A story with Freddy Fit by Larissa Herzl.
An unforgettable bike tour …
Freddy Fit is enjoying a cosy Sunday breakfast with Uncle Birnstingl when he asks: “Where’s Nana? Usually she’s the first to wake up!” The uncle smiles and explains, “wait till you hear this! Your nana’s friend, Hilde Elderberry, had her birthday yesterday. She invited all her friends to a pyjama party. Nana will be back soon, I’m sure.” Freddy makes a puzzled face, but before he can ask any more questions, the doorbell rings. “You see, what did I tell you,” says the uncle with a grin as he puts the newspaper aside and goes to the door to open it. As expected, Nana is there. With a bright pink cycling helmet on her head. She hasn’t even taken off her shoes yet, but she’s already babbling: “Oh, I’ll tell you something, oh yes, good morning first, but no, no really, my friend told me something… we absolutely have to go there!” she says as she sits down at the table. In no time Freddy Fit and Uncle Birnstingl are informed about everything. Hilde Elderberry had a bike trip to a waterfall a few days ago. Of course, Nana now wants to prove to her friend that she is at least as fit. “That’s why I wanted to ask you two sport freaks if you would like to go with me there, as it’s such a beautiful day today,” she says, grinning at Freddy and Uncle Birnstingl.
When it comes to having outdoor fun, Freddy Fit and Uncle Birnstingl do not have to be asked twice, and the two are ready a short time later with all their cycling gear. The uncle goes to get the bikes out of the shed, while Nana packs some bites to eat in the bright pink backpack that matches her helmet. “On your bikes and off you go!” she shouts with a real sense of motivation as she tries to lock the door behind her. “Stop! I wanted to take something with me!” the uncle says. He rushes into the house, and is back in no time holding up his camera with a grin before placing it in his backpack and saying: “So that we have evidence for Hilde Elderberry!”
Uncle Birnstingl is the first to set off, closely followed by Freddy Fit and Nana. The cycle path winds along a river with clear turquoise water, on the surface of which the sun reflects and glitters. A satisfied smile spreads across Freddy’s face as he pedals tirelessly along. Suddenly the glitter on the water disappears though. Uncle Birnstingl brakes, then Freddy and Nana copy him. He stares up into the sky, where a large, dark cloud has just pushed itself in front of the sun. “Come on, that wasn’t supposed to happen,” says Nana angrily in the direction of the cloud. “It doesn’t look good,” murmurs the uncle, with his eyebrows drawn together. Far from the field of view of the three, a dark cloud cover has formed without them noticing. Freddy feels something wet on the tip of his nose. Then on his hand. “It’s starting to rain!” he shouts, and shortly afterwards several of drops have landed on the three cyclists.
“Well, well, well, Mister Rain, if you want to stop us, I suggest you get up earlier!” announces Nana with her index finger raised as she skilfully presses her backpack to her chest, opens it and pulls out three rain ponchos. “You’re having a laugh! A few drops can’t take us off our path!” Freddy Fit gets a blue poncho, Uncle Birnstingl an orange one and Nana – who would have thought it – bright pink. From a distance you might think there is a flamingo on the bike path. The uncle turns his gaze upwards again: “Hmm, well it doesn’t look like a thunderstorm. As long as we don’t get thunder and lightning, it shouldn’t be a problem to keep going with our new equipment. Over there, the sky is cloudless again!”
The three therefore continue on their way despite the rain. It is still pleasantly warm thanks to the many hours of sunshine before and Freddy Fit doesn’t find the weather so bad. “Luckily Nana thinks of everything,” he says, as he listens to the pleasing splashing of raindrops on his poncho.
The cycle path is getting narrower and narrower and leads through a section of forest. To the left and right of Freddy, tall trees tower into the air. “The road is no longer so smooth from here, so watch out!” shouts Uncle Birnstingl at the rear. The three ride along the winding path and Freddy Fit notices, after a while, how his legs are getting more and more tired. Nana seems to feel the same way. “A slope! That too!” she gasps. In front of them, the path leads a bit upwards, and the forest seems to become lighter. Freddy Fit dares to take a quick look backwards, and sees that Nana is already struggling to pedal. She breathes in and out loudly, and her face starts to take the same colour of her poncho. Then the uncle shouts: “Come, just a few more metres, then it will get easier! There is an old wooden hut up there where we can we rest!”
Tired and out of breath, Nana dives onto the covered bench in front of the small hut, closely followed by Freddy Fit. After Uncle Birnstingl has leaned the bicycles against the wall, he also sits down at the table and pulls some lunch boxes and three water bottles out of his backpack. He hands the two exhausted cyclists a bottle of water and a cheese sandwich, which they gratefully accept. The rain has now almost subsided and warming rays of sun fight their way through the cloud cover. Sighing, Nana takes a bite of her sandwich: “I can feel my energy coming back, but I don’t think I’ll make it to the waterfall today. I don’t know where it is exactly, and we still have the way back ahead of us. I guess I’ve planned to do a bit too much.” She looks sadly to the ground. Freddy Fit, whose pulse has calmed down a bit, comfortingly puts a hand on her shoulder. He pauses. “Do you hear that?” he asks, leaning to the side with a concentrated look. The uncle and Nana prick their ears and shortly afterwards both audibly draw in air: “The waterfall!”
“It’s good that we took a break!” shrieks Nana. “Now imagine if we had ridden right past it!” she says excitedly as the three walk along the forest path, always following the sound of the water. There it is, right in front of them. The waterfall. The sun is bright again in the sky and its rays form rainbows in the roaring water. It is breathtakingly beautiful. The uncle puts one arm around Nana and the other around Freddy Fit, while the three of them watch the natural spectacle, spellbound. “We did it! Now only one thing is missing,” he explains, pointing and grinning at his camera.
A few days later, a large framed photo adorns the living room wall in the Fit house. The three adventurers look at it proudly and the grandma grins, saying: “Now Hilde Elderberry can come over!”
Fotocredits: (c)unsplash, pexels.com