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Matti & Mika: Spring Meltdown: Chapter 7 Matti & Mika: Spring Meltdown: Chapter 7
by Thanos K & Asa B
2007-03-13 10:16:22
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Outside the shelter of the fallen tree's roots the snowstorm still raged, but Matti now felt a great deal stronger after a long sleep and a few bites of a chocolate biscuit. He had shared his biscuit with his new friend Chalky the Duck and was getting to know him, but the sight of some plants Mika would have loved to eat had distracted him. “What are you thinking about, Mr. Matti?” asked the grey duck after a few minutes of silence, "You looked like you were a few miles away from here, although I can't blame you with weather like this!"

Matti shook his head clear of the thoughts and realized he had been daydreaming about a certain moose. “Sorry Mr Chalky, I was thinking about my friend Mika and whether he is alright with the storm and everything!” Naturally the duck knew all about the moose and the adventures even though he had only just met Matti – it was one of the stories the magpie told everybody within the first few moments of meeting them. Actually, Matti hadn't told the whole truth about what he had been thinking, since it was a bit embarrassing – if Mika had been with him he would have had two whole biscuits rather than having to share one with Mr Chalky.

Mika had also worried about the safety of his little friend but he had found the place the elf had suggested and was now safe and warm, eating his share of the sandwich that had popped out of his hat. After he had finished the sandwich he checked his hat again and was surprised to find a small chocolate biscuit. He smiled, since it was going to be the first biscuit he would eat since they left Santa’s workshop; unfortunately, the little magpie was under the impression Mika didn't eat chocolate biscuits and felt it his duty to consider all chocolate biscuits his property. Mika swallowed the last of the biscuit, licked the crumbs from his hoof and drifted off to sleep.

Matti could not sleep. His head was busily trying to calculate the distance he had flown and how much further was needed to arrive in the south. It seemed as though the duck wasn’t ready to sleep either, “I don't mean to be nosy, Mr. Chalky, but why are you here? Shouldn’t you be in the south?” The duck licked his lips to catch any last crumbs and then changed his face to a very serious look, “I had an accident that nearly cost me my very life!” Matti was even more wide awake now and ready to hear about another bird's adventure, although this one sounded scarier than his.

“It was sometime during the period when the leaves turn brown and orange, the rains start to fall and the world gets a little colder. My folks had started gathering for the big travel when we started to see more and more humans near the lake.” Humans are fine, thought the small magpie, he knew one human, Santa Claus and he had seen some asleep while they were delivering the presents and they seemed really nice. “And then when we were ready to start, one of these humans lifted something like a funny stick in his hands and before we could see what it was a deafening explosion filled the air and fire hit us all.” Of course, since the duck had also told his story afew times he knew how to make it really exciting with sound effects, "BANG!" The little black bird fell over backwards and rolled out of the shelter into the snow.

“What was that?” gasped the magpie when he managed to calm his heartbeat again. “That was hunters, my little shaken friend!” The magpie stared at the duck, “Oh, they can't be humans; they are other animals, maybe something like wolves?” A deep laugh came from the duck that reminded Matti of the nasty swan, “They are humans alright and they hunt birds!” The small magpie could not believe it, “Are you teasing me, Mr. Chalky? I have met a human and he is a good and sweet man, wise and always ready to help; he even gave food and hot chocolate! He never tried to hunt me.”

The duck looked sad and tires, “I don’t really know what you are talking about little bird, the humans I know like to hunt and catch birds, especially ducks. They like to catch us and keep us in small cages, and then nobody really knows what they do to us, although there are many stories in the forest but you are too young to hear. I can tell you one thing: When you see humans just fly away as fast you can. That’s why I am here!” and with that he presented his right wing. Matti didn't see anything at first in the bad light but he suddenly noticed feathers were missing and there was a serious wound that would take a long time to heal.

That night was a very difficult one for Matti, he imagined that explosions were coming from everywhere and even felt his wings burning. He kept waking up and checking the opening of the shelter to make sure that there were no humans around carrying dangerous sticks and every time he saw a shadow moving in the dark he was ready to fly into the storm far, far away! In the morning he was exhausted and found that the duck had gone, but the storm had gone and blue sky had reappeared.

The duck hadn’t given any advice on how to deal with all these hunters, but if knew then why did he get his wing damaged. The little bird finished his poor breakfast, checked the position of the sun to find south and took off. This time he didn't fly as high and kept a careful watch on the ground in a case one of these human hunters would appear. He was concentrating so hard on what could be below him that he didn’t see the black spot moving in closer from above!

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