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Matti & Mika: Start school: Chapter 1 Matti & Mika: Start school: Chapter 1
by Thanos K & Asa B
2009-08-07 09:16:56
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1. A playful magpie
The sun hung in the sky too tired to do anything else. It had been a long hot summer and the great yellow ball had worked overtime to ensure that it would be a summer to remember for years to come. Its continual heat had turned the grass brown so that it now just crunched under foot, while the air was thick with pollen and mosquitoes, thousands of buzzing and irritating mosquitoes that wouldn't leave particular moose in peace and also gave one particularly lazy magpie easy snacks.

“Get away from me you pesky little things,” growled Mika, as he flapped his ears and shook his head to chase away the persistent mosquitoes that orbited his ears. “All I want is one moment of peace! Is that too much to ask?” Mika ran a few metres and managed to escape from the growing swarm that seemed to be using his nose to practice take-offs and landings. “They just love your cheerful personality, Mika!” squawked Matti, “Anyway, what mosquito wouldn't want to follow around the world's most famous moose?”

It wasn't only the mosquitoes that had kept Mika company for the whole summer, it had also been his well-meaning feather friend who had never stopped trying to get the poor old moose to join in any of the hundred games created by the imaginative, and bored, magpie. Mika had tried to play a few times, just to keep Matti quiet, but the rules were so complicated that Matti always won and if Mika somehow managed to start winning then Matti would get bored and begin a new game.

“Matti, aren’t you tired of playing all the time?” The big moose swatted a new mosquito away with his left ear, but it soon returned. Mika was stood under a tree enjoying the shade and escaping from the relentless sunshine, while Matti was flying and swooping and diving and soaring in a field they had discovered a few weeks earlier. “I’m not playing; I’m working!” snapped Matti before looping the loop and waggling his wings. “I’m practising my escape methods!” Mika was about to say he was going home, but Matti's reply had surprised him and he couldn't help asking the question that Matti obviously wanted asked, “What do you mean… escape methods?”

“Oh please, Mika! Everybody knows about escape methods! Even mooses” sang the little magpie in quite an irritating way. Mika was about to correct Matti yet again that it 'one moose', 'two moose' and even '100 moose', but never 'mooses', but the magpie had flown off again.  said emphasizing every single word and moving his finger now in front of the moose’s face. Matti swooped back down and landed under the tree, “There are foxes in the forests, you know, and foxes like nothing better than to feast upon magpies, especially super clever ones like me!”

A smile formed on Mika’s face, “That's true! They would love to eat a plump magpie like you, especially one that is stuffed full of chocolate biscuits! Anyway, what does flying about the fields have to do with escaping from foxes? They can't even fly!” Matti sucked his belly in and strutted around, “Hmph! Plump, look who's talking! Foxes were just the first creature that came to mind; did I ever tell you about the time I escaped from two, yes two, terrifying Svalbardian Ice Eagles?” Mika nodded, “Once or twice, I think!”

“You are always full of questions, Mika! Learn to follow your instincts and just start running! Haven't you ever heard the saying: He who turns and runs away, may live to run away another day?” Mika shook his head, I think you'll find the saying is he who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day!” The small magpie cocked his head and looked at Mika, “No, no, no! You always get those things all wrong and jumbled up! All this chatter is eating into my escape practice, so please excuse me Mister Moose because some of us have work to do!”

Before Mika even realised it the idea had popped into his head and he was smiling. It wasn't a nice idea and his friend wouldn't be too happy, but Mika couldn't help himself. He walked out from under the tree and into the meadow, where Matti suddenly swooped over his head shouting “Catch me if you can!” That was it, Matti's teasing helped him make up his mind, “Matti! MATTI! OH NO! LOOK OUT!” Matti's head turned left and right trying to spot the danger Mika had seen, “WHAT MIKA? WHAT?” Mika felt guilty but said it anyway, “A SVALBARDIAN ICE EAGLE!” Matti panicked and, before he knew it, he had flown straight into the tree. Mika walked over to the dazed bird on the ground and said, “You're right, you do need the escape practice!”

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