The man sat on the horse, and the sun beat down on them both. The man scowled at the sky and prodded the horse, "Onward." he said, and the horse trotted over the dusty, pebble-strewn ground.
Below the path, in a mountain valley, a river ran. It seemed to the man that the torrent was in a desperate rush to escape from his very destination. Annoyed, the man pulled his hat down against the spray from the swollen waters. He sighed. The horse didn't mind the river, for the water was a welcome relief from the dust.
The smell of the river seemed to mingle with the scent of the forest higher on the mountainsides, and together they seemed to remind the man of something he had since lost.
The path and the river wound together and climbed higher and higher into the mountains until the last tree dwindled out of sight, and only blades of grass cloaked the craggy peaks in robes of green.
A chill wind replaced the sun, and the river-spray revealed its icy origin. The horse did not falter, for he was born in these glades and he cantered faster still.
The river at last let go of the path, and for a while it seemed to wander aimlessly through the vast mountaintop-meadows. But the path knew the way well, and it led the travellers to a bridge that spanned a vast crack in the earth.
The man got down from the horse and took a moment to stand up straight. He could see the forest in the distance, slowly fading into the mountains. He let the horse rest for a minute, then took his bridle and led him across. The man did not falter, or look down, but the horse did and he saw the river in the dark depths of the fissure.
The man sat on the horse and the rain drummed on his hat. They had come far and farther yet they had to go, but the dark clouds had brought an early twilight, and the travellers sought shelter.
Soon, only lightning pierced the gathering night, and the roaring rain sought to rival the thunder. But the travellers had found respite, for the path had led them to a welcome cave.
The man and the horse lay on the rocky floor where no damp had found its way, and the rain lulled them to sleep.