Once upon a time, there was a family of puffins named the Puffins. They all had splendid colorful feathers. The father was called Franchino and the mother was called Nina, and they had two little chicks who were a bit of a nuisance.
After a series of adventures, for some strange reason completely unknown to them, the Puffins ended up living in a nest on top of a tall New York skyscraper.
Even though they lived in a big city full of smog and noise, the Puffins felt lucky because when they had the time, they could fly very high, all around the sky and enjoy the colors and smells of nature.
In New York, life wasn’t bad at all. In fact, it was often really very interesting and full of things to do: always new movies to see in the cinema, rooms to watch through the slats of ventilation windows, colored lights to admire, bars open at all hours where you could always find some tasty crumbs. All in all, mommy and daddy Puffins were great.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in the Big Apple.
Daddy Puffins was a postman by day and wasn’t around a lot because he was always flying between the skyscrapers of New York to deliver his letters here and there. (It must be noted that he liked his job very much, especially because every once and awhile he found the time to sit somewhere and read the letters he found most fascinating).
The little ones, on the other hand, could never sleep at night because there was a lot of noise and this often made them very unpredictable. At the end of the day, mommy Nina was always very angry… The little ones just couldn’t live like this!
The mommy puffin definitely wanted to go back to Iceland, her beloved land full of cliffs that she could jump from and dive right into the sea with all her friends, parents, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandparents, and great-grandparents!!!
And so, one day the daddy puffin, Franchino decided it was time to pack up and start their long journey home.
The plan was to fly all together, holding each others’ wings way high up and then to dive down in one fell swoop back to Iceland all in the twinkling of an eye!
To avoid the risk of using too much effort, however, mommy and daddy Puffins decided to bring with them a wicker basket attached to a large balloon, so that if they got tired, they could sit quietly and have a picnic.
Indeed, at one point the two little ones started complaining about being tired and the Puffins all piled tightly into the basket to chat and rest for a bit.
Without anyone noticing, the basket landed in a large meadow.
The Puffins climbed out of the basket and began to wander around left and right to see where they had ended up.
Had they already arrived in their beloved Iceland?!
Until… wow!!! They saw a giant sign in front of them with MARS written on it!
Mars?!?!?!?! Yes, indeed, they had landed right on Mars and since they had no great alternatives because from there the journey to Iceland really would have been too long, they decided to spend some time together exploring the strange place.
They played every game imaginable. At night they even played hide-and-seek in the dark!
And just like that while playing hide-and-seek, they discovered that there was also a sea on Mars… they were so happy! They could dive and swim all day long!
But most importantly, they didn’t know that right in the sea they would have met their new best friend!
One day when daddy Puffins proposed a game of hide-and-seek in the sea (because the poor Puffins didn’t know what other games to invent anymore!), the little Puffins began to hide inside the giant grottos carved into rock underwater. Little did they know that right in the middle of one of those great caves was a new friend, a giant octopus, bigger than the largest octopus they could have ever imagined. There sat Mr. Rossi.
Mr. Rossi had a lot of stories to tell and one evening, while they listened to his stories sitting together around a bonfire, the Puffins discovered that Mr. Rossi was a Martian (!!!) and that on nights with a full moon, he it turned into a spaceship!
With his help, on one of those nights, the Puffins finally managed to get back to their beloved Iceland and, though a little sad that they were leaving behind their dear octopus friend, the Puffins finally embraced all twenty-five thousand of their friends and relatives and were happy to be home.