My side of the Mountain

I’ve always been an avid reader. The first story I can remember reading that was not a children’s book in the sense of The Velveteen Rabbit or Charlie the Choo Choo, was My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George. 4th grade I think. During the afternoon, our teacher would pull out her book and read. Us students would pull out our copies and read along. She’d get us started and we’d run down the rows of desks, each taking our turn reading a couple pages out loud. This would go on for maybe 30-45 minutes. My favorite part of the day.

This  book is about a boy who runs away from home. I can’t recall the reasons why or anything. But I do remember he makes his way into a forest on a mountain, hollows out a huge tree to live within, and ends upraising a baby falcon. Him and the bird of prey develop a bond and together they live off the land. That’s about all I can remember from it but has stuck with me ever since. Perhaps this was a catalyst for my love of the wilderness, along with my father.

There are many opinions on the story. You either hate it or love it. “That could never happen,” being the most used excuse. To which I say, so what. It entertained me. It led me through a fantastic journey of the mind, which is the fundamental goal of any good story.

About once a decade, this book makes a reappearance in my life. This was one of those times. This particular fellow also read it as a child and dreamed of having his own falcon one day. His dreams have come true. Well played, old man. Well played.

My current adventure is Grady Hendrix’s How to Sell a Haunted House.