Once upon a time, a young boy named Kane was standing at the base of a cliff. He dare not look up, as he had been told that you could not see the top through the clouds that moved overhead and he was worried that he might be discouraged from the goal he had set for himself. Kane carried an old backpack on his shoulders, with only as many supplies as he thought necessary for his journey. There were snacks such as muesli bars and seeds, three water bottles and a small kit containing basic emergency supplies. Tied to the backpack was a rope and, in his hands, he carried two pickaxes. Kane had been told that this was an impossible dream, but, as no one had ever attempted to conquer the cliff before, Kane chose to ignore their advice. What Kane was focussing on, was taking the first step on to the rock. What happened after that, neither Kane nor anybody else could know. Everything beyond the first step, therefore, was not worth worrying about.
Kane leaned one hand against the rocks at the base of the cliff and, still avoiding looking upwards, he realised there was a lot of beauty to be found down here. The cliff face went to the left and right of him for as far as he could see, creating a feeling closure. There were tufts of grass growing out of the rocks that appeared greener than they were against the backdrop of the brown and black rocks and the patterns that the water had etched into the rocks over the years told a story he would be happy to read about for a lifetime. The shoes on his feet looked to be in their element, framed by the dirt and stones beneath his feet. This made him feel as though he was already more adventurous than he may have been in reality. There was no specific answer as to why Kane shouldn’t be satisfied with remaining at the base of the cliff, admiring the intricate details of the natural beauty around him, but his preparations had not been about staying at the bottom, they had been motivated by the idea of doing something that no one else had ever done.
The cliff had taken on a legendary status where Kane lived, but he deliberately avoided any conversation or discussion about the cliff’s proposed greatness. What Kane knew, that others did not seem to know, was that the cliff was capable of growing. The forest in front of the cliff had become a sanctuary for Kane over the years and, during his visits, he had made the link between the size of the cliff and the beliefs people held about just how unattainable the summit of the cliff was. The more people thought that the peak was impossible to reach, the broader and higher the cliff grew. So, when people told him he could not climb the cliff, he merely closed his eyes and imagined what it would be like to reach the top. This was why Kane was here, and why it was possible he may never return once his journey began. If enough people believed there was no summit, then there was no way to know if Kane would ever reach the top.
As Kane reviewed the final preparations for his journey, he reminded himself that the only way to be successful was to continue climbing until he could climb no further. He reminded himself that there was beauty in every step he would take and that the cliff would shrink the further he got from the ground.
Looking directly ahead into the crevice of a rock in front of him, Kane lifted his pickaxe and drove it deep into the cliff face.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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