THE STORY OF BLANCO
Mountain dwellers consider Blanco a hero: he had faced ogres, evil wizards and scary witches, and he had some incredible adventures.
But, like all heroes, even BLANCO had his weak point: he was incredibly scared of falling.
He would rather face a thunder and lightning storm or a furious charging bull, than to climb aboard a chair.
BLANCO has lots of friends and he lives in a little wooden cabin on the Mountain.
His brotherhood friends are the faithful fox called GINO, seven flying marmots, ten long-haired squirrels, eight brown badgers and the wise grouse WILLY.
One day, BLANCO left home with his friends WILLY and GINO to have a walk in the snowy forest of the Mountain.
The pure white snow covered the fields and trees of the woods surrounding Blanco’s house.
Blanco and his friends were playing chase among piles of snow and white covered bushes, when all of a sudden they heard a cry from above.
BLANCO looked around and saw two small squirrels leaning over the branch of a very high tree.
Their nest had fallen to the snowy ground below.
BLANCO GINO and WILLY didn’t know what to do.
The little squirrels were frightened and shivering with cold, and they kept screaming louder and louder.
So BLANCO took a deep breath, put his hat on his head, wrapped his scarf around his neck and started climbing the towering tree.
Willy followed him, beak up, while GINO looked on quite worried.
Neither of the two friends were brave enough to say anything, since they knew about Blanco’s fear of heights and would have never imagined that their bunny friend would have the courage to climb that tall tree, where they could still hear the poor frightened animals’ calls for help.
BLANCO’s legs were shaking and his heart was beating hard in fear, but he grit his teeth and climbed branch after branch until he made it to the top.
The little squirrels kept squealing louder and louder.
“Screech! Screech! Screech!”
BLANCO picked up the frightened little animals and very delicately placed them in the pocket of his warm windbreaker.
Then he started climbing slowly down the tree.
One foot after the other, grabbing on to the few hand holds he could find as he went down.
When finally he felt the soft snow under his paws, BLANCO sat down on a rock and took long, deep breaths, because he was very upset.
WILLY and GINO came up to him and calmed the little squirrels down with soothing sounds and then they all headed back home.
That night, BLANCO WILLY and GINO didn’t sleep, and they took turns looking after the little pups. Outside the snow was falling in enormous flakes and the fire in the fireplace burned brightly.
Days passed and the little squirrels grew up peacefully under the watchful eyes of the three friends.
Until springtime came, and the snow started slowly melting, giving way to fresh grass growing in the fields underneath. Even the first flowers were beginning to bloom.
One sunny morning, WILLY came into the house calling and wagging his big bushy tail. GINO was following him wide eyed. The flying woodchucks, the brown badgers and the long-haired squirrels were jumping all around and causing quite a fuss.
The time had finally come to say good bye to their new little friends, who they had taken care of all winter long.
The little squirrels had grown strong and healthy, and BLANCO took them out on the balcony to look at the forest surrounding their cabin.
A huge storm of swallows was flying over in the sky.
BLANCO headed over to the towering tree, which was no longer covered with snow, and placed the little animals on the lowest branch. They quickly jumped from one branch to the other until they reached the top of the giant spruce pine.
BLANCO also climbed up a few branches and kept a close eye on the squirrels. As he was waving goodbye he suddenly realized that he was no longer afraid of falling:
As he was waving goodbye, BLANCO called, “Ciao, my little friends! See you later! Come visit us, we can all play together!”
Then he dried a little tear and WILLY, GINO and he went to enjoy the last ski outing of the season along the mountain slopes.