Concentrating is like an adventure where nothing happens, and the more you do of it the more you want to tell someone about it and the less there is to tell. I guess that’s the difference between an adventure and what Mom calls a "pain in the ass.”
I was sniffing for critters in the white bushes when I heard Mom whisper-scream, “OH MY GOD!” and then burst out laughing. When I found her, she was laughing at a man who was dressed like a bush and standing still as a statue. He was carrying a lot of luggage with him, including one of the long sticks called a "gun."
I had never understood why humans collect things just for looking at, but as I looked at the tiny home wearing a hat of rampaging flame, I thought I understood how a building tells the story of the person inside. It’s a little bit like how the desert and mountains tell their story through cliffs, canyons, rocks and rivers both by what is missing and what is left behind.
The only way forward was to push through the branches like abominable snowmen. I let Mom go first because when she crashes through the brush, she knocks all the white dirt off the branches and carries it away in her collar, waistband and inside the packpack.
I'm a barefoot runner," I explained. "You should try it. Although sometimes I have to wear hats, and you shouldn't try that if you can avoid it." "Oh no!" she said. "Would you like me to call Sarah McLaughlan for you? She can help, I saw a special all about it on TV."
Most people don't know this, but deer are actually very large birds related to chickens and turkeys. Poultry like deer can't fly very far, but they can fly over bushes without breaking stride.
The white dirt wasn't everywhere, though. In the sunny patches, the rocks made a messy set of stairs that wagged up the mountain. Above our heads the pointy crown of the mountain stuck straight up toward the sky and all around it in a giant skirt was the biggest pile of loose rocks you can possibly imagine.
I walked out onto one rock, and then another. But after that, I couldn't find a way across without getting wet. I cautiously put a paw into the river, but it was cold, and deep, and pushy, and not at all the kind of adventure that I wanted to be on. "Come back!" I barked. "Come get me!"
The thing that had turned Mom into a a cream puff was that there was a perfect waterfall falling from right above our heads. It was small enough that its roar wasn’t scary and you could look at it all at once, and it spit a mist into the air that made the air sparkle. All around the waterfall were shiny rocks with bright green furry moss decorating them, and next to the big waterfall were smaller blue ice waterfalls. On the ground there were giant chunks of ice that were perfectly clear and looked like soccer-ball-sized diamonds. We were in a fairy land for tough people, like that elf city in Lord of the Rings (obviously, I’m Legolas and Mom is Gimli).