October 11, 2009

The Path and the Fog

The path and the fog concocted a plan, a practical joke, to be more precise. It was the path’s idea to mess with the minds of the backpackers camping in the grove. Instead of the usual route to the lake, 4.3 miles as indicated on the signpost at the path’s head, the path, under cover of the fog, would skitter east to end in a chasm of broken slabs. The packers would be left to clamber over rubble to nowhere for hours. The fog, having no use for humans, thought the idea brilliant. The trees, on the other hand, sighed in disgust at the juvenile behavior.

“I can see that one guy, the know-it-all, taking out his compass and shaking it or something. Can’t you?” grinned the path.

The fog nodded its wisps and chuckled, “Yeah. ‘What? Me lost? The great me? How can that be?'”

“Yeah,” said the path.

Dawn repaired, after breaking, and the trees tried to ignore the fog thickening and the path skittering east to end in the chasm. The backpackers emerged from their warm mummy sleeping bags. The fog held thick until all packs were packed and on backpacker backs. Then it lifted to reveal the path and its signpost, which said: MIRROR LAKE 4.3 Mi. Off went the packers, single file, one, two, three, four, and singing, “My hat, it has three corners, three corners has my hat, if it didn’t have three corners, it wouldn’t be my hat.”

The path, almost beside itself with glee, could barely maintain its composure. The fog seeped to the lake and told it what the path had done. The lake thought it was pretty funny.

Moral: The wilderness has way too much time on its hands.

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