A tiny voice came from beyond a hedge, interrupting the war drum beat of trainers on the gravel road, “Hey! Hey, Per! Where ya’ goin now?”
Per solemnly replied to the tufts of reddish hair bobbing on the other side of well trimmed bushes, “To the mountain, Sven. I won’t be deterred.”
“Can I come?” Sven practially shouted as he burst through the garden gate, a portrait of youthful enthusiasm from his tattered wool sweater to his faded red galoshes.
“Did not Don Quixote have his Sancho Panza? Did not Hook have Smee? Yes, you may come…if you are ready for adventure.” Per stood and gave the other boy a piercing look. Sven stood up as straight as he could, tried to look serious and able. With a deciding squint Per nodded and resumed his march.
The pair took the gentle curve right and ascended, gravel giving way to mud and grass. Mist claimed them soon after, all mysterious haze and damp kisses upon their rosy cheeks. Per’s mouth curved, and he hoped that somewhere the old gods smiled as well.