autumn the cliff birds flew south, heading for warmer weather. This year
four puffins decided they didn't want to fly south with the others. They
wanted to stay on the cliffs all winter long.
plenty of fish in the sea here. Why do we want to fly for hundreds of
miles, get tired, sore wings and maybe go hungry?” Gribb said.
right,” Anga said. “I don't want to fly south either. Last year my wings
were sore for a month. Let's just stay here.”
Larf agreed. So the four puffins watched from the cliff tops as the last
of the cliff birds flew away over the sea.
this,” Orbu said. “We've got the cliffs to ourselves. Nobody's around to
push s, or grab our fish while we're not looking. I like this.”
laughed. “Me too, Orbu. All the space to ourselves. What more could a
puffin ask for.”
next few days the puffins gorged themselves on fish and lay about the
cliffs. They enjoyed spreading their wings and legs out as far as they
wanted. “This is the life,” Gribb said.
first to notice the cold wind blowing across the sea. “Brrr. It is rather
grew colder and the puffins were forced to seek shelter behind a rock.
“We're not going to be able to go fishing if this wind keeps up and I'm
hungry,” said Gribb.
afternoon sleet fell, coating the cliffs in a sheet of shimmering ice.
we might have made a mistake. We should have flown south with the others
for the winter. I didn't know why we did that every year, but now I do.
It's too cold here,” Anga said.
shivered. “I think Anga's right. I'm leaving. It might be a late start,
but I might be able to catch up. Are any of you coming with me?”
said Larf. “I'm not going to freeze to death.”
I'll come too, even if my wings to ache,” Anga said.
frowned. “You go then. I'm staying. That means I'll get even more fish.”
Larf and Orbu flew off and soon were merely specks in the gray sky.
rubbed his wings together, shivering. He looked down at the sea. It was
starting to freeze over. “Yikes! Wait for me, guys.” He flew off after his
later the four puffins landed. Their wings ached. All around the cliffs
sat thousands of sea birds. “Look how crowded it is here,” Larf said.
from cliff to cliff, searching for a spot to claim as their own. “I guess
because we were late arriving, we're not going to find a place on the
cliffs. Looks like it's the sea for us.”
winter long they had to float on the sea, bobbing up and down with the
waves. Though the weather was nicer and there were plenty of fish in the
sea, they didn't get to spread their wings and feet anywhere. “Next
autumn, I'm going with the others. I might go a little early,” said Gribb.
The others nodded and closed their eyes, letting the gentle waves rock
them to sleep.