The two travelers clambered up the mountain, on the lookout for the bears sighted earlier and the cougars known to be frequenting the trails. The young one stomped her feet on the rocks and the older one sang, the better to scare away the wildlife.
Once they cleared treeline and reached the summit, they sat on a rock at the top of the mountain and gazed around. It was early afternoon and the clouds obscured the tops of the near and distant peaks. The wind blew steadily and strong. Chipmunks scampered about.
* * *
Small Talk #1
Youthful Companion: I want a chipmunk. Can I have a chipmunk?
A: You know I decided a while ago just to say “Sure” to every animal request you make from now on.
YC: So I can bring one of these chipmunks home with me?
YC: Here, little chipmunk. Come here, little fat chipmunk. No, not you. You. You over there, little fat one.
* * *
Small Talk #2
YC: Could we pitch a tent up here tonight?
A: Sure. We might blow off the mountain in the middle of the night though.
YC (squinting against the gale force wind): Oh.
A: Maybe not, if we pound the stakes into that crevice in the rock over there.
YC: Crevice? Ugh. I hate that word.
A (deeply interested): You do?
YC: Yes. I do. I also hate other words.
A (even more deeply interested): Really? Such as?
A: Oh, that’s right! You’ve always hated the word moist. What else?
YC: Curdled. Pus-y.
A: Pus-y? Eww.
* * *
Small Talk #3
YC (gazing down upon the roiling river and lake far below, dark peaks rearing up on both sides): Look! It’s like a scene from Harry Potter!
A (picturing the Hogwarts environs): You’re right!
YC (pointing): I expect to see the German school rising from the lake right, down, there.
A (pointing): And I expect to see the French school come galloping out of those pine woods right, over, there.
YC: Can I have a chipmunk?
* * *