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The Little Vampire Takes a Trip

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About The Book

Rudolph the little vampire tags along on Tony’s family vacation in this spooky and funny third book in the classic middle grade Little Vampire series—perfect for readers who love Hotel Transylvania and The Addams Family!

When his parents plan a vacation to a farm, Tony and his friend Rudolph the little vampire hatch a plan for Rudolph to come along to keep Tony company. Rudolph needs to have his coffin with him so he can sleep during the day, so he takes the train instead of flying.

Can he make the trip without drawing too much attention to himself?

Excerpt

1. Checking the Map

Checking the Map
It was a mild spring evening. The sweet smell of jasmine filled the air, while moonlight bathed the neighborhood in a soft silver light.

As the big hand moved to twelve, the clock began to strike: one, two…

The little vampire sat at the top of a chestnut tree and quietly counted along: “… seven, eight, nine.” Nine o’clock—surely that wasn’t too early to visit his friend Tony? His parents must have left to go to the movies or to see friends, as they did almost every Saturday night.

This was always really great, thought the little vampire, because it meant that Tony had been able to accompany him on many of his nocturnal adventures. For example, the vampire ball, where Tony had dressed up as a vampire and danced with him so that the other vampires wouldn’t suspect that Tony was human. Tony had looked really funny when he was forced to look lovingly at the vampire as they danced.

The little vampire giggled. He was starting to get hot in his woolen tights and the two capes he was wearing, one of which was for Tony. He decided to fly to Tony’s window and knock.

The curtains in Tony’s room were closed, but the little vampire was able to peep into the room through a gap in the curtains. He saw Tony sitting on the floor, looking over a large map lit by the light of the desk lamp.

The vampire tapped on the window with his long fingernails, and, cupping his hands around his mouth, called out, “It’s me, Rudolph!”

Tony lifted his head. He looked startled at first, but then his expression brightened. He went to the window and opened it.

“Hello,” he said. “For a second there I thought you were Aunt Dorothee.”

The vampire laughed. “You don’t have to worry about Aunt Dorothee tonight. She’s flown off to a dance in the village,” he said as he climbed into the room.

“To dance?”

“Of course not. She’s probably lurking in front of the dance hall, waiting for the first guests to head home. And then…” He let out a cackling laugh, and Tony saw his pointy, needle-sharp fangs. As usual, they gave him goose bumps. “She actually can’t stand the people in the village,” the vampire continued cheerfully. “Last time, they all had so much to drink that Aunt Dorothee lay in her coffin for two nights before she felt well enough to go out again.”

“Yuuuck,” said Tony quietly. He preferred not to be reminded that vampires—including his best friend—survived on blood. Fortunately, Rudolph made sure he always ate before he came to visit.

The little vampire pointed to the map. “Homework?”

“No,” said Tony darkly. “I went to visit a farm with my parents this afternoon. Here, in the middle of nowhere.”

He pointed to a dot on the map, and the vampire leaned forward to read the place-name: “Little Ol’ Molting.”

“Yup, that’s the name of the Podunk town,” said Tony. “My parents want to spend a week on a farm there.”

“Alone?”

“No, I have to go with them, of course. Dad says they’ll be able to really relax there, far away from the noise of the big city, breathing fresh country air, going for walks….” At these last words, Tony sounded so disgusted that the little vampire had to laugh.

“It can’t be that bad,” he said.

“How would you know?” exclaimed Tony, his face turning red with anger. “Only cows, clucking chickens, and neighing horses as far as the eye can see. And absolutely nothing to do!”

“What about riding?”

“Pah, riding! On those old swayback things!”

“How about on a tractor?”

“Bo-ring! I want to go on vacation somewhere where you can really have fun. But in Little Ol’ Molting—” Upset, he ran his finger over the map. “Just listen to the names of the towns around it: Big Ol’ Molting, Deadmoulton, Old Cairn, New Cairn. What on earth could possibly be exciting about those nowhere towns?”

Tears welled up in Tony’s eyes, and he quickly wiped them away so that the little vampire wouldn’t notice. His parents had planned a week’s vacation and hadn’t even asked his opinion! They’d decided on a farm in the middle of nowhere and expected him to be happy about it!

Now, he would have known where to go! A real resort, for example, with a swimming pool, lots of restaurants, movie theaters, clubs. But they hadn’t even considered what he might’ve wanted!

“It sounds pretty nice to me,” said the vampire.

“Not to me!” said Tony, frustrated. Then he paused. He had an idea. “You really think so?” he asked.

“Well, the place-names sound promising—as if there could be vampires there. You might get to know a few, if you walk through Little Ol’ Molting cemetery after dark,” said the little vampire.

“Me?” said Tony cryptically, and with a grin, he added, “We!”

The vampire looked confused.

“Whadda you mean, ‘we’?”

“I mean,” said Tony, “you’re coming with me. If we go together, it’ll be the most exciting vacation ever!”

“But—” The vampire was speechless.

“Didn’t you just say it sounded pretty nice?” Tony reminded him.

“I meant for you.”

“What’s good for me is good for you. Or are we not friends?”

“But—”

“And didn’t I help you when you were banished from the crypt and left homeless with your coffin? Didn’t I hide you in the basement?”

“But—”

“Well, now you can do something for me!”

The vampire turned away and began to chew his nails. “It’s all too sudden for me,” he murmured miserably. “We vampires don’t make hasty decisions!”

“Who said anything about hasty?” exclaimed Tony. “We’re not leaving until next Sunday. We have plenty of time to figure everything out. Like how we’re going to send your coffin to Little Ol’ Molting, for example.”

The vampire winced. “But what if it gets lost on the way?” he whined. “That would be the end of me!”

“Exactly. That’s why we have to plan everything carefully. Maybe we could—”

At that moment, they heard voices at the front door.

“My parents!” exclaimed Tony, frightened. “They never come back this early.”

In one jump the vampire was on the windowsill with his cape spread out.

“Come back tomorrow night!” Tony called after him. “We’ll work out the rest of the details.”

About The Author

Burghardt Bodenburg

Angela Sommer-Bodenburg is the author of several fantasy books for children. Her most famous contribution to the field of children’s fantasy is The Little Vampire series which has sold over 10 million copies and has been translated into over thirty languages. Sommer-Bodenburg states that her “vampire is not a bloodthirsty monster, however, but an affectionate little vampire with fears and foibles who will perhaps help free children of their own fears.” The novel, written in 1979, spawned a series of books, and the plot has been adapted to theater, radio, cinema, and television. A Canadian German TV series was released in 1986 and a film version, directed by Uli Edel was released in 2000.

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More books in this series: The Little Vampire