PENYGHENT might be the smallest of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, but a climb to the top will leave most of us tired out - but who would have thought it was down to a mischievous sprite? Lesley Tate gives Penny The Sprite of Pen-y-Ghent, a read.

THOSE who have climbed Penyghent - the smallest and most popular of the Yorkshire Three Peaks - will almost definitely have found themselves more than a little worn out, unless of course they are a fell runner and are doing all three in less than four hours.

The vast majority of us, however, will find the 2,277ft climb to the top something of a challenge. But, how many of us will have put it down not in fact to the climb itself, but to to the presence of a mischievous sprite?

Retired teacher and one time Haworth book shop owner, Andrew Musgrave, says he came up with the idea of Penny Sprite, a ghostly spectre, while leading a walking group in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

"When I was out leading a walking group on the fells, one friend mentioned how inexplicably exhausted he felt when climbing the classic Pennine mountain, Penyghent," he said.

"Realising there must be a reason for his suffering, my idea of Penny Sprite materialised – the ghostly spectre that haunts any hiker who dares disrespect our countryside."

In Penny, the (vengeful and sweet-toothed) Sprite of Pen-y-Ghent, Andrew's two hikers set off up the fell, after spending a disturbed night camping in its foothills.

"While the trek starts off peaceably enough, the hikers are soon aware of something trailing at the back, and end up fleeing for their lives pursued by an avalanche of flying boulders," said Andrew.

Having found their 'perfect' hill to scale, the pair are aware of 'something quite sinister' trying to prevent them making steady progress up the fell.

Along the way, they encounter bog, they trip and the slope gets steadily steeper. It gets colder and colder, and the mists roll in.

At the summit, they are met by the sprite, who hurls stones at them as they slip and slide back down the fell, perhaps the fastest descent of any climber.

Andrew, who lives 'on the wrong side of the Yorkshire border' near Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, is a retired teacher.

He used to manage his shop, Nicky Nacky Nook, in Haworth.

Penny Sprite, which he illustrated himself, is his 25th publication.

"For many years I worked as a teacher in Yemen, which provided inspiration for the books Fun Runs and Guns, and Samak Fishing in Yemen. I also author walking guides for Kindle users, and readers may be familiar with my guides Ambling Along Pennine Paths," he said.

Andrew says the book is aimed at children, although adults will be equally entertained by its humorous tale.

I loved it, as would most older children and teenagers - younger children of a sensitive nature might find it a bit scary.

The images are great, I particularly liked the terrified faces of the climbers, their bloodied knees and dripping noses.

Then there is the anti-litter message, Penny is a warning to all those who disrespect the beautiful countryside by leaving litter behind. Leave litter at your peril, because if you do, Penny Sprite will find you and chase you back down the mountain.

Copies of Penny, the (Vengeful & Sweet-Toothed) Sprite of Pen-y-Ghent can be obtained from the Penyghent Café, Holme Farm Campsite in Horton in Ribblesdale, and on-line, or can be ordered from most book stores.