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While eating a bowl of ice cream the other day, I had a sudden recollection of a scene from a story I'd read some time ago—however, I can't actually remember many details beyond the scene that triggered my nostalgia, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to help me.

This would have been a children's book of some sort. Chapters, not a picture book. Most likely it was what would be called middle grade today, I think? I read it at least ten years ago, probably closer to fifteen—it had sort of a late-1990s/mid-2000s fantasy vibe, if I'm remembering it right, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if that was when it was published. However, it could potentially be earlier or slightly later than that.

My vague recollections:

  • It was set in the modern world, or something similar to the modern world but with magic.
  • There was a character—male, I think, but I don't remember if he was a boy or an adult man--who for some reason had to hide this fantasy creature. Most likely from people who didn't know magic, I think. (I don't think hiding this creature was the main plot, however. I think it was one piece of a larger "exploring magic and magical world" plot.)
  • This creature was… some sort of fantasy beast. Perhaps a young dragon? Or some sort of small mammalian fantasy creature? I remember it being the size of a cat or small dog, but much more able to cause mischief and destruction.
  • The creature loved chocolate, absolutely more than anything else. It would go crazy for the stuff. (I think perhaps it hadn't had any before meeting the human characters, and became obsessed on realizing how good it tasted?) It could be bribed with chunks of chocolate to behave, but it would also become totally fixated if it sensed there was chocolate nearby it couldn't have—like a puppy with a treat.
  • This dragon wasn't a talking creature or anything like that, to my memory. It was treated more like a pet. However, it was much more intelligent than any real-world pet, it just had a very animalistic sort of perspective on the world. There were a few scenes from its POV, though they were short and not at all the bulk of the story.

The specific scene I remember:

The dragon/creature/whatever had earlier smelled a chocolate factory or chocolate store of some sort, and had become desperate to get into it. The human tried to stop it, but it slipped away and managed to get inside. The next scene was from its perspective, and was written as this creature basically being in Heaven as it gorged itself on chocolate. There was a description in particular of it trying… dark chocolate ice cream, I think? by just launching itself into the carton headfirst and eating straight into it, and how good the cold chocolate tasted. Just lots and lots of taste descriptions.

(I think, later, there was a scene of the human later finding the creature essentially gorged too full too move, surrounded by an empty carton and torn up wrappers and such, and having to smuggle it away again.)

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Hatching Magic (2003) by Ann Downer-Hazell.

From Goodreads:

"You never know when magic will hatch…" Poor Theodora Oglethorpe! Her biologist father has gone off to explore the jungles of Laos without her, her best friends are away on vacation, and a long, hot, lonely Boston summer is all she has to look forward to.

Poor Gideon! Wycca, his pet wyvern, has disappeared through a magic hole in time in search of a place to lay her egg. Kobold, Gideon's wizard rival, wants nothing more than to get his hands on Wycca. In a desperate attempt to rescue Wycca from Kovold's evil clutches, Gideon follows her through the magic hole… and finds himself transported from thirteenth-century England to the terryfyingly modern world of Boston, Massachusetts, in the twenty-first century.

Soon Theodora's involved with a chocohlic baby wyvern, a mysterious wyvern playing card, a couple of desperate wizards -- and the summer vacation of her life!

More specifically, this is the scene you are remembering:

There were strong smells, the sour reek of ripe garbage and old beer, mingled with delicious smells of coffee brewing and meat slowly smoking, and from the vents of laundry rooms, the smell of clean towels drying in the dryer. Wycca sorted the smells carefully, but she did not smell—
Wait.
Was it—?
Could it—?
It was.
It was different, not melting and soft and gooey and sweet with cherry fondant filling. It was cold, its aroma more subtle, trapped in ice crystals, but there was no mistaking it.
It was chocolate.
The back door of Coneheads Ice Cream was open, and the screen door had been left on the latch. […]

Wycca lowered her beak into the stainless-steel bowl and sampled the frozen chocolate. She drew her beak back in surprise, rolling the crunchy bits around in her beak with her black, muscular tongue. Deciding she liked this unfamiliar texture and new taste, she gave a greedy squeal and dipped her head back in.
Soon Wycca had climbed into the bowl of the churn, burrowing headfirst into the ice cream. Immersed in frozen chocolate, the wyvern began to eat, her purrs blending in with the loud hum of the large restaurant freezers.


Found with the Google query fantasy book creature "who * chocolate" site:goodreads.com/book, in the usually uncharted fourth page of results; the query matched this review:

I read this book when I was little and I don't remember a lot about it other than that there was a lady wyvern who loved chocolate and a small baby wyvern. And that I thought it was very cute.

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    I did not know you could use * in a Google search. Thanks! Apr 28, 2020 at 18:47
  • @RossPresser you're welcome! There's some useful info on Google search operators here, and if you're interested in hunting story-ID answers with those, I detailed how I usually proceed on Meta :)
    – Jenayah
    Apr 28, 2020 at 19:45

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