Obo was a mountain.
He did not choose to be a mountain. He did not like being a mountain. He did not even know why his name was Obo. Sometimes, Obo wished he was not a mountain. Yet, there stood Obo; a broad, gigantic pinnacle of rock. Unmoving, unimpressed.
Upon Obo’s mountainsides grew a forest. Obo did not like trees, as their roots rudely dug into his soil and their leaves hid a great part of him away from the sun’s warmth.
Obo’s tall peak stood solemnly, higher than the annoying trees. Obo watched carelessly as one lizard ran away while another lizard chased it around his side. The bigger lizard chewed the smaller one’s neck. This was the 4,591,917th lizard that died near Obo.
Obo knew lizards had to eat to live, but it still made Obo sigh in discontent. Obo’s sighs were thick, booming and a whole minute long, and they made flocks of birds flee the forest around him.
Obo slept at night. This night, however, something awoke him. Something in the black sky. Another mountain, falling down from the void above.
A visitor, perhaps? As Obo watched the visitor hurtle down, Obo wished he could fly.
It was not until dawn that the giant falling rock slammed against the ground several hundred miles away from Obo. For the first time since he could remember–and he remembers all–Obo shook. If only a little. The impact of the visitor’s arrival quaked Obo’s very foundations. Obo was happy for a whole day, because being shaken was new to him. But Obo watched as the morning sun was blotted away by dust, and with it, his happiness.
Dust became rain. Rain became snow. Obo wished he could shake again, only to remove the accumulating frost off his back. Ever since the snow came, Obo did not see lizards or birds. Obo felt lonely. Obo even missed the trees, which withered all around him in the unforgiving cold. Obo blamed the visitor because, ever since his arrival, Obo could not feel the heat of the sun upon his peak, nor the tickles of lizard claws across his rocks, nor the rude digging of tree roots into his soil.
Obo wished he was not a mountain, so he could move wherever the sun and the trees and lizards and the birds were. When Obo slept that night, he wished he would wake up as something else other than a mountain.
Warmth roused Obo from his slumber. Obo looked, and the sun was up there, shining brightly. Rime melted off Obo’s stony surface at last, and green saplings were joyously growing all around him. Obo enjoyed watching them grow once more.
The birds were singing again, and the lizards were coming back again.
Wait. That was not a lizard.
It was not a lizard, nor was it a bird. It was smaller than a lizard but bigger than a bird.
Men gathered near Obo’s mountainside, and made something glow. A tiny sun? Obo observed curiously as the men broke small trees from the regrowing forest around him and threw them into the tiny sun, and it became bigger. The flock of men gathered around the slightly less tiny sun, and they sang and moved weirdly. Obo greatly enjoyed their singing, which he found more to his liking than that of birds. Obo wished he could move weirdly with them.
Obo wished he was not a mountain.
Another flock of men came. They also carried tiny suns. The flock of men near Obo stopped singing as the other flock struck them with rocks. 37 men died near Obo’s mountainside. Obo found it strange that the other flock did not chew the necks of those who died like the lizards did. Why did they kill them, then?
Obo slept at night. He wished he could sleep while hearing the singing of men, but he slept all the same.
Obo awoke to something annoying. Men were climbing him!
Obo was comfortable when the lizards raced along his lower, forested sides, but for something to climb up beyond his treeline was new to him. New and annoying. These men were covered in what looked like shiny rock, and they walked in unison. The rhythmic drumming of their shiny feet against his stony surface annoyed Obo.
That was when Obo noticed that these men were doing something else on his peak other than annoying him. They were putting together rocks. Building. Fort, they called it. It weighed next to nothing compared to him, but Obo started to like it. The fort meant there will always be men with Obo, singing around tiny suns and moving weirdly, safe from the other flock.
A boulder struck Obo’s mountainside, stirring him up from his sleep. The other flock had come, and with them they brought something that threw great boulders with tremendous force. Obo hated the other flock. Obo knew they meant to strike the fort atop his peak. Obo knew they wanted the singing to stop. Obo wished he could move. 628 men died near Obo’s peak. Again, the other flock did not eat. Why did they kill?
Without a beautiful fort atop his peak, without singing, Obo slept, sad.
Obo awoke to 3,109 men around him. They were killing one another with the same tiny suns around which they used to sing and move weirdly. No more singing.
Why do they kill?
Obo awoke to 21,098 men around him. They were killing one another with flying shiny pebbles. No more could he tell one flock from another.
Obo awoke to 12,015 broken forts and 140,941 dead men across the land surrounding his mountainside. No trees, no birds, no lizards, only the sun. To Obo, this was worse than when the visitor came from the void above.
Obo sighed. His sighs were thick, booming, and a whole minute long.
A boy ran towards the mountain.
“What was that? Hello?” the boy yelled.
The ground shook violently.
The boy screamed in fright, frozen in place. A minute later, he yelled again, “Was that you? Mountain? You can talk?”
Another minute had passed in a dead silence before it answered, I CAN.
“What happened?” asked the boy.
I AM GLAD.
“Glad for what?”
I AM GLAD I AM MOUNTAIN, Obo said. I AM GLAD I AM ANYTHING BUT ONE OF YOU.
The boy did not respond.