written by Debbie Williamson
Mountain Mike became ill one winter, while he was living by himself in his cabin in British Columbia, Canada. A neighbour had stopped by just shortly after the illness began and found Mountain Mike all curled up in bed with nothing to eat.
"Thank you for looking after me," Mountain Mike said to Ernie, his neighbour. "I really appreciate it."
"That is what neighbours are for," said Ernie.
Soon after his illness, Mountain Mike received an unexpected visitor.
"Mother!" exclaimed Mountain Mike, when he opened the front door to the cabin. "What are you doing here?"
"Get your winter coat on," said his Mother, entering the cabin. "You are coming home with me."
"No Mother," said Mountain Mike. "I am staying right here."
"You could have died up here all by yourself," said Mother. "Now come on, the plane is waiting for us."
Just then Ernie came around the laneway and up to the front steps of Mountain Mike's cabin.
"Oh and you must be Mountain Mike's Mother," said Ernie, with his hand ready to shake Mountain Mike's Mother's hand.
Mother brushed Ernie's hand away.
"I see you two already know each other," said Mountain Mike.
"Yes," said Mother. "I called Ernie a few weeks ago to find out how you were doing and that is when I found out that you were ill."
"I see," said Mountain Mike.
"Now come on," said Mother, impatiently. "We have a plane to catch."
"A plane?" asked Ernie.
"Yes," said Mountain Mike. "Mother thinks that I need to leave."
"Oh my!" exclaimed Ernie. "Look, I know Mountain Mike very well. If you take him out of his environment that he loves and cherishes, he will not like it. He will be very unhappy."
"At least I will know that he is safe," said Mother.
"Safe," laughed Ernie. "And unhappy. All because you want to take him out of where he loves. I am sorry, but that is not fair to your son at all."
"How would you know?" asked Mother.
"Oh I know," said Ernie. "My children tried to take me away from my cabin last year but I agreed to go with them for part of the year and I will tell you something, the part of the year that I am away from my cabin are the most miserable times of my life. Sure, I love my family and they will never understand why I love living where I am. However, living here makes me happy."
"I see," said Mother, and then turning to her son. "Are you sure this is what you want?"
"Yes," said Mountain Mike. "I am sure."
Mother kissed Mountain Mike and she did give Ernie a handshake too, and then she left, alone, to go back to her life in the city.