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Matti & Mika: Start school: Chapter 4 Matti & Mika: Start school: Chapter 4
by Thanos K & Asa B
2009-08-28 09:01:36
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4. What is school?

The following morning they awoke in the middle of a small forest to bright sunshine. They had immediately begun the journey back to Santa's Workshop the previous evening, but they decided to stop after only a few kilometres in order to rest for a full day's walk instead. However, it wasn't really a joint decision between moose and magpie, rather it had been Matti who decided that they should stop because he couldn't get to sleep on Mika's lumpy hump as he plodded along. Again, it wouldn't be both of them doing the day's walk either, rather Mika doing all the walking and Matti perched somewhere on his head or body always complaining about something.

This time Matti had found something new to complain about! “It was my fault, it was all my fault! I should have never saved Christmas! That was my mistake and now Santa takes me for granted. All I ask is to receive a little hello or how are you in his messages, but, no, that is too much for Santa!” Matti had been complaining ever since breakfast about Santa forgetting about him and it was now lunchtime, which had made the journey rather hard for Mika. Not only was the continued whining and complaining hard enough to constantly hear, but the little bird had also seemingly forgotten about going back for school.

“Mika, tell me again exactly what Santa said! I need to know his exact words so when I speak to him I will have all of the facts. I'll begin with an insult, like, umm, 'You smell like a reindeer's hoof!' and then... no, no, I’m not going to speak to him when we see him; I will pretend that I don’t see him until he apologises!” Matti was getting excited again and almost lost his balance on top of Mika's head, “Careful up there!” warned Mika, “I don't want you falling on my nose again. Anyway, are you really sure you want to treat Santa like that? We are talking about the Santa! You know …THE SANTA!”

Matti repositioned himself on Mika's head, “Ha! I'm not scared of Santa! He should be scared of me just in case he needs be to save Christmas again! Yeah, then we'll see what happens! Scared of Santa? Ha! What can he do to me? Mika stopped suddenly sending Matti flying off his head and onto the ground – Mika loved doing this to his friend, even more so when there was a muddy puddle for the magpie to land in. “Hey! I've told you to warn me if you decide to stop suddenly,” complained Matti brushing the dust from his wings, “Why did you stop?”

The moose stared down at his dusty friend, “First of all, technically I saved Christmas and you rode on my head. Second of third, don't forget just who provides you with your chocolate, your chocolate biscuits and your chocolate ice-cream with the chocolate syrup... yes, Santa. And third of all, you want to know what Santa could do to you if he heard you saying all these bad things?” Mika took a step closer to Matti and whispered in his ear, “He could put you on the Naughty List!” Mika straightened up and continued to walk on through the forest. It was a few minutes before he heard the flapping of wings and felt a soft bump of a landing on his back, but there was no talking.

In fact, the magpie stopped talking for a very long time after hearing Mika's warnings and was extremely worried that somebody may have heard him saying the bad things about Santa. “Hey Mika! Do you think any of the forest elves might have heard what I was saying earlier? They wouldn't tell Santa... would they?” Mika didn't answer, preferring to let Matti make the situation worse in his own imagination rather than be told something that would calm him down. “Noo, nobody would tell Santa... anyway, I was just joking...” he said, before shouting it again, “I WAS JUST JOKING!”

The silence had given Mika some time to think about this whole school business because he had been finding it difficult to imagine just what he was going to do there. He had seen a school before and he had seen the school in Santa’s Workshop, but it was full of small elves and dwarves. He had never seen a moose, a reindeer, a magpie or any other kind of bird at school. And this Mrs. Smelly Moon, silly Matti and his nicknames, Mrs. Wellspoon really did have a strange name!

He had never heard about a moose going to school before and in his herd the older ones were teaching the younger and it was mainly how to find food, which animals to avoid and how to behave with others – if only somebody had taught Matti that last one. Sometimes the grandfather, especially on dark evenings when all of them gathered together to keep warm, would tell them stories from the old times when the moose was the king of earth and all the animals had to obey.  Oh well, that was in the very old times and it happened when the king was a magnificent white moose. And what about the magpies? Matti had never mentioned anything, but that didn't prove anything!

“Matti? Are you asleep?” He had to ask him. “I’m not talking to you?” came the reply. “But Matti, you just did talk to me!” “Well, I'm not talking to anybody who doesn't think that I helped to save Christmas!” The moose rolled his eyes up to the sky and, with a deep sigh, said, “I'm sorry, Matti! I know that we saved Christmas. Together!” Matti immediately cheered up, “That’s much better! Thank you and I hope you remember that from now on! Now, how can I help you?” The first thought that came to Mika was to ask him to stop being impossible, but instead he asked his question, “Do you have a magpie school?”

“What do you mean a magpie school? Do you mean a place where magpies wear little uniforms, learn to count and sing magpie songs? Do you where we would play with other little magpies and learn about the history of old magpies? Do you mean where we would learn where to find food and build nests? Is that what you mean?” Mika didn't really know how to answer to that, so he simply replied yes. Matti cleared his throat with a small cough, “No!”

Mika had been expecting a little bit more than that, so he gave a bit of a growl to show Matti that he wanted a proper answer. “Okay the, Mika. No we don't have schools, which is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you from the beginning. Why do we need to go to school? We are the school! We are learning things together and if we want we can sing together. That’s a good chance now; let’s sing: There were 100 beautiful magpies sitting on a fence, 100 beautiful magpies sitting on a fence, and if one beautiful magpie decides to fly away, then there's 100 beautiful magpies sitting on the fence!”

Matti was singing, or at least squawking, as loud as possible and kept singing the same song over and over and over again, which used to annoy Mika but he was now quite used to Matti’s terrible singing and he had learned how to not really hear him. Together they kept walking through the small forest, with Mika quiet and Matti singing, until they heard a loud, “Please STOOOOOP!”

The magpie stopped suddenly and Mika started looking around to see where this voice had come from. They saw nothing and, for a minute, the magpie checked his friend but the voice was different and it was definitely not Mika’s. Neither of them said anything, they just stopped in the same place for a moment and then they began walking again, or at least Mika started walking again. Matti was still on his back and, after some minutes, Matti started singing the same song again! This time his voice went even higher, until there was another, “Please, please, please STOOOOOOOOOP!”

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