Five years ago in the Swiss Alps, I was hiking in very rough terrain. I had five colleagues with me. They were Jajo, Justin, Robert, John Michael, and an old man I had found in preparation for the hike. We were very near the top when we encountered the oddest bird any of us had ever seen. We were in hot debate about what we should do about it, when Jajo, who had stayed quiet the whole time, said, in an alarmingly loud voice, “Look! Another one!" We all looked in the direction of his finger, and saw another of the same species,though a tad bigger. “Maybe it's a dodo bird." said Justin. Robert ,though, had a different opinion. “I think it looks like a Canadian Bullrush." “A Canadian Bullrush? You must be daft!" John Michael shouted. The old man I had brought along knew what it was. “My stars and stripes! That is a bullfinch!" Justin, who's mind had been affected by the high altitude, said “Can we eat it?" At this remark, the bullfinches, who had been searching for food, started squawking loudly in protest. “No!" said Isaac (for that was the old man's name). “These are the very heart of nature, the very breath of God, the very heaven on earth." “So," said Justin,“we can't eat them?" “No!" said a frustrated Isaac. “We must trudge onward, and collect them on the way back." Then we made a camp and fell asleep in our makeshift tent.
I woke bright and early the next morn with an odd taste in my mouth, so I consulted Isaac, our physician, to see if he could extract the taste. “It appears that this taste is the chemical reaction of the bullfinches' germs, and can only be removed by drinking cocoa extract" said Isaac. “Cocoa extract!?" I shouted. “Where in these forsaken mountains are we going to find cocoa extract!?" I had had enough of Isaac, so I went to Justin's tent. “Good morn, Justin." I said with a smile. “What's so good about it?" he said in reply. “You have much to be thankful for, Justin. The birds, the fresh air. I'd say there's a bee in your bonnet." I said. “ Well, its time to break camp!" So, without much further trouble, we got a move on. Most of the day passed smoothly, and at noon we stopped to take a breather and have some lunch. After lunch, Justin said to me, “Are we almost there?" I answered him with a quick, “Yes." Halfway there, Isaac tripped on a stone and started rolling down the hill, straight for the edge of the cliff.
The next day I decided to explore the area, so I got Isaac's permission and left. I was walking along when suddenly my legs would not move. I soon realized that I was stuck in quick sand, so I seized a shovel and dug myself out. After that I returned to camp. Isaac was getting ready to break camp, so I decided to help. We started off fairly well until suddenly, Isaac stopped. “We made it!" he shouted. All of a sudden a wind sprung up and pushed us all off the mountain! Right as we hit the ground I woke up. I was in my bed at my house. From that day forward I vowed never to go hiking.
Written by Kolbe James Tucker- age 11