BUMPER & BANDIT, ELEPHANT RUNAWAYS

Bumper and his calf Bandit stepped out into Bombay Avenue. “SCREEEECH!!!” The driver had to break hard to stop running over them. “What happened?” asked his friend Jasmine. “There’s a huge elephant in the middle of the road!“ “And there’s a little one too,” said Jasmine.

Bumper went round to the driver’s side and banged on the door with his trunk. “AAAARGH!!!” cried the driver. When Bumper pulled the door open, he and Jasmine leapt out of the car and hid behind some trees. Bumper put his trunk inside the car and sniffed around. “Here, Bandit!”

On the back seat there was a bag full of veggies and fruit including Bandit’s favourite: bananas! Bumper gave Bandit the bag and he gobbled up the bananas. “Yummy!” he said while Jasmine and her friend drove off. They weren’t hurt but they were a little cross their food had been stolen so they called the Police. “We’ll send an officer round to look for Bumper and Bandit.” But by the time he turned up, the elephants had gone.

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Later that day Mr Patel was driving home from the market in his camper van. As he turned into Bombay Avenue he spotted Bumper in the middle of the road. “Phew!” he had just enough time to break. Bumper banged on the window until Mr Patel got out of the van and he and Bandit looked inside for food.

“I’ve found something, Dad!” Bumper picked up a box of lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and bananas. He and Bandit were so hungry they tucked in straight away. Then they stepped politely to one side to let Mr Patel drive on, but he was a bit miffed they’d wolfed down his weekly shopping.

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The next morning the Jackson family were cycling to the park for a picnic. They’d brought scrumptious food: carrot cake, sandwiches, melons, strawberries and bananas. But half way up Bombay Avenue they had to stop – Bumper and Bandit were blocking their way! The elephants went through their picnic baskets one by one. “Mmmm!” said Bandit when he smelled the bananas. “The melons are very refreshing!” said Bumper.

At first the Jacksons were a bit upset the elephants had eaten their food but they forgave them. Lulu stroked Bandit’s ears, “They were starving!” she told her mum and dad. But right then the Police arrived. “STOP THIEVES!!!” cried the officer. Bumper and Bandit ran for it but Bandit was only a toddler and didn’t get very far. “I’m arresting you for stealing fruit and veggies!” said the officer.

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Bandit snuggled up to his daddy. ”We didn’t mean any harm, we’re just hungry!” said Bumper. “I love bananas!” said Bandit with a little burp. Luckily the Police officer had a soft spot for elephants and he too liked bananas. “The meadow where we lived has been sold and the banana trees were cut down,” said Bumper. “Where’s Bandit’s mummy?” asked the officer. Bandit thought about his mum Bluebell, who was separated from them when they were chased out of their meadow. “We haven’t seen her for weeks,” he sighed.

The Police officer felt sorry for them and took them to the elephant sanctuary out of town. “It’s a brilliant place,” he said, “there’s a lake and a beach and best of all, lots of bananas!” When they got there Bandit ate a very big bunch, then another, until his belly was full. ”It’s the best meal I’ve ever had!” he told his daddy.

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After lunch Bumper and Bandit went to the beach to meet the other elephants. “Tell us about the time you held up the camper van,” said a teenager called Cowslip. They were quite famous and everyone wanted to hear their adventures. One elephant in particular couldn’t wait to see them. “It’s mummy!” cried Bandit. Bluebell dashed towards Bandit and put her trunk around his little belly, holding him close and kissing him all over.

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Blurb for the back cover

Bumper and Bandit are on the run. They’ve been chased from their meadow and have to hold up the traffic to get some food. Will the Police catch up with them and will they find Bandit’s mum Bluebell?

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