30 September 2004

The patchwork mountain

I haven't introduced myself yet have I? I must have forgotten. With age comes great knowledge, but few faculties to remember it.

Oh yes, a story about a cold mountain, that's what's required.

In the Hillymalaya, a small town resided at the base of Old Worrier. This was the largest mountain in the range, and was covered all the way up to its peak in snow. The townspeople loved the mountain, particularly in Spring, when the snow melted, the rivers flowed and the land turned green once more.

But one year, they had the coldest Winter anyone had ever seen. People walked round head to toe in thick rugs and balaclavas, and even then they still got cold.

One girl would spend a lot of her time at the foot of the mountain, watching the snow fall. She could spend hours outside, just sitting quietly, waiting for the birds and animals to pass by.

On one of the coldest nights, she sat quietly thinking about the stars, when the earth started to rumble beneath her.
"I'm cold," grumbled Old Worrier. "So cold!"

The girl couldn't believe her ears.

"I cannot keep the snow on me any more!" it grumbled. The earth shaking violently every time it spoke. "If I shiver any more," it said, "your town will be engulfed by a great avalanche. I cannot hold on much longer!"

The girl rushed to the town and told the mayor what she'd heard. The mayor was concerned, but he thought he had an answer to the problem.

In a flash the girl rounded up all the townsfolk and told them what they must do. Everyone was to stitch, knit or tie squares of material. No-one was to stop until a massive blanket had been made to cover the mountain.

They worked all night, and by sunrise a procession of colour wound its way up through the town and over the mountain passes. It took some effort, but the people dragged the blanket across the mountain top until it was wrapped up snuggly in its own patchwork quilt.

"Oooooh what a wonderful idea!" said the mountain. "I feel much warmer now. Thankyou everyone."

It was quite a sight among the white mountain range to see a colourful mountain stand proud, but it did the trick, and Old Worrier never had to shiver again.