Our scholar was also a philosopher.
Grandma moved slowly into the middle of the bric-a-brac, all of which had a decidedly African flavor. Around the room spears seemed to have pushed through the floor like shoots of bamboo. A fantastic collection of African masks hung on the wall. They were magnificent . . . except for the one that was missing. A lone, telltale nail stuck out of the wall.
Aha! Grandma had her first clue. All she had to do now was follow the snores that were becoming more and more audible.
Grandma moved farther into the room and, sure enough, discovered Arthur stretched out on the floor, the African mask on his face amplifying his snores. Alfred, of course, was stretched out alongside him, his tail beating time on the wooden mask.
Grandma couldn't help but smile.
"You could at least answer when I call you! I've been looking for you for almost an hour!" she murmured to the dog, speaking quietly so as not to wake Arthur too suddenly. Alfred put on his best cute and innocent look.
"Oh, don't give me that puppy-dog face! You know I don't want you in Grandpa's room and you're not allowed to touch his things!" she said firmly, reaching to lift the mask off Arthur.
In the light, he had the face of a naughty angel. Grandma melted like snow in the sun. She breathed a happy sigh at the sight of the boy who lit up her life.
Alfred whined a little--perhaps out of jealousy.
"That's enough, Alfred! If I were you, I would make myself scarce for the next five minutes," she said sternly. Alfred took the hint and backed off. Grandma lovingly placed her hand on the boy's face.
"Arthur?" she murmured. The snoring only became louder.
She changed her tone.
"Arthur!" she thundered, her voice echoing through the room. The boy jumped up with a start, bewildered and ready for battle.
"Help! An attack! Quick, men! Alfred! Form a circle!" he shouted, half asleep. Grandma grabbed his shoulders.
"Arthur, calm down! It's me! It's Grandma!" she barked. Arthur shook himself awake and realized who he was facing.
"Oh, sorry, Grandma. I was in Africa."
"I can see that!" she replied with a smile. "Did you have a good trip?"
"Fantastic! I was with Grandpa and a whole African tribe. They were friends of his," he added helpfully.
Grandma played along. "Oh, my. What happened?"
"We were surrounded by dozens of ferocious lions that came out of nowhere!"
"My goodness! What did you do to escape?" she asked.
"Me, nothing," he replied modestly. "It was Grandpa who did everything. He unrolled a large cloth and we hung it up, right in the middle of the savannah!"
"A cloth? What kind of a cloth?" asked Grandma, mystified.
Arthur was already climbing on a crate to reach the top shelf. He took down a book and opened it quickly to the right page.
Excerpted from Arthur and the Invisibles Movie Tie-in Edition by Luc Besson Copyright © 2006 by Luc Besson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted January 9, 2009
No text was provided for this review.