It was a week-long spring break and Dazel was excited to go adventuring with a few bird friends. Dazel was at the lake's edge with Din Din and Delma and was doing her best to convince them to accompany her on her adventure.
"Dazel, how can I?" said Delma patiently, "I'm restricted to being in the water."
"And I can't because I simply cannot leave my garden untended for an entire week," said Din Din. "And you know, Dazel, I'm not one for an adventure. I prefer my familiar daily routine. I'm sorry."
"I know, I know and I don't want to force you either," replied Dazel. "But it would have been wonderful if you both could have come. Swain the swan's coming and so is Rita the robin. I'm really looking forward to it. I've always been on day trips flying around D'Land on my own but a week-long trip is something I'll be doing for the first time."
"So where are you planning to go, Dazel?" asked Delma.
"Well, some birds at Aviary School were talking about a range of mountains at the far northern end," said Dazel in her animated fashion. "We are aiming to fly to the highest peak."
"Oh wow! That's very ambitious," said Delma cautiously. "But are you prepared for the cold conditions on mountains. I was learning in school that the climate on mountains is very harsh."
"Oh, we'll manage!" said Dazel flippantly. "We'll take one day at a time and before we know it, we'll be back home. Okay then, dear friends, I'm off! See you all in a week." And she flew off with a flutter of her vivid wings.
It was a cloudy day when Dazel and her friends Swain and Rita began their journey towards the mountains. It was a full day's flight and they stopped every few hours to drink some water from a spring and eat a few wild berries that they found growing on their way.
"Do you think we should collect a few berries for our stay on the mountain top," asked Rita the robin as they sat pecking on a few blackberries. It was evening then and they estimated that it would take until sunset for them to reach the mountain range.
"Oh! Who will carry all that load?" said Dazel merrily. "I'm sure we can find something on the mountains too!" Dismissing Rita's suggestion, Dazel took flight.
Swain and Rita looked at each other. "I'm still going to collect a few berries and tuck them under my feathers, just to be on the safe side," said Rita softly.
"I think that is a good idea," agreed Swain and the swan did the same. They soon flew up and tried to keep up with Dazel who was flying ahead of them without a care in the world. The sun looked like an orange balloon sinking down the horizon when they finally reached the tall mountain range.
"Oh my!" gasped Dazel in wonder. "What huge mountains! They don't look so enormous from afar but from near they seem to touch the sky. This sight was worth the long journey!"
"Yeah!" Swain and Rita chimed in amazement as they gazed at the massive wall of mountains before them.
"Let us camp here at the foot of the mountains for tonight," suggested Swain sensibly.
"Oooh! I want to fly up to the peak tonight and touch the snow as soon as possible," cried Dazel eagerly.
"I don't think that's a good idea," said Swain firmly. "We are tired after an entire day's journey and we will be fresh tomorrow morning. Also, it'll be dark soon so it's not a good idea to fly into unknown territory at night."
Dazel tried to curb her excitement because she knew Swain was right. So the three birds found shelter in a crevice at the foot of the mountain.
"I'm hungry," said Dazel, "But it's too windy and dark to go out and hunt for food at this hour."
"I have a few blackberries," said Rita and she produced a few berries from under her wings.
"I have some too," joined in Swain and showed his berries too.
Dazel was quiet. "Rita you were right. I should have picked some berries too."
"It’s okay, Dazel," said Rita kindly. "You can share with us."
That night, the wind howled wildly and the three birds had to huddle together to keep warm.
When the sun rose the next morning, the sky was overcast again. "I think it might rain," said Swain as he looked up at the grey clouds hovering above them.
The base of the mountain had wild grass growing in profusion but there were no seeds or fruits they could eat. So this morning, the three birds began their flight towards the mountain peak on empty stomachs. When they reached the peak, they were unprepared for the blast of icy wind there.
"Oh my!" said Dazel, her beak chattering with cold. "It's freezing. I really wasn't expecting that it would be this cold."
Swain and Rita were also shivering in the cold. The peak was extremely steep and covered with a thick blanket of snow. Dazel tried to be upbeat and lively but the conditions were too harsh.
Finally Swain said, "It's nearly night time now. But we must return to the base of the mountain. It'll be impossible to find any shelter here on the mountain top."
So the three tired and hungry birds flew to the base of the range. They spent another cold night in the crevice and as soon as the sun rose the following day they unanimously decided to fly for home.
On their way back, as the weather grew warmer, they spotted a waterfall and quickly flew down and drank thirstily from it.
"Next time when we plan an adventure, we must be better prepared," remarked Swain once their thirst had been quenched.
"Oh yes!" chirped Dazel. "I got too carried away and was very impulsive. My friends had warned me about the mountain conditions but I did not pay heed to them. Next time we will be more careful and responsible."
"I can't wait for our next adventure," said Rita the tiny robin. And the three birds laughed together.
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