A Small Adventure in the Mountains

Today Annie went with her family on a car trip towards the mountains. It was okay. Mommy and Daddy spent the whole trip saying things like, “Wow! Look at those mountains! Annie, aren’t they so beautiful? Wow! Do you see them, Annie?”

Annie did see the mountains. They were mountains. They were pretty enough, but she wasn’t quite sure what the fuss was about. There were no beautiful dresses involved here. But she dutifully looked up at the mountains again and again and again, and agreed that, yes, they were very beautiful mountains.

They drove to a place called Rakaia Gorge, where there was a mountain called Mt Hutt. Many pictures were taken, and Mommy and Daddy wanted Annie to be in all of them. Annie was not much interested in smiling for the camera. Cora found the trip bizarre and confusing and also did her best to avoid smiling for the camera, spending most of the trip either crying, sleeping, or looking bewildered.

Annie felt more interested when there was a bridge to cross. She could look down far, far below and see the green-blue water. It was very, very windy on the bridge. Annie found a large rock and threw it off the bridge, and watched it fall far, far down and plunk into the water. Seconds later, a yellow boat with a motor zipped by, just in the place where Annie had dropped the rock, and Mommy and Daddy said no more throwing rocks off bridges.

Mommy and Annie both thought they saw a small black piglet snuffling around on the beach below. They found their way down to the beach with the piglet, and were disappointed that it was just a small dog rather than a piglet.

Mommy and Daddy tried to teach Annie how to skip stones across the water. Annie picked up the biggest rocks she could carry and heaved them into the water, where they sank rather than skipped. She was not disappointed. She liked throwing rocks into water.

On the drive home, Mommy and Daddy pulled over to take more pictures of the mountains, this time because there were cows in front of the mountains. Annie liked the cows. As soon as the car pulled over, all the cows started walking towards them, and then they all stopped in a big group in the middle of their field, and stared at Annie and her family. Annie thought this was very funny.

As they drove on towards home, Daddy looked around, at the green hills and the animals grazing in the fields and the mountains and he said, “We need to do more stuff like this. It feeds the soul!”

“No,” said Annie, and left it at that.

But the best part of the whole trip, by far, was after that. It was the playground on the way home. It was wooden and had so many things to climb on and swing on, and had a big red slide. Mountains, rivers, bridges – they were nice enough, but you couldn’t really play on them. You couldn’t even throw rocks off bridges, even when you said “Please, Mom? Pleeeease?”. But a playground – the possibilities were endless!

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