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Matti & Mika: Spring Meltdown: Chapter 8 Matti & Mika: Spring Meltdown: Chapter 8
by Thanos K & Asa B
2007-03-22 10:16:15
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Left, right, left, right, left…Matti's little head flicked back and forth trying to spot one of these dangerous hunters of which the duck had warned. Matti actually felt quite dizzy and the chocolate cookie sitting in his belly now didn't seem such a good idea. Did that bush down there just move? No, it was just the wind…a noise rumbled up from his stomach and Matti gave a small in-flight burp. Oh dear, the nerves, the dizziness and the exhaustion was beginning to become all too much for him to bear…burp!

What happened next all flashed by in just a few seconds, so fast, in fact, that Matti would never know exactly what had taken place. As Matti had burped, a weird sensation had tickled the back of his neck…something was above him and getting closer and closer very quickly. The air changed around him, all noise was silenced and a flash of black and sharp claws swooped past his pale face. Matti's belch had changed his straight route and this had been enough to avoid the dive of the attacking bird.

Attacking bird? Well, this was question Matti would ask later but now he was acting without even thinking. Before the other bird could climb back above him, Matti dropped to earth and crashed through the snow-covered branches and buried himself deep inside a tree. Matti let out a breath, the first since his burp a few moments ago, and tried to understand what was happening. It couldn't the hunters with their sticks of fire because it had come from above, so what was it and why did it want to hurt him.

Matti peeked out from his hiding place and looked up into the sky. His heart jumped when he spotted the huge black shape circling menacingly overhead and he almost let out a gasp of fright when he realised what it was. Matti couldn't believe it at first, he thought they were a myth, a legend, something that mummy magpies told children to make them behave, but now a real Svalbardian Ice Eagle was hovering over him.

He suddenly remembered his Dad telling a scary story many years ago about an encounter with one of the largest eagles in the world, but everybody had laughed when Mum had said it was just a large Arctic crow. Matti wasn't laughing now, in fact he wasn't making a single sound…even his belly had stopped burping and rumbling. “Where are you, little bird? Please come out and let me see you!” the Ice Eagle's voice vibrated through every bone in Matti's body and made each individual feather quiver in terror.

“I know you are in there somewhere, so why not come out and talk!” The Ice Eagle swooped down at the trees and then climbed back up into the sky where it continued to circle. The eagle's wings were almost longer than Mika's body and the sharp talons on both feet appeared to sparkle, which made Matti shake even more knowing that they were meant for him. “Where are you, little bird? Why don't you come out and join me for some dinner?” Matti couldn't take his eyes off the sky and felt himself becoming hypnotised by the circling eagle above him.

Matti knew that if he answered his hiding place would be discovered, since these eagles had incredible hearing and could spot tiny mice scurrying about from high in the sky. What could he do? He knew that he had no chance to fight the eagle and that he could never fly faster than one, so what was left but to stay still - but for how long? “You must come out sometime,” the Ice Eagle cackled, "and, when you do, I will be waiting for you and your shiny feathers!" Matti couldn't help feel pride at the compliment about his feathers, but then realised how stupid he was being.

"Hey there, Sven! What are you doing?" Matti snapped his head round and blinked his eyes in amazement because there were now two Svalbardian Ice Eagles hovering over him; this was now worse than his worst nightmare. "I am waiting for a tasty-looking magpie to join me for a snack. There is still space at the table if you are interested, Björn!" The two ice eagles swooped down and landed on a branch very close to Matti. "Forget magpies, Sven! There is a hole in the ice a few miles over there and there are loads of huge fish waiting for us." The newest ice eagle took off in the direction he had pointed leaving this Sven behind on the branch. "Looks like it is your lucky day, magpie! I am sure we will meet again though, so watch your feathered back!" And, with that, he was gone.

It took Matti a few hours to convince himself that the ice eagles really had departed and by that time darkness was falling, so he decided to wait just a little bit longer, say until morning, before resuming his journey. He decided that he didn't care about those hunters and their fire, since there were far scarier things above the clouds than in the bushes. Matti suddenly managed laughed, as he thought how Mika would never believe he survived an encounter with one Svalbardian Ice Eagle, let alone two!

As for Mika, well he was also slowly moving south and had to deal with some of his own problems...

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