When a mysterious bird asks Chumleigh’s alien friend, Celi, for help, it isn’t long before Chumleigh, and his two Chinchilla pals – Cami and Chica – set off on an adventure deep in the heart of the South American rain forest …
“Once upon a time, as all good stories begin…”
“Awww, mama, that’s so old fashioned!” protested Crystal, the baby capybara.
“Ha ha, OK I was just checking you were listening mi pequeña,” laughed her mama.
“Have you ever heard of the Cantamas bird Crystal?” she asked.
Crystal gasped, “no, never mama – what kind of bird is that?”
“Well, the Cantamas bird is a very special bird indeed – it’s magical and mysterious. Some say that it isn’t real, only imagined; others swear they have seen it; but whatever you believe, all agree that the Cantamas bird is the spirit of our forest,” mama told her.
“But what does it look like?” questioned Crystal.
“It is very tall – it’s legs are bright yellow and it has big, webbed blue feet; it has vivid red feathers, with yellow tips and a large, long yellow beak and its eyes are bright blue!” mama said.
“Wow! It sounds very pretty,” exclaimed Crystal.
“It is a most beautiful bird, yes,” her mama agreed.
“But how is it magical?” Crystal asked.
“The Cantamas bird only appears for a special reason – to sing a song. It has two songs – one is a sad song and if it sings this song, then that means something bad is going to happen in the forest; the other is a happy song and if it sings this song, then something very good is going to happen in the forest,” mama said. “If you are lucky enough to see the Cantamas bird singing its happy song, then it is said you will be blessed forever,” she sighed.
“Do you think we will see the Cantamas bird mama?” the little capybara asked.
Her mama smiled. “I hope that one day we may mi pequeña,” and now it’s time for you to go to sleep…..
“Hola amigas!” Chumleigh greeted Chica and Cami. The two little Chinchillas stopped their busy chattering and pricked up their ears. “Over here!” called Chumleigh, waving his paws at them.
Peeking through the front of their enclosure, his two friends gasped in delight at seeing him and waved their tails in friendly greeting, “hola muchaco! they giggled coquettishly.
Chumleigh smiled. “Hey amigas, it’s great to see you!” he began.
“We are very pleased to be seeing you too,” Chica replied, “but how did you get here?”
“Well… that’s a good question. The thing is, erm, well, I was transported here,” Chumleigh was trying to find the best way to tell his friends about Celi, his alien pal.
“What do you mean exactly – transported?” asked Cami, focusing her big eyes on Chumleigh.
“OK, there’s no easy way of saying this – I was transported here by my alien friend and it wants your help,” Chumleigh explained.
The two Chinchillas paused for a second, looked at each other and fell about laughing. “Oh, muchaco, you are so funny,” giggled Chica.
“Have you been fermenting those Amazin’ Raisins of yours?” laughed Cami.
Suddenly, there was the flash of a bright light and in two shakes of a Chinchilla’s tail, the three found themselves on Celi’s capsule.
“Sorry, but Celi was a bit over eager with the transporter,” apologised Cole.
Chica and Cami were frozen still, mouths agape, big eyes staring – looks of utter surprise and disbelief on their little faces. Celi came up to meet them and as they saw it approach, they gave a shocked cry and promptly fainted!
Celi looked concernedly at Chumleigh, who said, “don’t worry Celi – they are just very surprised by all this; they’ll be OK in a moment or two,” he assured it and he hurried over to the swooning duo to fan them with his tail.
It only took a little while for the two to come around and Chumleigh tried to explain to them again.
“It’s like I was trying to tell you – this is Celi – it’s a friendly alien called a Celestrian. Celi is my friend and it needs our assistance,” Chumleigh explained.
As they were talking a large bird came up to them, bent its neck down and looked at Cami and Chica quizzically.
Cami gasped, “It’s a Cantamas bird!” she exclaimed.
“What is a Cantamas bird doing here?” Chica asked, astounded.
“If you don’t mind me asking,” said Chumleigh, “just what is a Cantamas bird?”
All of a sudden, an amazingly beautiful song began filling the air – it was a cheerful, happy tune, filled with joy and celebration and everyone was mesmerised by the sheer loveliness of the melody. They all gasped in awe.
The song grew louder and the Cantamas bird came into view, slowly making its way through the trees. The bird continued with its wonderful song for a moment longer, then it bowed graciously to them and disappeared back into the forest!
“It was singing it’s happy song – something wonderful will happen!” declared Crystal, remembering her mama telling her that story when she was a baby capybara….
Just what happened in the forest that ended with the Cantamas bird singing its happy song? Find out only in Chuckle with Chumleigh Once More – now available on Amazon.