Bell hiked along the craggy outcrop lined with giant fir trees on his way to stream, coursing through the countryside. Bell had a massive red beard, that was down to his knees. The beard was hardly cumbersome, as Bell would routinely use his beard to protect himself from the harshness of the elements, lest he succumb to exposure.
On this spring day, Bell made his way to the stream to fish. As he hiked, he carried his trusty fishing rod and a cask of his favorite ale. Venturing to the stream was nothing new to Bell, as he routinely set forth for a fresh catch. The stream held many fish, none more abundant than the Northern Red Salmon. The salmon sustained many vagabonds such as Bell, as they traveled the rocky hillsides that ran beside the river.
Bell found his way to his usual spot, prepared his rod, and set down his cask of ale. Patiently, he cast his line in search of a salmon. The salmon were hesitant to take Bell’s line, and after a few hours, he became frustrated. He had a habit of waiting until he caught a fish until opening his cask, and was beginning to feel hungry.
As soon as the hunger emerged, so did a bite on his line. Pleased, Bell began to reel in his catch, looking forward to relieving the growling in his stomach. As the catch approached, Bell began to notice something peculiar. There was no fish on the line, but something he had not seen before.
It looked like his eyes were playing tricks on him. Here was an animal that had the bill of a duck, the body of a beaver, and the limbs of an otter. Confused, Bell stroked his beard and looked curiously at the animal before it spoke to him:
“I’m afraid I am far from home,” the animal said. “Can you help me find my way?”
Still reeling from the initial shock and ridiculousness of the situation, Bell had difficulty summoning a reply.
“My home is far from here, in a river surrounded by red dirt and tall trees. Tree far bigger than the ones I see here.”
“I don’t know of any such place,” Bell said. “But I believe we can find it if we try.”
“I think I could show you the way if you help me. I can stay in the river during the day, but I need a place to stay at night. What if I showed you where to fish and in return, you could protect me during the night?”
Bell was still hungry, and decided to take the animal up on its offer. Shortly there after, Bell had caught enough fish to last him a day or two and opened the cask of ale.
As night descended, Bell found a place to rest underneath a large fir tree. “Come,” Bell said. “I use my beard to protect me, so I figure it can protect you too, just like we agreed.”
“Thank you. They call me platypus.”
“They call me Bell. Nice to meet you.”
The two companions rested that night, preparing for the voyage ahead…