If you thought that Matti would be quiet for long, you were wrong. “What do you mean we aren’t going anywhere?” squawked Matti after a particularly vigorous grooming session, which had left plucked feathers hanging from Mika’s head. “We must be going somewhere, so where is somewhere?” Mika stopped walking and after thinking for a while he said quietly “Matti, we are not going anywhere,” and just when Matti was ready for the next question Mika added, “We are not going somewhere, we are going nowhere!”
Matti shifted from foot to foot as he considered Mika’s reply. It wasn’t often that Mika answered this way to Matti’s countless questions, so this had come as a shock to the noisy magpie. “So, we are going nowhere, Mika. Of course, I should have realized that from the very start, but you know how everything can become complicated and misunderstood. Nowhere, that’s great,” Matti flapped his wings in excitement. “I can’t wait…how far is it to nowhere?” Mika shook his head in desperation and looked far away.
“Mika, can I ask you something?” That was a surprise, Matti never asked permission for anything, so how could Mika refuse, “Go ahead!” Matti glided down from Mika’s head and landed on the ground. “Have you noticed that there are a lot of troll tracks in the snow?” Mika stopped walking and shook his head, “Pardon, Matti? What did you say?”
Matti was hopping alongside the little footprints in the snow, “Do you think the trolls went in the same direction as us? Do you think we should follow them and see where they lead us?” Mika slowly nodded and looked down at the bird that was now weaving between his legs, “How did you think of that? I am very impressed, Matti.” Mika couldn’t help the praise, even though the bird’s ego was already dangerously inflated, but he wanted to encourage Matti to use his brain much more, well at least once a day would be a good start.
“That’s a good plan!” nodded Mika. Matti took off and settled back on his friend’s head feeling very pleased with himself. “Yes, Mika, yes, it would be the wisest decision to follow these tracks to their mysterious destination,” said Matti in a terrible attempt at an intelligent accent. “The trolls can help us, give us some shelter and food, and…what is that?” Mika looked around but couldn’t see what his friend was pointing at, “What, Matti?”
The magpie had swooped back on to the snow and was stood beside the troll tracks once again, “Look! Look! Another bird has been here, probably walking with the trolls…Look at these tracks; they are very fresh and have definitely been made by a magpie!” Just when Mika thought his friend had shown some sign of intelligence, he opened his beak and displayed stupidity beyond all belief.
Why did they stick together? That was the real mystery. It felt to Mika that Matti had been with him forever. The truth was that Mika didn’t mind the little black annoying passenger; he didn’t even mind his questions. The other truth was that Mika really didn’t know what lay at the end of these tracks but…he had this feeling!
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