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                           The Mountain

                                                                 Jim Stovall
                                                                 (circa 1997)

There were two warring tribes in the Andes, one that lived in the lowlands and the other 
high in the mountains. The mountain people invaded the lowlanders one day, and as part 
of their plundering of the people, they kidnapped a baby of one of the lowlander families 
and took the infant with them back up into the mountains.

The lowlanders didn't know how to climb the mountain. They didn't know any of the trails 
that the mountain people used, and they didn't know where to find the mountain people or 
how to track them in the steep terrain.

Even so, they sent out their best party of fighting men to climb the mountain and bring the 
baby home.

The men tried first one method of climbing and then another. They tried one trail and then 
another. After several days of effort, however, they had climbed only several hundred feet.

Feeling hopeless and helpless, the lowlander men decided that the cause was lost, and 
they prepared to return to their village below.

As they were packing their gear for the descent they saw the baby's mother walking toward 
them. They realized that she was coming DOWN the mountain that they hadn't figured out
how to climb.

And then they saw that she had the baby strapped to her back.  HOW COULD THAT BE?

One man greeted her and said, "We couldn't climb this mountain. How did you do this 
when we, the strongest and most able men in the village couldn't do it?"

She shrugged her shoulders and said, "It wasn't your baby."

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