Sam had just drifted off to sleep when Pojo felt his paws start to itch. He eased himself off the bed and crept towards the rocks glowing in the corner of the room that they had picked up on their walk earlier. As he picked one up it burped quietly and let off a smelly green gas bubble. Pojo thought it smelt wonderful better than any fox poo.
When he opened them he found himself in a huge room staring at a large screen with the words NASA above it. People were bustling around with clipboards and shouting at each other. As he was watching the screen he suddenly noticed that the room had gone very quiet. He turned his head and saw a lot of eyes on him. He gulped.
“Where did you come from?” said a bald-headed man looking down at him.
“I’m Pojo and I’m from England, nice to meet you,” replied Pojo.
“And how on earth did you get in here?” asked the bald-headed man.
“Well I just picked up this rock and here’s where it brought me,” replied Pojo showing the man the glowing rock in his paw.
“Oh my word, is that a ‘Burping Rock’? Where did you get that? That’s exactly what this mission’s for, to get some more of those as we need them to save the world.”
“Well I sniffed it when I was out with my owner, Sam and we just put it on the shelf but every now and then it glows green, burps and lets off this wonderful smelly bubble,” replied Pojo.
“Hmm,” replied the man stroking his chin and looking at Pojo with narrowed eyes.
“How do you travel?” asked the man
“Well I just get itchy paws and then I know that I’m off on a little adventure,” replied Pojo
“Ever been to space before?”
“Nnno,” stuttered Pojo
“Ok, stay there,” replied the man who walked over to some others.
A few minutes later the man reappeared with another tall fair-haired man. “Here he is, says he and his owner found the rock so they kept it. He picked it up and this is where it brought him. What do you think, could you take him with you Tim?”
The fair-haired man looked Pojo up and down, “well it would be a first to take a dog into space and he could be quite useful as these rocks are supposed to be guarded by that blessed space cat. He could distract her while we get the rocks we need and re-fuel the power station to save us all.”
Pojo looked from one to the other. “You’re serious about me coming with you aren’t you?” asked Pojo
“Yes,” replied the bald-headed man.
“What’s your name again?” asked the fair-headed man
“I’m Pojo, pleased to meet you,” said Pojo holding out his paw.
“Well Pojo these rocks are critical to saving our planet but at least that small rock that you’ve brought with you will help to keep us going for a bit longer but we desperately need to get to Planet Belch, so come on let’s get you kitted up and I’ll explain our mission on the way,” said the man called Tim. “Follow me.”
Pojo and Tim marched down a long white corridor. Tim stepped in front of some white double doors and pressed his finger to an electronic pad. The door silently slid open and they walked into a sterile white room. Two other men were busy laying out an astronaut’s suit. They looked up in surprise when they saw Pojo.
“Fred, Hank, can you get me that space suit you were working on last week, we’re going to need it quicker than we’d planned,” said Tim.
“Are you taking him with you, Tim?” said the guy with Hank on his badge.
“Yes,” replied Tim
“Ok, I’ll get it ready now,” replied Hank, slightly puzzled.
“Right Pojo we’ll be taking off in the next two hours so we’ll get you kitted out and then we’ll be ready for take off.”
“Oh ok Tim. Have we got some snacks for the trip?” asked Pojo
“Haha, yes we’ve got some dog biscuits so don’t worry,” laughed Tim.
Pojo and Tim got into their space suits and made their way to the rocket. Pojo’s eyes widened “Wow it’s just like the pictures in Sam’s books,” said Pojo
“Who’s Sam?” asked Tim
“He’s my owner,” replied Pojo, “but don’t worry he’s used to my adventures. He knows that if I get itchy paws I’ll be off but he knows I always come back to him.”
“Well Pojo if you can sniff out these rocks and get them back you’ll be quite the hero. Not only do we need them to save our planet but you’ll also be the first dog in space.”
“No pressure then,” chuckled Pojo.
Tim and Pojo got themselves strapped in. The engines roared into life and the countdown began over the loudspeaker. There was a judder and Pojo felt the rocket take off, forcing him back into his seat. They soared through the sky, up through the clouds and before he knew it they had broken through the earth’s atmosphere into outer space. Pojo looked down and saw the blue and white earth below and everything suddenly seemed to slow down.
“Are you ok Pojo?”
Pojo nodded, he was too frightened to speak and not quite sure how his words would come out.
“Everything will feel like we’re in slow motion Pojo because of gravity but don’t worry you’ll soon get used to floating about,” said Tim.
“Now here’s what we’ve got to do. When we land on Planet Belch we need to find these rocks but it seems that they are being guarded by a cat. By all accounts she’s a vicious little thing and you need to watch her eyes, she can freeze anything with those laser eyes and we don’t want you getting lost in space. She guards the rocks and her meows are earth shattering but apparently she sounds like she’s crying so she’s been nicknamed Grizzabella.”
Before long they landed on Planet Belch with a bump and Tim anchored their spaceship to the space station that had previously been built there.
After a few snacks of dried biscuits Tim set up the cameras to look outside of the spaceship and to see if Grizzabella could be located. Pojo thought he would go for a look around but as soon as he unfastened his harness he floated straight to the top of the spaceship. Tim looked up and found him paddling against the roof but not going anywhere. Tim laughed. “Oh dear Pojo sorry you need to keep yourself tied so that you can float but can always get back down.”
“Sorry Tim, I’m not used to this floating lark,” replied Pojo.
Tim pulled Pojo back down and showed him what he could see through the telescopes he was using.
“Look Pojo. Can you see that green glow over there?”
“Well that’s where I think the rocks might be,” replied Tim
“How are we going to get over there?” asked Pojo
“We’ll use the moon buggy,” said Tim. “C’mon let’s go now, the sooner we get those rocks the quicker we can get back home.”
Tim and Pojo floated out of the rocket towards the moon buggy that was fastened to the side. The buggy bounced up and down over the rocky surface as they approached the green glow. “I can smell them, that’s definitely them,” Pojo said as they got closer. Just then they saw the orange pointed ears of Grizzabella. She was sat on top of a large red wall with her back to them surveying the rocks in front of her, with her tail swishing from side to side.
“Oh dear, she’s guarding the rocks so we’re going to have to distract her,” said Tim
“Well that should be easy Tim, cats are usually frightened of dogs so she’ll take one look at me and she’ll be gone.”
“Well let’s hope you’re right Pojo but if the rumours are to be believed you’ll need to be careful of that evil stare of hers, you don’t want to be frozen on the spot.”
Tim parked the moon buggy in a crater so they wouldn’t be seen. They decided to creep either side of Grizzabella so either one of them could distract her and grab some rocks.
Pojo spotted Grizzabella cleaning herself and thought he would make his move but due to the lack of gravity he couldn’t move as fast as normal and he bounced up and down but didn’t get very far.
Grizzabella spotted him out of the corner of her eye, she arched her back and hissed at him. Her eyes narrowed as they eyed each other up. Pojo remembered what he’d been told about her laser stare and hid behind one of the rocks. The rocks bubbled and burped all around him and Pojo realised that he could use them as a distraction. Pojo noticed Tim putting some rocks into a box but before he knew it Grizzabella was beside him, hissing, her back arched. Tim who was shovelling rocks into the container, noticed what was going on and realised that Pojo could be in trouble. He put the box of rocks into the trailer and rode near to where Pojo was. He got out of the buggy and thought he would distract Grizzabella but she caught sight of him and lasered him with her eyes. Tim got caught and froze to the spot.
Pojo knew he didn’t have long to act if he was to defeat Grizzabella, he managed to get back behind the wall and get back to the buggy while Grizzabella was looking around to see where he had disappeared to. Pojo noticed the buggy had two wing mirrors. He stood behind them and aimed them at Grizzabella. She shot her laser eyes at him, the lasers bounced off the mirror and Grizzabella was frozen to the spot. Not knowing how long he’d got Pojo rode the buggy to Tim and he pushed him into the trailer. Pojo picked up some more rocks, put a few in his pocket and sealed the container that Tim had been filling.
Pojo rode the buggy back to the spaceship as Tim started to come round.
“Pppojo, how did you manage to escape Grizzabella’s stare?”
“While she was distracted with you I managed to get to the buggy and when she tried to freeze me with her stare I positioned the mirror and it rebounded on her so she froze to the spot.”
“Well done, brilliant idea Pojo.”
Tim peered into the container. “Looks like we’ve got enough rocks thankfully, so let’s get back home”
They secured the container down, got back into their positions and Tim fired up the rocket to make their return.
As they re-entered the earth’s atmosphere the rocks in Pojo’s pocket started burping and gave off their noxious gas. Tim passed out and the rocket landed with a bump but when Pojo came round he found himself back in Sam’s bedroom with his spacesuit still on.
As Sam woke up Sam’s mum came running into the bedroom with a copy of the newspaper. “We’ve all been saved,” she cried, “look they’ve managed to get those rocks back to earth. That astronaut is in hospital after they crashed to earth but apparently he’s on the mend. It seems he was overcome with the fumes from some of the rocks but they couldn’t work out how as the box stayed sealed. Still at least all is ok now Sam.”
As Sam’s mum walked out of the bedroom Sam looked at Pojo and spotted a green glow coming from his pocket. “Pojo would you know anything about that?” Pojo gave a sneaky smile, he just loved that stinky smell.The end