The newly elected President of the World (a megalomaniac Parrot) sends Astropup and Marlow on a mission to capture a cat person. It’s the first time our hero, a space travelling dog, has had a human for a companion. They have a cunning plan, but even when you are with a cool-headed dude like Marlow, space is a dangerous place where anything can happen, and probably will.
Written by Bertie.
Read by Richard.
Proofread by Jana Elizabeth.
Astropup’s New Comrade –
This is Richard, and I’m here with a story about our space travelling dog, Astropup. As a brief reminder, the Parrot has been elected as the first President of the World. The last episode was told by Marlow – the Man with the laser gun. He explained how the Parrot summoned Astropup and Marlow to the presidential palace and ordered them to go on a mission. In this story, Astropup picks up the thread in his own voice.
Up until this point in my career, I had always shared my space adventures with my oldest and dearest friend, the Parrot. We had faced many a danger, and many a cat person together. It was understandable that he could not come with me on my next mission. Now he had an important job running the world, he was too busy to go gallivanting round the cosmos. And so I had a new companion. His name was Marlow. He differed from the Parrot in many respects. Where the Parrot was prone to flap, Marlow was calm. Where the Parrot liked to make long speeches in a variety of languages, Marlow was brief and to the point. And where the Parrot was a bird, Marlow was a human.
And so you could say that Marlow was an ideal comrade. But the truth was, I had no wish to go back into space at all, not with the Parrot, not with Marlow, not with anyone. Grrrrrrr.. I’m not a fan of the Universe. It’s both an eternity of tedium, and an aeon of scariness.
I had naively supposed that as my best friend was a Parrot in a powerful place, I could keep my paws firmly on the ground from now on. I was lulled into a false sense of delightful boredom by daily dullness and routine. So you can imagine how I reacted when he summoned me to the presidential palace and ordered me to go on a mission.
First I whimpered:
“Ow Ow Ow”
And then, when that did not work, I howled my head off.
“AWWWWWW AWWWW AWWWWW!”
“Please Mr Parrot Sir, don’t send me back up into the cold black unknown! You of all birds know how terrifying empty space can be … not a tree, not a blade of grass in sight for millions and millions of miles…”
But his heart was as hard as a macadamia nut. It seems that the higher the perch a bird sits on, the lower friendship ranks in his priorities. He puffed out his feathery chest and said, in the grave and pompous tone that parrots and people use when they become Presidents:
“Do I have to remind you that Every Dog Must Do his Duty?”
“I went for a walk in the park and did mine this morning,” I replied.
I think perhaps we were talking at cross purposes, because he started to hop on his perch, from one claw to another – and I knew from old that that meant he was narked.
“Enough!” he squawked. “I’ve no time for this canine gibberish. Guards, fetch the lead and take this hero to the launch pad.”
My claws scratched across the floor as they dragged me out of the audience chamber, snarling and whimpering. Only Marlow was able to calm me down when we reached the steps of the spaceship. He held my muzzle between his knees and stroked my head:
“There, there,” he said. “We’ve both survived space and lived to tell the tale before now, and this time we shall return too, I promise, if only because I want to annoy the heck out of the President by staying alive.”
Our task was nothing less than to capture a cat person. The scientists wanted to examine a specimen of this evil creation under the microscope. On our long and dull journey we had plenty of time to think things over. Marlow liked to chill out in his resting pod, listening to rock music. When he wanted to chat to me, he would put the speaker next to the radio mic so that Mission Control could not eavesdrop on us.
“You know,” he said, “nobody seriously expects us to succeed. I think it’s fair to say that this is a suicide mission.”
I gulped. “Isn’t that meant to be a bad sort of mission?” I said.
“The worst,” he replied. Even though he could not understand dog language, sometimes he seemed able to read my mind, or perhaps he just had the same thoughts that I did. Travelling together in space can do that. There’s nothing like it for bonding a man and a dog together.
I recalled how the Parrot would peck feverishly at the spaceship’s control panel, and forever seemed to be flicking switches and checking charts. Still, we always seemed to get lost. Marlow hardly did anything at all. At first I wondered if he couldn’t be bothered to do his job. It felt like we were flying through space in more or less any old direction. But then one day he said to me:
“Well, Astropup, just another few hours and we will be arriving in the Feline Sector of space, so keep your nose out for ships flown by cat people.”
Most of you listeners are human, so I had better explain that cats have a particular smell that only we dogs can catch. It travels through space faster than the speed of light – almost instantaneous it is. It was my duty to keep my nose attached to a special sensor so that I could pick up this terrible stench as an early warning system. It wasn’t a pleasant job, but some dog had to do it.
“How did we get to the Feline Sector so fast?” I wondered. As was his way, he replied just as if he could understand me.
“I took us down a worm hole in space that I learned about on my last mission,” he explained. “I programmed the route into the system before we lifted off the ground.”
Soon he put a cunning plan into action. When we were deep inside the sector, he turned off the main power system, and put the emergency lights on, to make it look like we had broken down. Then he sent out a May Day distress signal. It seemed like we were stranded in space and easy prey for a cat ship. The cat people would send ninjas to fetch us, and as soon as one or two of them were on board, we would trap them in the air lock, fire our booster rocket and shoot off down a worm hole. He explained it all to me, and asked me to woof three times to show that I understood.
“Woof Woof Woof Woof,” I replied.
“That was four times,” he said.
“Woof,” I said.
“Oh heck, I think you understand as well as you ever will,” he concluded.
Three days later, I was wondering if Marlow was so smart after all. Because he had turned the main power off, my biscuit dispenser had stopped working. I was getting SO hungry. There was still no sign of a cat ship. And then, on the fourth day, it all happened very fast.
The first thing I knew was that Marlow was saying: “Wake up Astropup, Wake up.” I opened one eye and saw that he was pointing out of the window. Gradually I uncurled myself from my floating basket, stretched, yawned, and looked up to see what had at long last got this ice chilled dude as close to being excited as he had ever been.
“Oh,” I said, “A ship.” The spec was still small, but it was growing fast as it flew towards us. Next our screen began to flicker. My favourite video, a cookery programme set in the kitchen of a real restaurant had been playing. Hmmmm it was so good you could almost smell the gravy. But it was interrupted by a totally fiendish image – the captain of a cat ship, dressed in an ugly peaked cap, was addressing us. Marlow pressed the translation button. He was saying:
“Earth ship, prepare to be boarded. Do not resist or we will not hesitate to open fire.”
“Action Stations” said Marlow. My task was to keep my nose peeled for any developments while Marlow went to the back of the ship to open the outer door, and let the cat people into the airlock. But they would not gain access to the whole ship. He would shut them in the cargo hold and we would fly back with them as captives.
As he was getting up to go, the big screen split into to halves. We were receiving a second communication.
“Calling Earth Ship, Calling Earth Ship,” said a voice. And the most amazing part of it was this: Although it was undoubtedly an alien voice, I could understand it without the translation service.
“That’s strange,” I thought. “Have I become clever?”
Then the picture came into focus and we saw a second image that was friendlier by far – the face of a dog. He was something like a black Labrador. He had four legs, just like me or any other Earth dog. But the weird, and I have to say slightly spooky thing was, he also had two arms with hands that came out the side of his body. He was, what scientists have since dubbed: ‘A hexapod,’ or six limbed animal. On Earth, insects have six legs, by the way.
“Earth people, do not let the cat people aboard,” he woofed – “We are sending our top technician over to you.”
“A dog who is a technician?” I thought. “One who might be able to fix a spaceship?” Well, this is a proud moment. I would like to take him with us back to Earth and prove to the Parrot that there is such a thing as Canine Intelligence.
“This could complicate things considerably,” said Marlow. Before he had time to explain further, we heard a banging and a woofing at the back door.
I barked back excitedly. Not just any old bark, but a woof that will go down in the history of space exploration. The first communication between an Earth Dog and a six legged Canine from another planet.
“I’d better let him in before the cat people get here and all our plans get totally confused,” said Marlow. He floated to the back of the ship, sort of swimming as you do in zero gravity. I would have loved to have gone with him because I could not wait to exchange sniffs of canine greeting with this remarkable creature.
It seemed like a long wait, but it was probably no more than five minutes or so. When Marlow returned, I asked:
“Did you let him in?”
“Yes, unfortunately,” said Marlow as he made his way to his control desk. And behind him followed a dog, holding in his strange limbs something that we had not expected or wished to see – a laser gun that was pointing at Marlow. Surely it was some misunderstanding.
“Greetings,” I said. “There’s no need for a weapon. Marlow is a dog’s best friend.”
The dog, who was something like a freakish Rottweiler, replied: “Stop yelping and fly this ship.”
“I wouldn’t know how,” I replied.
“Then how did you get here?”
“Marlow’s the one with the pilot’s licence,” I explained.
Marlow turned to him and said: “Shoot that laser gun inside here and we’re all done for.”
The Rottweiler clearly did not understand him, but he snarled to me, most viciously: “You’re prisoners of the Baskervillains Brigade. Tell him, your ugly friend, to start flying. Head for the third star on the left, and do it quick before the cat people get here. If you think I’m mean, wait till you fall into the cats’ claws.”
“I can woof all I like, but Marlow can’t understand our language,” I replied.
“Are you kidding me?” growled the freak. “Is this thing such a dumb life form?” His gun was pointing at me. Saliva was frothing out around his green gums. He was one scary-space hound. I began to whimper. We could already hear the cat people meowing and scratching on the sides of the ship. There were about twenty of them floating around us in space suits. Two of them were peering through the window and pointing guns at the dog. He raised his laser and took aim at one of them through the window. Oh No! He would blast the cat, but our spaceship too, and we would be done for.
“Don’t shoot!” called out Marlow. He pressed a button and the booster rocket fired. Our supposedly lame spaceship shot off leaving the bemused cat people behind.
Dear early commenters, you can’t always see the comments that have come before yours because I have to approve them before they appear on the site. But well done all of you for being so quick off the mark !
I thought you would have good dogs instead of bad ones!!!!!!!!!!
May 23, 2014
NISE JOB MARLO AND ASTROPUP
May 31, 2014
September 28, 2014
i like it
eric satterly —
October 7, 2014
October 13, 2014
Great story! But how are they going to complete their mission now, when they are completely abandoning their plan?
Such a cliff hanger!
October 13, 2014
More Astro Pup pleeeeeeeesssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ninga Girl —
October 25, 2014
Cool story thanks Richard.
October 29, 2014
You know I should think that the Hexapod dog would understand Marlow’s language if you agree with me say yes
November 8, 2014
Hi Anon, I think he does understand
November 8, 2014
i am iranian and i`m learning english here … thank you richard …
November 13, 2014
November 18, 2014
hihi cool cat
November 24, 2014
richard your awesome
December 9, 2014
Issy WOO/M.J.CO.UK —
December 18, 2014
I love the story!!!My fav part was when the Cat People boarded the ship
Keep making great Astropup Stories. 🙂 😀
Tiger girl —
January 28, 2015
A dog is beter
February 4, 2015
I love storynory
February 13, 2015
this is a really funny of the change of the voices
and the funny puppy.
March 10, 2015
best story ever can’t wait till i read the next one
April 14, 2015
June 23, 2015
Hey why is there a parrot in the story why not a fire breathing parrot
August 9, 2015
i love this story and i just want to here more
September 16, 2015
September 16, 2015
It is wonderful! I am your biggest fan! I listen to your stories since I was 5! I asked Bertie before if I can be in one of the Bertie series. My friend and I love your stories
Jennifer s.n. —
October 29, 2015
love the story, my son is doing a book report on it and needed inafo about the author like
when and where were they born. stuff like that
November 19, 2015
Sooo nice story?
December 3, 2015
really cool story
December 3, 2015
Bertie, I think you should make a new series about cats. Please answer Bertie and give me your approval. PLEAAAAAAAAAAAASE!!!!!!!
January 17, 2016
This is a fruity story
Alex (.)(.) —
January 21, 2016
It was awesome!
March 13, 2016
Got any recommendations for a 8 year old girl
Plz reply plz! Plz! Plz!
March 17, 2016
Yes.. There are lots of stories for girls on Storynory. Have you read our Katie the witch series? I can also recommend Gladys, and stories about Prince Bertie. Have a browse. Enjoy!
Jana Elizabeth —
March 18, 2016
Nice stories keep it coming
March 20, 2016
I like the story
May 13, 2016
Tr hungry for —
October 10, 2016
I love this story🐨
January 26, 2017
HI!,can you please please please please please please please please please please please please please make the dog get stuck at the pound (P.S. I LOVE THE BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,! x 1,000
February 2, 2017
Get going to new Astropup
February 16, 2017
Is there a story for 8 year old kids
August 18, 2017
October 4, 2017
October 9, 2017
Love this! Bertie does Astro pup have a space wolf friend named Galaxy wolf? plz reply I really want to know because I looove Wolves! Maybe you could do a story about Galaxy wolf!