“I’ve got some good news. We’re going on holiday,” said Mum, “We leave in two days.”

There was one moment of absolute silence before the twins, Jem and Clem, who were far more intelligent than any twelve year old deserved to be, burst into chatter.

“Ooh, where to?” Clem imagined riding a camel in Egypt and looking for hidden treasure in the tombs of the great pyramids. Jem, on the other hand, was daydreaming about the Caribbean, sailing a pirate ship, searching for lost treasures.

“Northumberland,” said Mum.

“Huh?” Clem was still lost in her vision of golden desert sands.

“Where’s that?” asked Jem.

“It’s as far north as you can get in England.”

“But what is there to do?” Clem’s face fell, her dream-bubble bursting as she poured milk on her favourite cereal, chocolate Wheaty-Bits.

Jem had his ear to his cereal bowl, listening to the crackling pops of his Chocco-Poppers, dreams of pirate plunder fading.

“It’s a very interesting place,” said Mum. “We’ll be staying near Hadrian’s Wall.”

The twins thought it sounded rather dull.

“Mr Connolly is in the lounge; he’s brought Very Special Agent Penfold who will be going on holiday with us.”

The children groaned. They called Mr Connolly ‘Mr Grumpy-Socks’. They’d discovered recently that their father, who’d died before they were born, had been an agent in a division of the British Secret Service. They’d been in witness protection their whole lives and hadn’t known it. Mr Connolly was an agent too and had moved in next door to keep an eye on them. How could they enjoy themselves if they had a secret agent watching them?

They headed into the lounge to be met with a very nice surprise.

“Jem, Clem,” said Mr Connolly, “I’d like you to meet Very Special Agent Penfold.”

Both children fell to their knees, stroking the silky ears of the Belgian Malinois dog who sat obediently in front of them.

“Can we keep him?”

Mum nodded.

Clem exclaimed, “This is the best news ever. I don’t think I’ll ever call you Mr Grumpy-Socks again.”

Even Mr Connolly laughed.

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Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz
Henry Vinicio Valerio Madriz (@henry-vinicio-valerio-madriz)
2 months ago

Tender ending! A family story indeed.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
2 months ago

What a great story Carrie! Special Agents, Witness Protection and two children eager for adventure! But the icing on the cake has to be Penfold. Who doesn’t love a dog? I loved the humour and the heartwarming ending. Brilliantly done!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
2 months ago

Hello, Carrie. Your story is so fabulous and adventurous. I also love imagining riding a camel in Egypt, and searching for a hidden treasure is an exciting hobby that I love the most. In addition, your ending is pleasant and humorous. Well-written. 

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
2 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

You’re welcome, Carrie. I am hoping that nothing bad happens to them.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson (@susan-dawson)
2 months ago

Shh, Carrie. Don’t tell people about the adventures to be had up here. The beauties of my county are a well kept secret ????

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills)
1 month ago

Reading your story and thinking about my old Secret Five books made today a good day indeed! I’m a cat person really but I can’t help falling in love with Penfold! Well done!

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei (@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

Love the sweet twist to your story, Carrie.

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse (@marianna-pieterse)
1 month ago

Carrie, this is a fantastic story, which I know our kids in your mentioned age-group, will love! Yes, they would definitely want to read more! Jem and Clem’s reactions to hearing where they will be going on holiday was hilarious. What a lovely surprise that Agent Penfold was a dog! I really enjoyed reading this.

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Kayja Daniels
Kayja Daniels (@kayja-daniels)
1 month ago

This story feels like the epitome of family friendly. The loving mom, cute kids, AND a new dog? Nice.

allinonefitness steven jenkins
allinonefitness steven jenkins (@allinonefitness-steven-jenkins)
1 month ago

Loved it! My little girl would absolutely adore this as a full-novel. Hats off, Carrie  ???? 

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills (@greene-m-wills)
23 days ago

Congratulations Carrie! I love Penfold, well done!

Last edited 23 days ago by Greene M Wills
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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
23 days ago

Congratulations, Carrie.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock (@linda-rock)
23 days ago

Congratulations Carrie! I loved this story.

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