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Eva and Granny's Adventure

CW Hurni is an established sculptor, with a BA from CSUS. Studied puppetry with Prof. Bay and established Puppets and Motion with her original plays.

No better time to take Granny on a visit to Switzerland than in spring. Eva, for her twenty-first birthday, had been thinking about taking her Grandmother back to Switzerland to go visit the house where she grew up and to show her favorite places.

Together they made plans hiking in the Alps and the Jura mountains. Eva found a small apartment in Biel with a view of the Lake where they were to spend a couple of weeks to explore the mountainous landscapes.

This sunny morning Eva roused Granny, "Wake up, wake up, the weather is fine and we have a lot to do. I already went to the bakery and packed our backpacks with sandwiches, cheese, bread, apples and the water bottles. We need to go catch an early ride on the mountain tram if we want to take the hike over the Twannberg."

This was the hike Granny had been talking about. It was her favorite childhood outing with Uncle Fritz to the Jura Mountains that are on the edge of Switzerland and towards France.

Breakfast was a quick bite and Eva donned the backpack. They walked to the funicular station and caught the next tram. As the car climbed, they observed the buildings shrinking and slowly blending into the urban grid below. Disembarking, the morning mist bit their noses with a chilling grip. Eager to move their muscles, Eva mustered the pack and they were on their way.

The hiking paths led them through meadows where dew had littered everything with glittering diamonds. The landscape changed to a forest where the morning fog had settled and veiled the scenery into gloom. Trees turned to ghostly wood creatures, reaching and brushing against them with threatening gestures.

Eva and Granny grasped each other's hand for comfort. Their hearts were racing and their footsteps accelerated. Granny, who remembered the path, was thinking of Uncle Fritz and began humming one of the tunes he used to play on his accordion.

Eva chimed in with her lovely voice to help make the goblins disappear. Bravely they continued on their trek. Thus, they continued for quite some time, until the sun sent its first rays to dissolve the shadows.

Eva and Granny were in such a hurry to escape the doom, and did not realize how much altitude they had gained. Emerging above the forest, to their delight, the gated cow pastures and meadows had readied themselves for the spring with carpets of golden daffodils as far as the eye could see.

"The cattle don't like to eat those flowers," Granny told Eva.

Below the slopes, the sapphire waters of Lake Biel became visible. A ready-made bench for hikers invited them for a well-deserved rest and hungrily chomped into one of their peanut butter and banana sandwiches while drinking in the panorama.


A rustle and footsteps startled them. A large hungry bull emerged from nowhere, His giant horns pointing at Granny, who was clutching her sandwich. He was ready to charge his intruder. Eva screamed as his glowing eyeballs averted to look at her. Sidetracked by the scent of the exposed contents of the rucksack, their lunch the bull decided differently. With a slobbering mouth he dove his face into what was now his feeding bag. He ate everything, including the wax paper and nibbled on the backpack.

Eva dropped what was in her hands and they ran to conceal behind some sturdy tree trunks. From this place, they observed that the bull was still looking for food and smelled that there was more. After slathering saliva all over, he ate the rest from the backpack, and then followed Eva's dropped scraps that led him to the hikers. He nosed the water bottles that littered the scene, but they were of no interest. Granny threw the fragment of her sandwich crunched in her hand at the beast to distract him and Eva yelled, "Granny, let's go. Granny run!"

Scampering as fast as they could, across the field, away from the angry stomping, and snorting. Eva hurdled the fence and helped her gasping grandmother to climb.

Safe, out of breath, having lost their way, they composed themselves. Needing to somehow find their destination was their important goal. If they could only locate the Twannbach Schlucht, a shallow gorge carved by the creek, by the same name, they might find their way.

The wanderers used logic and followed the edge of the meadow where they could see the lake in the distance. After what seemed a very long time of walking and guessing, they found a lone, thick-walled stone house. They knocked on the door to get directions and were received with kindness and some refreshments. Ways to their destination were explained and the hikers were on their way.

A faint gurgling was heard and upon getting closer they spotted the looked-for gushing creek whose springtime runoff inside the gulch made them want to take off their shoes and go wading. Following the rapid running creek, they enjoyed the churning, splashing, and dancing of the glistening waters that emptied through farmed, terraced vineyards into the lake. The downhill hike made Granny's knees dodder and she had to stop a few times to stretch and tell her legs to behave.

Eva was delighted as they discovered chubby buds sprouting on the grape vines. "For the successful grape harvest," Granny explained smiling at her granddaughter.

They meandered through the terraces at a comfortable pace to finally arrive on the harbor of Lake Biel in the town of Twann. They ate lunch at a popular restaurant. The local batter-fried fish filets with parsley potatoes and salad tasted oh so good to the famished hikers. Grateful that their wallets were not eaten by the bull and had been safely stored in their back pockets, they opted for the ice cream dessert as well.

Granny's surprise for Eva was to return on the regularly scheduled ship. As they waited for it, Eva was overjoyed and re-energized, full of exuberance and she turned cartwheels on the grassy shores.

Lounging on the deck of the boat named Berna, inhaling the mountain air and drinking some steamy hot chocolate made a pleasant ending for their adventurous day.

~ CW Hurni





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