Dating and Mating:
It has happened
before and it will happen again. Two people begin to feel a need to
share their lives with another. They enjoy the company of their close
friends and relatives but it just doesn’t seem enough any more. Life is
becoming rather dull and they long for an adventure. Neither could
predict how it would come about.
They met at a dinner party. He thought she was fascinating and she liked
his sense of humour. They shared an interest in the outdoors and decided
to go hiking in the mountains. A week later they drove to the foothills
where the trails began. Each had packed lightly as they trusted the
weatherman’s sunny-sky prediction.
The day began as expected with blue skies all around. Distracted by the
beauty along the trail they failed to notice how the thick mountain
forest hid approaching clouds. Cool moist air was their only clue. The
storm struck quickly and they raced down the trail seeking shelter. He
reached the old lean-to first, climbed inside and sat quietly cursing
his lack of rain gear. She arrived soon after, feeling and looking
half-drowned. For a while they rested, silently shivering in the cool
The downpour had made the steep trail slippery and after a short
discussion they reluctantly agreed to remain there over night. Scouring
the bushes around them they soon collected a substantial pile of wood.
Unfortunately, the wood was soaked and the pieces too large to light.
They tried to light them anyway and nearly ran out of matches and
patience too. If they had known each other better it would have been
more difficult to hide their fear and anger.
She rummaged through her pack, found a knife and began to scrape wet
bark off the old branches. They held their breaths as the last match was
struck. The dry kindling lit and they carefully nurtured the flame by
adding larger and larger pieces of wood. The benefits of their efforts
were soon felt. The fire provided warmth and light and a feeling of
security in the wilderness. They heated some food and it tasted
wonderful. They had never cherished dry clothes as much. Their moods
rose with the romance of the moment.
Exhausted by the day’s events, they curled up in front of the fire and
fell asleep. However, the rain continued to fall and the lean-to was not
exactly water-tight. Rain drops slowly dripped on the fire and on them
but was not noticed until many hours later when she awoke, soaked in the
dark. She woke him quickly and he shared her feelings of panic as they
noticed only a faint glow in the ashes. They would need the fire if they
were to wait out the rain in any comfort.
They gingerly cleared off the ashes and hunted for sparks. Repeating
what they had done before, they placed small sticks on the coals and
blew on them. Their relief grew with the flames. She sighed. He wiped
his forehead with the back of his hand. Though shaken they clearly
understood what had to be done from then on.
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