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?
* * *
(I agree with Diane.)
I have enjoyed reading about your road trip. That’s a lovely photo, well worth clicking on to enlarge.
The fat chipmunk might be a pregnant one. You will end up with eight chipmunks!
(If you do need easy photo editing, you could try Google’s Picasa. Downloads in a couple of minutes and really is easy and fun…)
Thanks, D&K and L. So far it’s been a wonderful trip.
Lucy, I once had Picasa on another computer but never did anything with it. I will absolutely download it again and actually *use* it this time. When it comes to photos I am terrible.
The fat chipmunk remained on the mountain. My youthful companion loves animals of all kinds, from chipmunks to horses to elephants, and would like a ranch on which to keep them all. It’s surprisingly fun to plan out the imaginary ranch as we go along. . .
oh my god did i ever spend so very many childhood hours planning my animal-filled ranch. tell yc to bring me back a chipmunk in honor of that memory, will you?