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High As A Hawk

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2004

    AN INSPIRING TRUE STORY

    Ever notice how much more inspiring true life stories are as opposed to fiction, no matter how dramatic or expansively imagined? This story of Harriet Peters, the youngest person to ever climb Longs Peak, should hearten both young readers and adults. Ted Lewin's brilliant double page watercolor illustrations beautifully capture Colorado's mountainous terrain. His double-page portrait of 8-year-old Harriet is especially compelling. In 1905 young Harriet set off with her father and mountain guide Enos Mills determined to fulfill her mother's dream of scaling Longs Peak. She remembers last year, before her mother died, when she and her mother had climbed a 'small hill' in the Ozarks. It was then that she learned that climbing Longs Peak was her mother's dream and that her father was going to take her there for her next birthday. But now her mother was gone and Harriet wanted to honor her memory by making the climb. The trio had not gone very far when her father wasn't able to continue - the altitude was too much for him. Harriet asked if she could go ahead with Mr. Mills. The reply was, 'Spread your wings, girl. For us all.' Spread her wings she did. She climbed on despite the pain in her heels, despite a giant bull elk in her path, a giant blister on her foot, and tumbling boulders which forced them to slip and slide. She finally reached the summit. And, when asked how she felt her reply was 'High as a Hawk.' - Gail Cooke

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