by Shannon Hale
One Lifetime ago bandits came to Mount Eskel.
They thought to sack such a small village easily enough.
They thought they could steal, burn, and be gone before the sun saw their deeds.
But they were ignorant, tiny men. They did not know Mount Eskel's secrets.
The mountain knows the feel of an outsider's boot, and the mountain will not support its weight. The bandits came nearer and nearer, and the mountain groaned in the night.
It groaned, and the villagers heard and awoke.
The villagers awoke, and were waiting. With mallets and chisels and leaves they waited.
That night, the quarriers stood taller than trees, taller than mountains, and they struck like lightning.
When the first bandit fell, the rest ran. They ran like hares from a hawk.
Mount Eskel feels the boots of outsiders. Mount Eskel won't bear their weight.