The Mountain

She sat at the top of the mountain, stoic, feet embedded into the ground, hair flowing down her back across the rocks, over the grass along the streams, then rivers, winding itself into this world, into life itself.

Her feet, long ago stopped moving, now they feel everything, cold snow, sharp rocks the movement of water as it trickled over her toe roots, caressing her as it flowed then roared down the mountain. From a distance the mountain was just like any other, halfway up its height the trees branches turned from green into to grey, in the winter the whole mountain turned white.

Sometimes on a sunny day from down below it was possible to just make out her flowing hair, in the winter an ice flow, in the summer, awash trees and fields waving with her green hair, from the summit down into the valley. Seasons changed and so did she, her colors merging and weaving themselves along each branch and root, splitting again and again, folding her into the very fabric of this world.

Down by her feet there was a beautiful valley, just as nature had intended to be, fresh alive, animals of every size and hue living out their lives in the gentle shadow of the great mountain, water coursing down her back to bring life to all the plants, flowers and great trees, all in concert, together just living.

Slowly people came to the area, at first a small tribe of natives, at peace with the land and all around it, they bathed in her rivers, ate food from her trees, hunted the wild animals and all was peaceful, the world and the mountain lived and breathed as one.

Now and again she would move, just a slight shrug of her arm, the slightest of motions, hardly anything at all, but what started as a small gesture grew, it travelled down the mountain, boulders rolled, trees fell and streams changed their course. Once passed, all would be as it once was, no change, just season after season, her great head of hair flowing down into the valleys and streams, along the great rivers out across the earth until no part of it was untouched by her presence.

Down in the valley more people came, they travelled from all over the world, from other islands they came to this great place knowing that the mountain was benevolent, living by her side they could gain strength and grow. They brought with them horses and metal, they plowed the earth, fenced in the lands and hunted the wild animals until they became harder and harder to find.

Time rolled along, she sat and watched with her head high up in the clouds until the people were all around her, they now had machines, across the deserts and over the Great Plains they built rails then rode great monsters breathing fire and smoke, dragging a thing called civilization over the land right to her feet.

More people came, the green valley became covered with wooden homes, then bricks, then concrete, roads wormed their way up her sides, so that people could drive their vehicles up to sit at her feet, they looked out over the land and were in awe of her view. But the view was not as it was originally intended, where once there was green and peace and beauty, now there were towns, great black top highways which grew and expanded at a rate so fast it was hard to her to even comprehend how quickly her paradise had vanished below her.

The years rumbled by, where she once let her hair flow down the mountain into the rivers, they dug a great hole, a hole so big that had she fallen she would have been swallowed up in its deep murky depths, they took her streams and rivers than were once pristine and full of pure clean life giving water and turned them, they built walls and dams and all the water that once fed the whole land was poured into the darkness of the great hole.

From up high she could see the land far off in the distance started to change color, the greens and emerald hues left to be replaced by dull beige and dusty sand, the trees stopped throwing out seeds because the ground was so dry nothing could live. She watched as her life giving water was used to produce power, not content with small machines the people built bigger and bigger buildings, the water that once fed the world now turned great turbines and power shot out from them across the whole world.

During the winter her hair used to turn silver grey and white, it could be seen from miles and miles away, it shone in the sun like a beacon of light. Now sometimes there was a hint of silver, but the white cold that adorned her head was gone, the spring used to bring the liveliest of greens, pale and fresh before turning to deep evergreen as the summer rolled in. Now, close to her head the color remained the same all year around, for a brief moment in the spring there was sometimes a flash of green a hint of what used to be, but the people were not interested, they ignored her, paid no attention to the way she was changing.

More and more people came, not for her beauty any more but for what they could take from her, they felled her green hair, chopped down the great trees that had festooned her shoulders for centuries. They dug deep into her very core taking out the minerals and precious metals that gave life to her and the world above. Digging deeper still they raked out black coal, then burnt it causing great plumes of smoke to rise into the air and float up to the stars. When she looked out towards the heavens she once knew they were gone, hidden away behind a cloud of dirt that wallowed and flowed around the earth.

Where once she could feel the earth beneath her toes, the life force of water fresh and clean trickling along her roots out to breathe life into all living things, she now felt nothing. Her great roots were gone, her hair shorn short, her insides riddled with holes. Slowly she raised her head towards the sky, crying out, she pulled at her roots reaching backwards as far as she could until her head saw nothing but the heavens, then from deep within her she let out a scream so loud that it was heard all over the world. She opened her mouth and screamed and screamed until from deep within her resentment poured out across the land covering the people leaving nothing but burnt blackness where once there was nothing but beauty.

Across the world there were others, they sat on great mountains, a few still green and hopeful, some like her having watched as her world was destroyed around her, threw back their heads and cried.



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