Chapter 10: New Years in Munich

Brilliant ending in Berlin

Rudy arrived in Berlin tired from his New Year’s partying and tired of his campaign for Europe’s elks. At the sight of him, the team at Hotel de Rome immediately booked a massage and detoxifying seaweed treatment in the spa – an emergency elk intervention.

Afterwards, and feeling a lot better, Rudy headed out down Unter den Linden, past the Brandenburg Gate and on to Berlin Zoo in search of another elk. It had been a while since he’d spoken to one of his kind, and after ten weeks on the road, he was starting to miss his friends.

There, he found reindeer upon reindeer – but not a single elk. Rudy despaired. Would his kind ever be recognised? Would the other elks ever see all he’d sacrificed for them… or get to admire his dashing new look?

On Rudy’s return to Hotel de Rome, the team ran him a bubble bath and delivered bottles of fresh birch sap to his room. At least someone knew how to pamper an elk in need.

Then, once Rudy had calmed down, the Concierge took him out to Grünewald forest for a hike amongst the snow-topped trees. He could see Rudy needed a taste of home, and he had the perfect plan – out in the forest, they could almost have been in Lapland.

Rudy breathed in the scent of the conifers and began to smile. Soon, he’d be back amongst the trees of his native Lapland, and his failed campaign would be safely behind him. He’d miss the fame, of course – but then, who wouldn’t?

In a familiar routine, the Concierge delivered the newspapers to Rudy’s breakfast table the next morning, this time with a broad smile.

The elk drew his breath and braced himself for humiliation – some long-lens shots of his Grünewald hike, perhaps, no doubt mistaking the Concierge for his personal trainer. He knew he shouldn’t have worn those hoof warmers.

He was about to let out a sigh when he turned to the lead story. He looked at it once, then looked at it again… and there it was.

Under an enormous photograph from The Charles Hotel, a single headline dominated the page:


Rudy flipped through the rest of the papers in disbelief, but it was true.

His campaign had succeeded. The elks had finally been recognised.