Excerpt from Chapter 4, “Snugs The Snow Bear,” by Suzy Davies, Illustrated by Peter Hall. Copyright December 2016. All Rights Reserved. No Copying.
Young Writers are invited to “Ask The Author” about her book! She welcomes questions on the following themes: Characterization, Scenes, Dialogue, Story-Line.
The Snow Bear and The Ice Hotel.
When Snugs woke up, Captain LightOwler had dropped anchor, and made an announcement on a huge loudspeaker to the crew, and all the passengers who were eating brunch at “The Captain’s Table.”
“Good morning passengers,” Captain LightOwler said in a cheerful voice. “It’s a fine morning in Reykjavik. We are going to see the geysers this morning, and then you will go to “The Little Ice House Hotel,” where you will have dinner, and be shown your rooms. In your bedroom, it will be quite cold – below freezing. The beds are very comfortable, with plenty of warm blankets.”
Snugs felt happy. He finished eating his plate of fresh herring, and washed it down with a fresh cup of coffee, a first for polar bears. It was just 11 am, and after drinking the coffee, he was beginning to feel as if he was a human being.
When the ship turned closer into the jetty, the moose ran ahead, with seaweed trailing from their antlers. They were walking fast and talking in loud, loud voices.
They were excited to see the geysers – natural, hot springs of water, and the unusual sights they had never set eyes on before. Snugs, Slip and Slide, the two penguins, and Huff Puff, the puffin with the orange beak, would be with them, too.
When they disembarked, a short coach trip took the passengers to the natural springs. Huff Puff, the puffin, took Spout, the whale, on a very fast ride across the ice in a snowmobile. Huff Puff held his breath, and Spout breathed in and out, very loud, through his blow-hole. Snugs and Slip and Slide played splash in the jets of hot water. Before long, Snugs’ fur coat was soaked.
The two moose stayed near Snugs, and amused themselves taking a shower in the giant geyser. One moose scrubbed the other one’s back, rub-a-dub-dub, with his antlers.
“Can you scrub behind my ears, please?” Snugs asked.
And when the two moose scrubbed behind his small, white ears, Snugs let out little yelps of delight!
The hotel was on the outskirts of Reykjavik, and was all lit up for Christmas, with fairy lights, that made colours in the snow all through the gardens. It was magical. For little Snugs, the idea of an Ice Hotel was just like home.
Snugs was so enchanted as he stood gazing at the twinkling lights, he stood very, very still. He stood so still that he almost fell asleep, standing up.
Mrs Merryweather had never seen a polar bear before, and neither had her grandchildren, Carla Louise, and James Edward.
“Look!” Mrs Merryweather said. Her eyes popped out on stalks. She was surprised at the sight of little Snugs. “An Ice Sculpture!”
“Oh! He’s very realistic,” said James, and his sister galloped over the ice to touch little Snugs.
When Carla touched Snugs’ fur, she said, “Oh my, he’s come alive!”
“Impossible!” said James, who was wiser because he was older. “He’s only a pretend bear. He’s made of ice!”
One of the moose laughed, and prodded Snugs. “Of course he’s real!” the two moose said together.
Snugs was annoyed. And he let out a growl and showed James his claws. “Grr! Grr!”
James stood back in amazement.
Captain LightOwler scowled. “Snugs doesn’t usually growl!”
“I thought he was an Ice Sculpture, like the ones you see in South Korea, China, and Japan, but he’s not!”
“What’s a sculpture?” Carla asked. She had never seen one before.
“It’s a kind of statue. An Ice Sculpture is a statue all made from snow, a bit like the snowman we made at home last year,” James explained, “except an Ice Sculpture can be anything- any animal you like!
“What are you doing in Iceland?” Mrs Merryweather asked Snugs, her arm wrapped around Carla, who was a little bit shy and scared.
“I came to see the Northern Lights, and then I want to sail to England.”
Mrs Merryweather and her grandchildren lived on The Isle of Wight. “We are from England,” she said shaking Snug’s furry paw, which felt quite warm. “The Isle of Wight is very scenic. The sea is beautiful and the beaches are wonderful, with lots and lots of rainbow sand!”
Everyone went to a restaurant that evening, where they dined on pizza and salad, and apple tart for dessert, followed by steaming hot chocolate, which little Snugs loved. Everyone went outside at midnight. The two moose tied pretty lanterns to their antlers, to light the path for them through the snow.
Slip and Slide, the penguins, twirled about on the ice, and little Snugs looked up, far up, at the Northern Star, his star, in the sky.