Nighty-Nightmare (Bunnicula Series)by James Howe, Leslie Morrill
THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM....
Are Harold, Howie, and Chester simply lost in the woods with Dawg, their strange new friend? Or have they been lured away from their campsite intentionally, leaving the Monroes at the mercy of evil spirits with mayhem on their minds? Lulling Dawg to sleep with a bedtime story may be their only hope of escaping but is the
THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM....
Are Harold, Howie, and Chester simply lost in the woods with Dawg, their strange new friend? Or have they been lured away from their campsite intentionally, leaving the Monroes at the mercy of evil spirits with mayhem on their minds? Lulling Dawg to sleep with a bedtime story may be their only hope of escaping but is the hare-raising tale of the origins of Bunnicula, the vampire bunny, really a bedtime story?
Read an Excerpt
When the Monroes arrived right after us, the man by the fire looked up.
"Well, howdy," he said. "You folks out camping?"
"We...we thought we'd camp over there," Mrs. Monroe said, pointing to a sandy patch near the water's edge. "That is, if you don't mind."
"Mind? Heck, no. We never do get to see people in these parts. I'm Bud. And that there is Spud."
Spud, I thought. How fitting.
The Monroes introduced themselves and us. Spud looked everybody over, turned the knife in his hands, and spat on the ground.
"Nice-looking animals you got there," Bud said, wiping his hands on the back of his jeans. "Yes'm. Nice looking. Now, you take Dawg, he's seen better days. He cain't help it, he's been around by life, and sometimes he jes gets downright mean and orn'ry. But he's a good dawg, Dawg is."
"That's your dog's name?" said Mr. Monroe. "Dog?"
"Dawg," said Bud.
He flipped the fish in the frying pan. Spud spat. Dawg dragged himself to his feet and, drool and all, headed in our direction.
"He looks a little like Max," I commented, trying to cheer myself by bringing to mind a friendly bulldog of our acquaintance.
"Yeah, the way a rattler looks like a garter snake. Happy Saint George's Day," Chester said, and the hairs continued to rise all the way down my back.
"What kind of mutt do you call yourself?" Dawg growled as he came closer. His teeth were stained and pitted like old linoleum.
"Nonviolent," I said, hoping he wouldn't catch the tremor in my voice.
He snorted, sending a waft of rancid breath my way, and started to circle me, sniffing. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's this humiliating sniffing routine that passes for a handshake in the dog world. I would have suggested that he "give me five," but I was a little too nervous. Besides, I didn't have the feeling Dawg was the kind of old dog who was keen to learn new tricks. In fact, I didn't have the feeling Dawg was too keen at all.
"Watch this," he said, when he'd tired of sniffing. He sauntered over to the campfire, stopping only when he was so close that his mangy fur took on a red glow. I exchanged puzzled glances with Chester and Howie, wondering what it was we were supposed to be watching.
The Monroes, meanwhile, had moved down the slope to their campsite. Bud, who had gone back to his fish, ignored Dawg, while Spud just stared off into space, slowly turning his knife in his hands. After a moment, Dawg barked. The two men looked up and Bud started to shout, "Lookee, Spud. Hot dawg! Hot dawg!" His wild laughter made him sound like a demented goose. From the way Dawg and Spud curled their lips, I gathered that this was meant to be a big joke. Suddenly, I had the feeling I knew how prehistoric cavemen might have entertained themselves. I decided maybe television wasn't such a bad invention after all.
"Gee, Uncle Harold," Howie said, "What do you think?"
"I think Chester's right," I replied. "The woods are full of spirits tonight."
"Stupid spirits," I said.
Chester mumbled something, but I couldn't hear him over the sound of the can opener in the distance. Dinner was about to be served, and I wasn't going to miss it.
Meet the Author
James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including the modern classic Bunnicula and its highly popular sequels. In 2001, Howe published The Misfits, the story of four outcast seventh-graders who try to end name-calling in their school. The Misfits is now widely read and studied in middle schools throughout the country, and was the inspiration for the national movement known as No Name-Calling Week (NoNameCallingWeek.org), an event observed by thousands of middle and elementary schools annually. There are three companion novels to The Misfits: Totally Joe (2005), Addie on the Inside (2011), and Also Known as Elvis (2014). Howe’s many other books for children from preschool through teens frequently deal with the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at JamesHowe.com.
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