Index WA, Population 178


The mountain of my home town, called by many affectionate title. Some call her Mt. Index, for her finger that points up the settler’s pass. Some refer to her as Henry, because she was once honored so in poetry. Some claim her as Mother for the way our little town huddles in her skirts, and some call her Master, for the way she defines the horizon and shapes the river.

One day beneath the folds of her gown, I observed a small Kingfisher stalking minnows in the shallows. He soon departed with a squirming prize, and a chipmunk stole down from the boughs to bathe. He splashed water on his little cheeks, rubbed vigorously about the ears and neck, shook himself briefly and darted in among the maze of rock and root. I watched him placidly from my driftwood seat, feeling paternal affection for his beady little eyes and his snow melt bathing.

Before leaving the beach with my bottle of iced tea and smoked salmon jerky, I too paused to splash a bit of water on the back of my neck and arms, washing away the dust of August. As I did so, that snowy peak looked down upon my small activities on the sunny bank, and felt maternal affection for my small life. Watching with a smile as I rubbed vigorously about my ears and neck.

“What a cute little thing.” She said to herself as I trotted up the sandy trail…


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