“No, no, no! Are you silly?” You just see arms swing as he approaches
“What’s up with you now?” Peter looks very funny as he turns himself and balances on the leather at the same time “The gentleman said the thing must be off! The porch must be clean do you understand? And now you yell at me.” Peter realizes that if he does not turn right on the ladder now, the law of gravity will take its toll. He turned himself around and looked squarely at the swallows. “A ball of mud with a hole in the middle” he muttered as he slid his cloth hat back into place.
“You don’t understand anything!” Old Koos stomps one foot of sheer annoyance and orders Pertus to climb off the ladder. “If you don’t get off now, you walk home today” Peter laughed a deep slow laugh at the old man as he sat down next to him on the porch stairs holding his cloth hat to his knees in both hands. “I’m listening …”
“A swallow is something very special – something much smarter than you and I can understand” Start Old Koos formally. “Yes?!” but the look he gets from the old man warns Peter to use his little brain and keep quiet.
“If you are looking for him in the Winter, you will find him far away. When the colour of the leaves tells us that Winter is here, it is time for the princes of the sky to fly away to warmer places.”
Peter now sits with a deeply interested frown between his eyes and asks, “Now where did they fly to?” “Up north – in Africa. Other types fly even further north. England, Europe, some even fly to Russia. You know if we get cold here then it is hot up there.”
“Oh” Peter says, anxiously awaiting the next piece of information and feeling his respect levels rise for these little wonders (He doesn’t even want to walk home 4 kilometers)
“You see, they are our Summer guests,” said Ou Koos very proudly, smoothing his waistcoat with his hands. “We keep their nests nice and safe for them, all winter until they come back in spring.” Old Koos goes on to sing the praises of the brave birds who can travel up to 12,000 kilometers away – and the more Peter listens, the more colour Old Koos gives to the story.
By now, Peter was already deeply touched and sincerely regretted his numb behavior. “You say as far as Russia?” “I’m telling you!” said Old Koos smartly, giving Peter an elbow of encouragement. “Now, go clean the rest of the porch”
Before Peter goes to store to put away the ladder, he asks Old Koos if he would write something on a piece of paper. He will put the note on top of the nest himself. “Now what should I write on the note?”
Oh, just write, “Welcome back. Peter!”
Sir will understand.