Sue Clarke

It was the winter holidays and Jamie and his sister Jasmine were on a plane. It was their first skiing holiday and Jamie was so excited.


“I can’t wait to go skiing,” he said, “and all that sun and snow will be wonderful!”

The plane landed at a small airport and very soon Jamie and Jasmine and their parents were in a small, cosy hotel at the bottom of a mountain. They went outside and looked. They saw huge mountains all around them.

“Tomorrow I want to go up a mountain,” said Jamie.

They went back inside the hotel. There was a big fireplace and it was warm. In front of the fire they saw a big brown dog. It was asleep and snoring happily.

Jasmine liked dogs. She patted the dog on the head. It opened one eye and yawned. Jasmine saw the dog’s name on his collar – Bruno. The dog looked at Jasmine and smiled. Then he closed his eyes, crossed his paws and went back to sleep.

“What a nice dog,” said Jasmine. “He’s a big old softie.”

They left the warm firelight and went upstairs to bed. In no time at all Jamie was dreaming of speeding up and down mountains as a champion skier.

The next day they put on their special skiing jackets, trousers and boots. They took their skis and went out for their first skiing lesson.

At first they both fell over in the snow. Then the teacher, Monsieur Laurent, told them to bend their knees and they were off! Slowly at first they moved across the gentle slope - then a bit faster.

The next day they had another skiing lesson and this time they didn't fall over! By the end of the week they could balance and ski around.

They went up the mountain in the chair lift. They sat in the special seat and went high into the sky. They could see the mountain tops and the blue sky. Then they skied back down the mountain. It felt wonderful. The wind rushed past them and they felt as free as birds.

"Whee!" shouted Jasmine. "I can ski! It's fantastic!"

The second week of the holiday began. One day when they arrived on the slope it was very early. No-one was around.

"Come on!" said Jamie. "We can't wait for the others. Let's go up the mountain."

"Okay," said Jasmine. "We can ski on our own now."

So they took the chair lift up to the top of the mountain. It was a beautiful morning as they went up the mountains. Only a few white clouds hovered in the distance.

They got out at the top of the mountain. They were really a long way up. They looked down at the village. They could only see small matchbox houses and the people walking round were ants.

Jamie and Jasmine set off down the mountain at top speed. Jasmine felt afraid. This mountain was much steeper than the others and it was more dangerous. She felt herself going out of control and fell into some soft green trees.

Luckily she wasn't hurt. Jamie stopped and turned back.

"Are you okay?" he shouted from a distance. He had to shout very loud.

"Yes, I'm alright," she shouted back.

Then Jasmine heard a low rumbling noise from the other side of the mountain. She looked across and saw that the clouds were black. The noise continued…and then she saw it. A huge sheet of white snow was heading towards Jamie.

"Jamie, ski quickly!" she shouted. "It's an avalanche!"

She set off to ski as fast as she possibly could. She could hear the swish of Jamie's skis behind her. The rumbling noise grew louder.

And then suddenly everything was dark.

Down below in the village there was panic. Luckily the avalanche was on the other side of the mountain so the village was not in danger. But Jamie and Jasmine's parents were worried. Where were the children?

The search began. The police helicopter flew over and over the mountain and the village but could find no sign of the children. The rescue patrols set off up the mountain. They took many men and dogs.

They hunted and hunted but all they found were sheets of pure white snow. The weather was worse. The dark clouds brought rain and then more snow. It was almost impossible to search.

In the late afternoon as it was getting dark the search patrolled once more. They headed towards some green trees. Suddenly a dog started barking loudly and jumping up and down. It was Bruno, the hotel dog. He came out of the trees carrying a boot. It was one of Jamie's

"Here!" shouted the men. "They must be here!"

They followed Bruno the dog into the trees. He sniffed around for a while and then started barking. The men dug in the snow. They found Jamie's body lying underneath. He was still breathing.

The men took the dog and searched all around the trees. Bruno ran this way and that until finally he found what he was looking for. He barked on the spot.

They pulled Jasmine out of the snow. She groaned. Then she opened her eyes and saw the dog.


The police rescue helicopter arrived and took the two children to hospital. Their parents were waiting with the doctor. After a week Jasmine felt much better. Jamie had a broken leg and was walking with crutches. No more skiing this year!

The next afternoon they had a special visitor. It was Bruno the big brown dog. Jasmine patted his head and said, "Thank you Bruno, you saved our lives." They put a medal on his collar. It said 'Bruno the Brave'. The dog barked happily, then lay down by the fire, crossed his paws and went to sleep.