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Peter the Mountain Climber

Peter the mountain climber was famous for his attempts to climb the big snowy mountain. He had tried it at least thirty times, but had always failed. He began the ascent at a good pace, focusing on the snowy summit, imagining the marvelous view and the sense of freedom up there.

On one occasion he felt that he would make it. As he went up, and his strength dwindled, his gaze would lower, and often instead of looking at where he was going, he would look at his worn-out boots. Finally, when the clouds had gathered around him, and he understood that he wouldn't be able to enjoy the view from the summit that day, he would sit down to rest, relieved to be able to start the descent back down to the village.

Nevertheless, he was slightly worried about all the fun he would have to endure from people he had told he would definitely manage to reach the top.

On another occasion he had gone up the mountain accompanied by the town optician, John who bore witness to his failure. It was John who most encouraged Peter to try again, and he presented him with a pair of special sunglasses.

"If it starts clouding over, put these glasses on, or if your feet start hurting put them on too. These are special glasses; they'll help you.”

Peter accepted the gift without giving it too much thought, but when his feet started hurting again, he remembered what John had said, and he put on the glasses. The pain was pretty bad, but with those new sunglasses he could still manage to see the snow-covered summit; he continued.

Just as nearly always seemed to happen, misfortune returned in the form of cloud cover. But this time it was so light that he could still see the summit through the clouds. And so, Peter kept climbing, leaving the clouds behind, forgetting his pain, and finally arriving at the summit.

It was certainly worth it. His feeling of triumph was incomparable; almost as magnificent as that wonderful view, resplendent in its silence, the mountain below surrounded by a dense sea of clouds. Peter didn't remember the clouds being as thick as that, so he looked more closely at the sunglasses, and understood everything.

John had engraved a light image on the lenses, in the form of the snow-covered summit. It was made in such a way that you could only see it if you looked upwards. John had understood that whenever Peter lost sight of his objective, he would similarly lose sight of his dream, and his will to continue would wane.

Peter realized that the only obstacle to reaching the summit had been his own discouragement. When he could no longer see the top of the mountain, the problems had set in. He thanked John for using that little trick to help him see that his aims were not impossible, and that they were still there, where they had always been.

Have a great day!

Prof. Carl Boniface

Source: original story from Free Stories for Kids


Vocabulary builder:

Ascent (n) = climb, rise, ascension, mounting, scaling, (ant) descent

Summit (n) = conference, meeting, high-level meeting, peak, top, pinnacle, apex

Dwindled (v) regular verb to decrease, decline, diminish, fell, fallen, dropped

Gaze (n) = stare, look, regard, contemplation, observation, scrutiny, gape

Worn-out (adj) = exhausted, fatigued, tired. 1. (of a person or animal) extremely tired; exhausted. "You look worn out!" shabby, well-worn. 2. damaged or shabby to the point of being no longer usable. "Worn-out shoes!"

Resplendent (adj) = splendid, dazzling, magnificent, glorious, brilliant, stunning, glittering, impressive, (ant) unimpressive

Wane (n) = diminish, fade, vanish, decrease, get smaller, disappear, (ant) wax. “His shoes began to fade, so he got polish out of his bag and gave them a good shining.”

Discouragement (n) = caution, warning, deterrence, opposition, (ant) encouragement

Trick (adj) = fake, false, artificial, hoax, pretend, (ant) real

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