I love hiking in new places with my bipeds. Sometimes we walk in a big loop and end up where we started, but quite often we return along the same path. Some of the paths we walk aren’t used very much and it can be difficult to see the path, but I can always retrace our steps.
They noticed this when I was still quite young and they have encouraged me to show them which way to go when we are on our way home. The first time I did this on a long hike, they were surprised when I suddenly settled down for a rest – then they remembered that we’d stopped there for a rest on the way and that made them laugh.
One of our favourite walks separates into two paths that meet up again later – one path is longer than the other and goes to the stream. When we get to that fork, sometimes they choose the direct path and sometimes they say to me, “Which way would you like to go, Clowie?”
It’s a rhetorical question!
One day we were trying to find a path to the top of a small mountain. We found the beginning of it at the base and began to follow it, but the path grew more and more difficult to see and the trees grew thicker and thicker. We came across a small stream and followed that upwards until that became too steep. Paths in the mountains often follow streams for part of the route.
The bipeds thought they saw the path again and we carried on up. We took a few detours when there was a rocky part without trees and they could see out better and get an idea of how near the top we were. Our progress became even more difficult and they decided that we didn’t have time to get to the top and back down again before it got dark. We stopped and they turned round.
One of them said, “Path? What path?”
They always seem to find it harder to see the path down a mountain when they turn round, but I don’t think they had a clue this time!
The other one said, “I hope Clowie remembers the way, otherwise it’s going to take us ages to find a way back down.”
I had no doubts at all. I headed down through the trees with them following behind me. Occasionally one of them would say, “Are you sure, Clowie?”
I just gave them a look and continued. Then I took a sharp right turn and one of them said, “I’m fairly sure that’s not the way, Clowie!”
I continued a few yards and then stopped and looked at them, while it dawned on them that this was one of the places they’d tried to see out from amongst the trees. Did they apologise? No, but the look on their faces was priceless.
They told me I was clever and made a fuss of me and asked me to carry on. I guided them safely to the lower reaches of the mountain where even they could see the path again!
See you next Wednesday!