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The missing tree: Chapter 3 The missing tree: Chapter 3
by Thanos K & Asa B
2010-12-21 09:15:16
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The snowstorm had eased a little, but it was still snowing hard and it was dark. Matti had suddenly woken after a bad dream involving goblins dancing around a Christmas tree and he was the star at the top, but he couldn't get back to sleep. He looked over at his sleeping snoring friend and suddenly had an idea and shouted, "Mika! Mika! MIKA! Are you awake?" The moose blinked open his eyes, "What? What's the matter, Matti?" Matti hopped out of bed, ""We are going outside" but before Mika could react, he added, "just be quiet and listen for a minute."

They both went silent for a few seconds and then Matti asked, "Can you hear anything?" Mika was ready to explode, "YES! I can hear the cold wind and I can hear the twitterings of a foolish magpie at four o'clock in the morning. Go back to sleep and leave me alone!" "Fine, fine," Matti said, looking a bit angry. "You can go to back to sleep and I hope your snoring keeps you awake all night!" The little magpie looked determined, rather than angry now, and Mika knew that when Matti was up to something there was trouble in the end. "Okay," Mika sighed, "tell me what's on your mind." The small bird turned to his friend smiling.

"You heard the cold wind, well what is the cold wind doing?" The moose looked at him in wonder. "It blows away all the clues and evidence; that's what the wind is doing right now!" Mika had to admit that what his little friend was saying was right but he just nodded. "So, we are going out to see if there are any traces or tracks left and we are doing it now!" finished the magpie, emphasizing this 'now'. "I'm definitely not in the mood to become a frozen moose!" replied Mika. Mika was used to the cold but the last few nights had been extremely cold, even for him, and the possibility of leaving his warm bed and heading out into the cold night was not tempting.

The moose was ready to start a new round of protests but it was too late, the small magpie had tied the big red scarf around his neck and he had opened the door making the big moose pull back to try and find a warmer place to hide. "What are you waiting for?" screamed the bird over the wind, "Let's go!" With another sigh, the moose followed him out into the dark snow-covered yard and the cold wind immediately cut straight through Mika's fur. "Looks as though I will be the first frozen moose in history," muttered Mika.

It wasn't far to the tree, or rather where the tree had been, but the wind fought them at every step and the snow was deep and soft. To Mika the journey seemed to take weeks, but after a few minutes they had arrived. Matti's red scarf flapped in the wind as he hopped around the crime scene, and every so often he would plunge his head into the snow searching for a clue. "Just look here" shouted Matti to Mika, while holding a few pine needles in his claw. A sudden gust of wind whisked the needles away and knocked Matti over; all Mika wanted was his warm bed, buut Matti dusted the snow off and resumed his search.

There were more traces of the tree buried beneath the snow, some needles scattered here and there, with the wind blowing them further and further away. Matti was right to insist on coming out now because by morning there would be no trace left to follow. Now curiosity had started to seep into Mika, so he began to search under the snow for any other clues. Matti looked up at his friend and smiled, both of them feeling the mystery deepening around them. Matti hopped over to Mika and shouted in his ear, "Do you think they are still here?" Mika looked confused, so Matti continued, "The goblins; you do believe goblins stole the tree, don't you?" Mika wasn't sure now, but the snow-filled darkness, spooky shadows, whistling wind and the fact they were all alone outside didn't make him feel very happy.
The truth was that until now neither of them had thought about asking for help, even though they both knew that Henry or Harry were just a few metres away guarding the gates of the factory. The hum of the night workers was coming from one of the distant workshops made Mika decide that they really should either get help or just let somebody else know they were outside… just in case something did happen. "Listen," shouted Mika, "I will run back and ask for help; just as long as you promise that you will be here waiting. Do not move at all, not an inch!" Matti saluted with his wing and Mika began to run to the workshop, stopping once to check that the magpie was still in the same spot. He was.

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