Whenever Pepe and Toro stand on the terrace and look at the blue-tinged mountains behind the house, they get an urge to go and see how it looks from the very top of the highest peaks they can see.
They ask each other if they think you could really drive up so high, and what it would look like if they did.
They also wonder if there might be animals up there. And when there are clouds over the mountains, they imagine you could reach up and touch the clouds with a paw or a hoof.
One fine day, they finally got the chance to go for an outing “up there”.
Not wishing to miss a thing, the two friends sat in front as the car climbed higher and higher up windy, bendy roads that got narrower and narrower.
Now and then, Pepe and Toro got a little bit frightened at how high they were going, and they had to scramble out and get their breath back for a moment.
At one Mirador, or a place that offers a view in all directions, the two chums sat down on a statue to some cyclists, and they gazed at the sea and the landscape all around.
“You know, Toro… I don’t think people can REALLY ride bicycles on such steep hills and so high up there”, whispered Pepe, shaking his head, but at that very moment…
…they saw a cyclist rushing down the mountain road, faster even than a car, and whoooosh, he was gone around the bend.
Pepe and Toro sat there astonished, their mouths open. And then it was time to go on.
When they began to get closer to the top, Toro spotted a notice board, with paintings of all the things and animals you could see in the national park.
They looked carefully at the sign, and Toro had an idea. “We want to see everything on this map”, said Toro.
“Well, maybe not everything”, said Pepe hurriedly. “But it would be nice to see some wild animals for a change. We’ve seen all sorts of trees and plants.”
“Yesss!” Toro shouted. “We want to see wild animals! We want to see ALL the wild animals on the sign!” Pepe wasn’t sure he wanted to see a fox. He was a bit scared of foxes. But he didn’t say anything.
The two friends sat down beside the road and waited for the wild animals to appear. They looked this way and that, down to the sea, and across the valley towards more mountains in the distance, but they didn’t see ANYTHING.
Not one single animal.
And then, just as they were close to giving up and getting back into the car, out walked an animal that looked quite familiar.
“Look! Is that a wild animal? Is it up on the board?” Pepe asked hopefully, jumping up.
Toro gave a little snort. “Of course not! It’s not a wild animal. It’s a sheep, silly. It doesn’t live in the national park; it belongs to some farmhouse.”
Pepe looked a bit sad, but the friends sat down again and kept on looking everywhere.
Even up into the sky.
And then Pepe spied something.
High above them, a bird was hovering. It looked like a hawk. The bird glided down and sat on a dead tree-stump, right in front of them. The bird looked at Pepe and Toro, and they looked at each other.
“Wow. It’s a hawk!” Toro cried out. “It’s a kestrel.”
Toro was jumping up and down with excitement, but Pepe looked at the big board, very disappointed.
“There is no kestrel on this board”, he said with a sigh. “We haven’t seen ANY of the animals on the sign.”
All the same, they marched on, higher and higher, until they were so high that little puffs of cloud were floating past them and below them.
Pepe and Toro wanted to reach out and touch the clouds, which looked like candy floss, but they couldn’t reach them.
When they got to the very top, they climbed onto a sign that said: “End of the Path”, and they looked around in all directions, to see if there might be any animals living on top of the world.
But there was nothing.
“The views are wonderful”, sighed Pepe wearily. “But we STILL haven’t seen a single wild animal on our list.”
And then it was time to get back in the car and head home. Oh dear.
Pepe and Toro were feeling a bit down in the dumps, but they had hardly started down the steep mountain road, when an animal jumped out right in front of them.
“What’s that?” Pepe cried out, pointing.
“Let’s get closer!” urged Toro.
Soon Toro recognised the animal by its horns. “Hooray”, laughed Toro. “It’s a mountain goat!”
“It’s a WILD mountain goat!” Pepe shouted, dancing up and down in the car.
“We’ve seen a wild animal that was on the sign”, Pepe and Toro high-fived each other in delight.
It was a GOOD day. A good day in the mountains. Pepe and Toro felt on top of the world.