Authors: Kate McMullan
For all the lads in the BOYS READ, BOYS RULE BOOK CLUB who read
every DSA book: Charlie Adams, Jack Calabrese, Jack Lindly, Joseph Nelson,
Michael Nelson, Jonathan Oppenheimer, and Jonah Werbel of
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Falls Church City, VA
For KateâThank you for creating the DRAGON SLAYERS' ACADEMY
seriesâit was a fun ride! And to my three grandsons: Marco and
Stefano and Thomas, who are all just learning to read
GROSSET & DUNLAP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
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If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen
property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher, and neither the
author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any
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of copyrighted materials in violation of the author's rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
Cover illustration by Stephen Gilpin.
Text copyright Â© 2012 by Kate McMullan. Cover illustration copyright Â© 2012 by
Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Interior illustrations copyright Â© 2012 by Bill Basso. All rights
reserved. Published by Grosset & Dunlap, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group,
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014. DRAGON SLAYERS' ACADEMY and
GROSSET & DUNLAP are trademarks of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Printed in the U.S.A.
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011043284
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
By Kate McMullan
Cover illustration by Stephen Gilpin
Illustrated by Bill Basso
Grosset & Dunlap
An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
aisy, I am worried about Worm,” Wiglaf said to his pig as he sat beside her in a cozy corner of the henhouse at Dragon Slayers' Academy. “'Tis not like him to stay away for so long.”
Worm was a young dragon. Wiglaf and his friend Angus had watched him hatch from his egg, and they had raised the little pipling. He was grown now, but Wiglaf still thought of him as his baby dragon.
“Orm-way ill-way ome-cay ack-bay,”
said Daisy in Pig Latin, which she'd spoken ever since a wizard put a spell on her.
“I hope Worm will come back,” said Wiglaf. “And soon!”
A bell sounded.
“Egad!” Wiglaf jumped up. “I am late for Lady Lobelia's Table Manners class.”
Daisy's eyes grew wide.
“Lady Lobelia serves cheese and sausages in her class!” cried Wiglaf as he zoomed out of the henhouse. “'Tis a fine change from eel!”
Wiglaf ran across the castle yard into the castle. He sped down a hallway, rounded a corner, andâWHAM!âslammed into the belly of Mordred de Marvelous, DSA's well-fed headmaster.
“OOF!” gasped Mordred. “Why, you little guttersnipe! You nearly knocked into Lady Drippingwealth and Count Moneypots!”
“Sorry, sir!” cried Wiglaf. He looked up at a tall woman in a red gown and a dark-haired man in a red tunic who stood beside the headmaster.
“Clumsy clodhopper!” muttered Count Moneypots.
“Peasant!” sneered Lady Drippingwealth.
Mordred turned to his visitors. “Come!” he said. “Let me show you where we'll put the bingo parlor.”
Wiglaf pressed against the castle wall as the three swept past him.
he thought as he took off running for
Lady Lobelia's class. What was the headmaster up to now?
Wiglaf walked into the classroom to find Angus, Erica, and Janice sitting at a table. In front of them were platesâempty plates. He gasped. “Did I miss lunch?”
“Sadly, yes,” said Lady Lobelia. “But you're just in time for napkin folding!”
After class, the four friends headed out to the castle yard for scrubbing.
“What good sausages!” exclaimed Angus, rubbing his belly as they went.
“Do not talk of sausages!” cried Wiglaf. His stomach growled. “Let us talk of Worm. He is still missing.”
“We could go on a quest to find him,” said Erica.
Janice snapped the piece of Smilin' Hal's Tree Sap Gum she was chewing and raised a thumb in approval.
Wiglaf smiled. Erica was always ready to set off on a quest. In the years they'd been at DSA, they'd gone on dozens, and Erica always led the way.
“Where shall we go?” he asked.
“I've heard of a cave where dragons gather called Fire-Breathers' Lair,” said Erica. “Even if Worm isn't at the Lair, the other dragons may know his whereabouts.”
For the first time all day, Wiglaf felt hopeful.
“Where is this cave?” asked Janice.
“West of the Dark Forest,” said Erica.
“Uncle Mordred will never let us go,” said Angus, who was the headmaster's nephew. “Who would do the scrubbing?”
“I shall ask, anyway,” said Erica. “Right after class.”
Wiglaf smiled. With Erica in charge, Worm was as good as found!
Now out of the castle carrying a stack of greasy plates came Frypot, the school cook. “Cut the chatter and grab a platter!” he called.
Dunking grimy rags into buckets of slimy water, the students began washing dishes.
“Uncle Mordred has some strange visitors,” Angus whispered as he dunked a dish into the rinse water. “Did you see them?”
Wiglaf nodded and looked up from the plate he was scrubbing. “Andâthere they are now!”
Indeed, Mordred's violet eyes shone happily as he led Lady Drippingwealth and Count Moneypots toward the castle gate. He was smiling, and his gold front tooth glinted merrily in the sunlight.
“We'll throw a tent up over the castle yard and set up poker tables,” Mordred told his visitors.
Wiglaf and his friends watched the group walk through the gate to the drawbridge.
“Poker tables?” said Angus. “Something weird's going on.”
“That's why I love DSA!” cried Janice. “Something weird is
The four scrubbed the worst of the grease off the dishes and laid them on the scrubbing block to dry.
“Class dismissed!” said Frypot. “Unless,” he added, “one of you wants extra credit for scrubbing the eel cauldron.”
Wiglaf eyed the cauldron. It was coated with thick, green eel slime. The smell of it made him sick to his empty stomach.
“Ooh, please! I shall do it, sir!” cried Erica, who never could resist an extra-credit assignment. This was why she always won the Future Dragon Slayer of the Month Award.
Wiglaf nudged her. “But you must ask Mordred about our quest.”
“You ask,” said Erica, pushing up her sleeves. “I have work to do!”