The Funny Mountain

In late summer when I was eight, one day, my father and I made a daytrip to a mountain not too far from our town. Prior to our departure, there was a minor quarrel between my parents. The place my father had picked was a trail along a river in a cave, and my mother was never a person to go inside a cave of any sort. It was too risky in her opinion.

“I don’t want you to go there either,” she gave me a pointed look. “You’d better stay at home.”

But my mind was already set for the adventure. That further put off my mother, and she gave me a permission to go on one condition that I would memorize the meaning of the list of English words she gave me. A rather random condition, but I accepted.

My father and I took a local train that carried us through many tunnels and eventually dropped us at the foot of a mountain whose name translated into English as Mt. Funny, the Funny Mountain.

My father and I found the beginning of the trail and followed it into the mountain. Just like my father had explained back home, the trail travelled along a river and led us into a wide cave. In some places, the trail became narrow and I could sense the running water underneath me and feel the wind on my bare knees.

Just before we turned around to head back to the station, I found a blue-coloured stone that had an interesting shape and put it in my pocket.

Once we were back at the station, we learned the next train wasn’t coming for another hour. So, my father and I sat at the bench in the amber late afternoon sunlight, him reading a book while I stared at the list of English words my mother had given me. I’d more than memorized the meaning of those words by the time the train finally came to rescue us from boredom.

As soon as we got back home, I eagerly reported the details of our adventure to my mother.

“Mt Funny was an interesting mountain,” I said breathlessly. “We walked on a cliff edge inside a cave, and look what I’ve found!”

My mother said she was happy she had stayed at home, but she did acknowledge that the stone I’d picked had a unique shape and colour.