Long ago, before your grandparents were in this world, there was a young girl. Nara was her name. She lived near a very high mountain. Everyday, at sunrise, she greeted the mountain like this:
“Good morning, dear mountain, I wish you happiness. I will climb you tomorrow.”
But she had barely finished these words when a crow perched by her window, and in a trollish voice, told her:
“You can’t climb it. You are a very small child and that is a giant mountain.”
Always, at that time, Nara became sad. She believed she would not be able to conquer it, now, nor ever.
But one day many smiling clouds arrived to her village. They covered all the sky, and the mountain top too. That way, the mountain looked smaller.
That day Nara did not say: “I will climb you tomorrow” but “I will climb today.”
When the crow arrived to the window it did not find her because she was taking breakfast in the kitchen. It went there but she had gone to her room. It flew to her room, but the girl, after having put on her coat, her red woolen hat and her rainbow boots, had left the house.
When it found Nara, she was already climbing the mountain.
“Hello, crow,” was Nara’s greeting.
“Hello, girl, what are you doing?”, replied the crow.
“Going up, to the top.”
“But you can’t reach the top, it’s a very high mountain.”
“I’m already going up,” Nara replied cheerfuly.
“Just this bit, but not any higher; the mountain is very high. Look up.”
Nara, looked up, higher and higher, until she saw nothing but millions and millions of clouds. She became afraid again, as she noticed that the mountain was still very big.
So she slowly lowered her eyes in sadness. Then she spotted some strawberries a little higher. As she was hungry, before the black bird could open its beak, she climbed for them. The crow rebuked her:
“Don’t climb any longer, you can’t! Go back home, night will arrive soon.”
The girl nodded, and tried to do as the crow told her, but the sun ran to its bed and, before Nara could end a single step, it was coal mine dark.
Nara’s eyes became wet and then she cried, because she was going to spend the night alone in the mountain. She cried so much that her tears gathered to form a warm stream that damped an old spider.
The spider, who was called Nicoleta, became very angry, got her eight legs to full power and ran to the girl.
“Kid! Why are you crying?!” shouted Nicoleta.
“Because I’m all alone, and I’m cold,” Nara answered.
“May God grant me patience, kid. If you had not cried, you would have seen an abandoned hut, just a little bit higher.”
The girl cleaned her face and, trembling, answered: “But I will be all alone.”
“Well, put me in your pocket and I will spend the night with you; but please don’t cry.”
They both went to the hut and slept until the sun raised again.
Nicoleta woke up first and, moving her little legs, ended the dream of Nara. The very first thing the girl did was to go out and, as she raised her eyes, she thought that the mountain was much smaller. In fact, the clouds had went down a lot, and it seemed that you could touch them just stretching out your arms.
Nara tried, but as she was so small, she couldn’t reach them, so she went running up the mountain to reach the clouds.
The crow tried to stop her:
“Don’t go, you can’t climb the mountain.”
Alas, the girl was too far away to hear it. The bird persecuted her, but before it could reach her, Nara was already inside the clouds.
Funny enough, when she entered, the clouds were not clouds any longer, but fog. Nara kept on going up, not knowing what else to do, till she came out of the cloud. Then, she looked back and saw that she was above the clouds. Then she looked up and there was nothing but an open blue sky and a smiling sun at the left corner, just like in her drawings. She could not climb any further: she had arrived to the very top of the mountain!
Nicoleta, the spider, smiled as she noticed that nobody, but the sky, was higher than them. The girl, sat down and, caressing the earth, said:
“My mountain friend, I already did what I promised you; now I must go down, my mommy must be looking for me.”
Just at that moment the crow surged out of the sea of clouds. It was shrieking:
“You can’t You can’t!”
But as it saw Nara and Nicoleta sitting at the top, it changed its speech.
“Now you can’t go down! You can’t”
But Nara could, and she never listened to the crow again.
– This story was first penned for some Romanian children. That’s why the spider is called Nicoleta.