The man coming down from a great height said to the woman who had been watching that he appreciated her assistance and would be grateful if she could assist some more in finding a bathroom.
Will you go back up again? the woman asked.
Why ever not. The view is magnificent. Would you like me to show you?
I rather think not. I do not have a head for heights.
Heights! Why you think that is high?
To me it is. How did you get up there in the first place?
Oh, I asked another passer-by for a long ladder. They were very obliging.
Perhaps it is the same person who lent me this.
What did they look like?
Tall and wiry, a bit like you as a matter of fact.
Ha! That’ll be the same.
They asked if I could put it back where I found it.
Make sure you do young lady. It’s the only one long enough around these parts. Are you sure you wouldn’t like a peek from the top?
Quite sure. Have a good day, won’t you?
That I will. That I will. However, if you could hang around until I have bathed, that would be of further great assistance.
I will sit here at the bottom of the ladder and make sure no one takes it away.
You are very kind. I hope you will pass by this way again. It has been most enjoyable chatting to you. The folks around here don’t go in much for chatting. They are a very insular lot. I know that from my observations.
Maybe they think you are spying on them?
That has crossed my mind. But my attention is on greater things, things much further away.
What do you see from your perch up there?
Many wonderful things young lady. Things that would amaze you. I can see the past and the future.
Because you are so high?
Are you a god?
Ha! If only. Do you think I would need to wash and shave if I were a god? No, there is a taller pillar many furlongs from here. I can just about see it in the east. It touches the clouds.
East you say?
Far you say?
Many many days’ journey.
Thank you. I might travel that way.
If you do, be sure to say hello. You will need a very long, long ladder I think.
c John Pitt, 2022
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