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Chapter 3 – The Cheetah and Howler Monkey

Approaching the treasure chest, Edward very carefully placed his fingers on the latch. Jo and Nora watched on with excitement as they started to imagine what the other contents of the chest could be. Taking a deep breath, Edward flicked up the latch with a swift gentle touch. CLICK. The lid of the chest crept open, revealing the glow and treasures which they saw in the cave previously. The Kings crown, the jewels, the 1000 coins and necklaces were all in the box, along with one other thing.

‘What is it Edward?’ enquired Jo. Looking on, he saw Edward fish out 6 pieces of crumpled up paper, each torn. ‘I think it’s supposed to be a map of some sort, let’s put it together and see.’ Scratching their heads, they each took a part of the map, and started to piece it together like a puzzle. Unlike other puzzles or jigsaws they pieced together before, this was by far the hardest, it was like an unbreakable code. With a lot of time, patience (and cellotape!) they finally managed to piece the map together. Nora purred with satisfaction.

A light bulb shone above Jo’s head, ‘Don’t you see Edward, now we can find our way, this will lead us to the next part of your adventure’. At the bottom of the page, a clue was left and it said:

‘Look up at the sky, and you will see me. I only come out at night. I fell from the sky to help you on your quest. You’ll find me in the jungle chest.’

‘It’s a star we need to find, and it looks like it’s in the jungle in Brazil according to this map’ said Jo.‘I wonder why we need a star to help us on our journey?’ pondered Edward. Before they could think anymore, they turned the rocket the right way up and like the star they were trying to find, they shot off across the sky. As they cascaded through the clouds, they could feel the warmth of the sun and the humidity of the jungle the closer they got to Brazil.

Steered by Nora, the rocket darted into the jungle, with the vines and trees catching the vessel, tangling it in a messy green web. Opening the door, Edward, Nora and Jo swung to the jungle floor using the vines. Reaching the floor of the Jungle, they felt like they were tiny ants in a garden, not even Edward had seen a place of this size before, not even in the royal Gem Gardens. Everything was ‘huge’.  Taking out the map, they searched for a landmark which would show them where they were. ‘Well, we’re by a tree…is there a tree on the map’, asked Edward. Nora and Jo looked at each other in despair. ‘Of course we’re by a tree, we’re in a jungle!’ laughed Jo.

Stumbling around looking for the right way, Edward, Jo and Nora started their long trek into the jungle, hoping they were heading in the right direction. On their travels, they saw a colourful carnival of beasts of all shapes and sizes, some with feathers others with scales, some which crawled and others that leapt. Leading the way, was the dotty Cheetah. ‘He looks like a leader, he will know the way I’m sure’ said Jo.

‘Excuse me Mr. Cheetah, can you help us please?’ asked Edward. The cheetah, shifted his narrow eyes from side to side, curling his body around to inspect these strange creatures that fell from the sky.

‘I am Speedo the Cheetah, you can trust me. How can I help you?’ said the Cheetah, twisting his tail slowly for side to side.

‘Well, I’m on my first adventure and I’m looking for a treasure chest that contains a magic star.’ Do you know where me and my friends have to go?’ said Edward.

Licking his lips, the Cheetah said ‘I will show you where to go, but first why don’t you have a rest in my cave as it looks like you have been traveling for a long while, and all adventurers need to eat some time…follow me.’

Leaving the animal parade behind, the 3 adventurers followed Speedo deeper into the jungle. The journey to Speedo’s den was paved with bones, which was rather peculiar Jo thought. Stepping over the skulls, a whisper could be heard in the trees.  As the Cheetah stopped at the waterhole to drink, Edward followed the whispers into the trees.

‘Turn around before it’s too late. I am the howler Monkey and I always tell the truth. Speedo is a trickster who is leading you into his deathly trap. I know of the chest of which you seek, follow my friends and we’ll be there in under a week’.

Hundreds of howler monkeys sprung and swung from the trees, gathering up Nora and Edward, with Jo running close behind…with Speedo in toe. ‘Don’t look behind you Jo, just keep on running, reach for the howler monkeys!’ shouted Edward. Leaping for his life, Jo somersaulted to the safety of the trees, leaving Speedo roaring with rage on jungle floor, ‘You will curse the day you met me, there will be consequences!’.

Guided by the howler monkeys, the adventurers reached the Tree of Secrets, the home of the howler monkeys. The howler monkeys guarded the secrets of the forest, hiding away anything that was ever lost or waiting to be found. ‘Wait here, I know what it is you’re looking for’ said the chief howler monkey. The adventurers watched as the chief lifted up a trap door and brought out a small silver netted bag.

‘Thank you!’ echoed the adventurers. As he inspected the bag, Edward discovered a tag that was tied to the lid of the bag which read…

Please handle the Northern Star with care. It contains 3 wishes – use wisely.

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