After a cold night in the mountains one does not so much wake up as just start stirring because it’s gotten bright enough to see that the forest just hasn’t really noticed. That is the predicament that Monk Ki has entered. Having nothing better to do he sets off along the path. This path was once the roadbed of a logging railroad. The railroad provided a way for cheap labor to fell huge trees and provide cheap lumber to faraway cities. Now the cost of timber is expensive and cheaper substitutes are used. The lumber once culled off the mountain is termite food. Symbiosis of a sort.
Two hours later our wandering recluse hears a sound. Hey we are surrounded by sounds all of the time but seem to catch our attentions more than others. “Bleat.”
Not bleep. Bleat. Down in a small valley he hears the sound. It can’t be worse than the sounds he imagined during the night. And he breaks from the path and follows a small creek over and around rocks until he stumbles into spot where a few deadfall trees have opened a space. He finds a woman and several goats. Hey it’s my story. I can do what I want. Right?
“Hello.” He speaks to the woman.
“And just what are you supposed to be?” Friendliness isn’t her most apparent trait.
“Excuse me? I’m not sure I understand what you are asking.
“I asked what the hell are you? Are you deef too?” She laughs like one of the goats standing near her.
“I am a student of Master Ho Ha.”
“Yeah right. And I’m Matahari the super spy.” She pulls her shawl down slightly to reveal a smooth shoulder.
“No really. I am. I’m on a pilgrimage of sorts. I’m searching for Anama Li. She is a woman I know.”
“Does this line get you much?” She winks at him.
“Hey Baldy, you missing a few marbles?”
“Marbles. I don’t have any marbles.”
“That explains it then.”
“What can I do for you then?” She smiles at him. The smile reminds him of Anama Li.
“I heard your animal and came to see what beast was making the noise. I see it’s your sheep.
“Wrong a mondo. They are goats. Ain’t you ever seen goats?”
“Goats. I meant goats. “He didn’t but Monk Ki is remiss to admit he makes mistakes.
“Yeah, well now you’ve seen them. Bye Bye.” She nods in the direction of the mountain.
“I don’t understand you.”
“What’s there to understand. You heard my goats and came to see what made the noise. You found out. End of story.
She pointed up the hillside as the direction Monk Ki should take. His gaze followed her hand. He saw a white rock on top of a nearby mountain. He turned to ask the woman about it. She and the goats were no where to be seen.
git er done.