The Mountaineer

I knew a man who loved to climb mountains he loved the challenge of finding his way up the rocky sides and the beauty of the views from the top. Sometimes of course he slipped as he climbed but he never let it worry him and he climbed eagerly on.

One day however something new happening to him. He was high up on a steep rugged cliff face when he lost his grip and fell some way before he came to rest on the tiny ledge. The fall had knocked the wind out of him and he clung they are getting his breath back as he did so he glanced downwards. The rock face stretched away before him; birds wheeled in the air far below his feet and at the bottom tiny trees dotted a jumble of sharp boulders.

For the first time ever he began to imagine what it would be liked to tumble through the air and crash down onto those sharp rocks. As he gazed in horror the rock face seems to extend further and further away from him and the ground seemed ever more distant. The man kept touching the rock face panting with terror. He felt sure that if he relaxes grip for one second he would fall head over heels to the boulders below the only thing was to hold on tight. However time as it does when by. He began to breathe deeply and so to think more clearly about his predicament. It was very uncomfortable on his tiny ledge. A cold wind was blowing and his hands and feet were getting numb. It was also, he realised, very boring; all he could see was the rock in front of his nose. Well he thought, now what? This is no fun. But if I start to move, I may fall. The thought terrified him, so he climbed a little while longer. But his hands were getting even more numb. Actually he thought if I just stay here I am going to fall anyway – that is if I don’t die of boredom first. He clung on a bit longer anyway but at last the thought came to him.

There is only one thing to do: keep climbing. And so he did. At first his legs and arms were so stiff that every move was difficult and took all his concentration and courage. But after a while, he began to get back into his rhythm and his confidence began to creep back. He noticed a small flowers blooming in cracks in the rock and listen to the wind sighing around him any began to remember why he loved to climb mountains. In time, he reached the top, and stood watching the sun touching the tops of the peaks all around him and felt a deep peace.

Angela Shaw

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