Outside the sun was shining brightly. "I think we should go for a walk in the forest today", papa Antoin said. "We haven't been to the forest for a long time now and today the weather looks so wonderful we really need to go." So they put on their winter clothes, their boots and their warm coats. And gloves and a scarf too as it was bitterly cold outside despite all the sunshine.
Soon they reached the forest. Even though it had freshly snowed during the last hours they discovered some tracks. "This must be the tracks of a squirrel", said Gini. "And here the little sparrows must all have gathered", said Karl. They went on and came deeper into the snowy forest. But what was that? Suddenly they saw much bigger tracks. And there seemed to be more and more of them. "Whose tracks could that be..", muttered Karl. "They look like those of moose and reindeer", added Gini. Suddenly she stopped. "Well,", she said. "These tracks here are even too big for moose and reindeer, they rather look like tracks of elephants and giraffes!" " I think it's a bit frightening", said Karl. But on the other hand they were very curious and so went on following the tracks. And how surprised they were when they suddenly came to a clearance and all the animals whose tracks they had seen were gathering there. Everything was decorated for Christmas and in the middle there were benches and tables with the most delicious Christmas cakes and cookies on them. Amazed Gini and Karl looked around. And then suddenly they saw their elephant friends Tipsi and Tapsi. And there was Gilda the giraffe and Oscar the monkey and Papaye the panda. And their teddy bear friends Clive and Felicitas came stumbling through the snow too. They happily greeted each other. And of course their friends invited them to join in the fun with them. They sat down on the benches close to some heating stove and tried from all the delicious Christmas treats. An elephant band had started playing Christmas Carols on the stage. Karl took Felicitas's hand and Clive took Gini's and they went dancing to the beat of the music jumping wildly through the snow. After that Tipsi and Tapsi performed some tricks. Tipsi took her hat and abracadabra Oscar was gone. Then Tapsi wiggled his ears a bit while turning the hat around and before they knew what had happened Oscar reappeared on the stage. Everyone clapped their hands for a big round of applause. Now they juggled with some Christmas tree balls. They took more and more balls and around they went, faster and faster. The audience held their breath. But as quickly as they had taken the Christmas tree balls from the tree as quickly they put them back on. Now two squirrels stretched a rope between two fir trees. Oscar climbed on Gilda's neck on the rope. He stretched his arms wide and Gilda put more and more Christmas present boxes on his arms and hat. Finally he started to balance on the rope. Again the audience held their breath. Oh no, suddenly he seemed to stumble and some of the boxes started to slide dangerously. But at the last moment he caught them all and all boxes stayed safely on him. He got big applause and "bravos" when he climbed down on Gilda's neck again. As a finish the squirrels put a swing high in the tree, high up in the air. The elephant band had started playing again. Quickly some squirrels climbed up and started swinging. "Wow, how they fly through the air", sighed Gini. "I wished I could do that too." A squirrel had heard her and before she could refuse she found herself on the swing too. She was flying through the air and another squirrel caught her and there she flew again. What a great performance! "This really was a great little excursion", said Karl when they went home tired but happy riding on the backs of their two elephant friends.
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