Once upon a time, Angus McClusky was going on a field trip with his grade 5 class. For them to better understand some of the concepts they were exploring in their poetry class, their teacher had organised for the students to hike their way up Mount Impossible. The students had thought that it was odd they were walking up the largest mountain in Greenvale as part of their poetry lessons, but, they were also not going to argue, as field trips were seen in the same light as having a day off from school. Angus was hoping that, at the very least, he might get some ideas to write about. Angus could understand the narratives and information books they read in class, but there was something about poetry that didn’t sit right with him. He still hadn’t figured out a topic when they arrived at the base of the mountain at precisely 9:54am.
Angus remembered the time they arrived because, as they walked off the bus, a man dressed in a very realistic pig suit asked him for nine-dollars and fifty-four cents. “Well, time is money,” the pig said. This only confused Angus more so he asked his teacher why the man greeting them was dressed in a pig suit. “A suit?” the pig interjected. “I’ll have you know that this is no suit! I am a pig. Watch!” The pig walked over to a plate of fruit and ate every last piece very quickly and very messily. Unsure how eating fruit in that way proved he was a pig, Angus put his bag on his bag and joined the rest of the students who were preparing to make their way up Mount Impossible.
Their teacher invited the students to start making their way up the first part of the mountain while he led the way. Their first stop involved watching a man at the base of the mountain casting a fishing line towards the students. Angus thought this to be somewhat dangerous, but their teacher informed them that all they would have to do is give the man a compliment and he would go away. “Excellent fishing technique!” one of the students yelled and the man promptly disappeared into the forest in front of them.
At that point, the teacher informed the students to have their umbrellas ready as it looked as though some rain was coming. Just as Angus put up his umbrella, a dog fell from the sky and landed safely on the soft grass next to him. This was closely followed by a cat who did the same thing. Soon, cats and dogs were falling out of the sky everywhere, and the students’ umbrellas weren’t much help at all. It was so bad, that Angus turned around in time see many students had suddenly turned into chickens and were running down the path back towards the bus. Since his teacher appeared unfazed by what was happening, Angus chose to stay calm and confidently continue his adventure up Mount Impossible.
The further up they travelled the colder it got, and they were at a point now where it was lightly snowing. Angus’s teacher informed the students that, if they liked, they could use the snow covering the ground like a blanket to keep them warm. Several students decided to try this and, since they were so comfortable, chose to stay there as the other class members, including Angus, continued towards the summit.
Along the way, they passed an older woman planting seeds in the ground. Naturally curious, the students asked her what she was planting, the woman turned to the students and replied that it was, “Best to wait and see before making such predictions, as nothing can ever truly be known.” This made little sense to Angus because he knew lots of things. He knew, for example, that they were very close to the summit of Mount Impossible and that he was freezing and very eager to get back to the warmth of the bus.
After several more minutes, the few students who were left were excited to have nearly reached the peak of Mount Impossible. That was when one of Angus’s classmates started crying, saying that he couldn’t make it as he was feeling very strange. They asked him what was wrong but all he could do was mention that he felt like he was feeling like the colour blue. There was nothing visibly wrong with him but three other students offered to stay with him. Now, it was only Angus and his teacher who were left to reach the peak of Mount Impossible on their own.
They turned a corner and reached a lookout. Angus’s teacher told him he had seen this view many times before and encouraged Angus to walk over to the edge and describe what he saw. “Wow!” exclaimed Angus as he held on to a tree and admired the beautiful view in front of him. “It’s so beautiful!”
“And it’s all for you,” Angus’s teacher replied. Angus realised that everyone he had met along the way had been actors, pushing him to go further and further up the mountain. It was as if he himself had been an unwilling actor and the mountain he had climbed some sort of stage. He now realised that the stage didn’t end and that it stretched around the world forever.
At once, Angus knew what he was going to write about and that his poem would be called, The Boy Who Walked Up the Mountain. He thanked his teachers for making them come on this field trip and his teacher suggested that they make their way back down to the mountain by floating on the ninth cloud that went past. Angus smiled and agreed.
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