Chapter 01

The best birthday present ever

HELLO everybody! My name is Twinkle. Dad calls me Twinkle Toes and he loves me to bits.

Are you reading this at school? If so, lucky you! I have to stay at home while my foot mends. Booh!

twinkle ch1 final revisedRight now I’m at Ma’s flat in Tin Shui Wai and Pau Pau won’t let me watch cartoons, even though Ma is out working. At least I can go to Dad’s at weekends. 

Dad is an English guy. Ma is Chinese. She chose my Chinese name: 戴素音。 Ma and Pau Pau call me 音音. Once upon a time we all lived together.

Dad believes I’ll be able to walk properly one day.

One day I’ll tell you what’s wrong with my foot.

I hope you’ll still like me.

For now, I’ll tell you about last weekend and my tenth birthday.

As usual, Ma put me on the bus and Dad was waiting for me at Mui Wo on Lantau island. As usual, Dad lifted me high and kissed me, and his stubble grazed my cheek.

Lots of people were crowded round a lamppost: all I could see was heads. “What’s up?” I asked.

I couldn’t see Dad’s eyes for his sunglasses.

“Something special. For you, Twinkle Toes,” he replied.

The crowd parted and I saw (drum roll) … a pony! A real pony! Dappled grey with a whitestripe down her head. Thin grey legs. Her tail was swishing about like a rattan broom. I laughed aloud. “For me?”

Her muzzle felt like silk. She had the kindest eyes and the longest eyelashes you’ve ever seen. She smelt of grass.

Can you imagine a better present?

I can’t.

What happened next? I’ll tell you next week.

Until then: toodle-pip!

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