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There's a place unlike any other; a magical place which will mesmerise the beholder.
It's far far away and yet, in a moment's concentration, even you and I can reach it.
It's called Snow Mountain.
By the way, my name is...well, I'd rather not tell you right away, it just might spoil the story for you.
Now read on children.
Paul sat in his room, staring out from the window and enjoying a chocolate snow ball.
It was winter outside and hardly a soul around.
His thoughts turned to his closest friend Derek whom he hadn't been in touch with for quite a long time.
'I think I'll give him a call and find out how he is these days.'
"Hi Derek, it's me, Paul, how are you?"
"Ah, not too bad. I was actually contemplating going on an excursion; just me myself and I, but now that you've rung, it might not be such a bad idea if you came along with me. Want to?"
"Well that depends on where you're going."
"Er...well to be honest, I haven't actually decided yet."
"Listen, why don't you come on over to my place. I'm sure we can put our minds together and work it out, and besides, it will give us an opportunity to see one another."
"Alright, I'll be over this evening, see you then."
Paul switched off his mobile and opened his wardrobe.
His eyes searched around for something he was going to share with Derek.
'Ah, there it is.'
Later that evening the two friends were seated by the fireplace and engrossed in conversation. They were really having a good time, so Paul decided that now was the time to share his secret.
"Derek, you see that wardrobe? I want you to open it."
Derek rose to his feet and opened it.
There was a long rectangular piece of craggy wood with some writing on it.
"Snow Mountain." recited Derek.
"So where did you find this?"
"At a place where no one has been to, except myself. But now I think it's time to take you there with me."
"Well, I'm game. So where is this place and how come only you've been there?"
"It exists in my imagination, but it becomes real if you believe in it.
Now come and sit next to me as we need to close our eyes and concentrate on that piece of wood."
Derek felt it was some kind of game Paul was playing but nonetheless joined in.
"Okay, so what else do we concentrate on; it can't just be this piece of wood surely?"
"Snow Mountain of course; just close your eyes and unleash your imagination.
But you must concentrate with an open mind, if you don't, then we won't be able to reach there."
"Yes Derek. Now please, if you really are my best friend then please do as I ask you."
And so both the friends held the wooden platter and closed their eyes, visualising a mountain of snow.
For a while nothing happened, but then, out of nowhere snow drops began to fall over them.
Derek lost concentration and opened his eyes.
Suddenly the snow vanished.
"Wow! Paul, what have you done?"
Paul didn't share his excitement; he seemed quite upset.
"It's supposed to be a surprise. Anyway, let's try again and don't open your eyes this time, until I tell you!"
Once again, the same procedure was repeated. Again the snow drops appeared and began falling and the transition from real to surreal took place.
"Alright, you can open your eyes now Derek."
When Derek opened his eyes he could not believe what had happened.
Somehow both of them had appeared on a stupendous mountain of snow!
"Oh my, where are we?"
Paul gave a wink and smiled.
"Okay Derek, I'll take you around, but remember not to lose that platter, it's our only means of returning back home.
Come on, follow me."
As they trudged along in the snow they could see polar bears playing.
Paul waved his arm at them and they stood up and waved back.
"Come on Derek, I'll introduce you to some of my friends, meet Oliver and Jamie, they're brother and sister."
The polar bears smiled down at Derek and replied, "How do you do. Welcome to Snow Mountain."
"Th...thank you, you're most kind, I didn't know you could talk like us."
The polar bears started laughing.
"All the animals on Snow Mountain can talk. Wait until you meet Berti the Orca Whale. Tee hee hee."
They wondered off and continued with their game.
"Paul, am I dreaming? That was probably one of the most amazing experiences of my entire life. I never thought I'd come face to face with such a rare species, let alone ones that can talk!"
"Come on Derek, we don't want to miss the party. The walruses have invited everyone to celebrate the birth of their baby."
Suddenly the ground before them began to shake and from out of the snow an orca whale stared at them.
It was Berti and she spoke in a very high pitched voice.
"Come on, sit on my back and hold on tight, we're going down below to the party."
"Paul, we won't be able to breathe down there in the freezing cold depths!"
"Relax Derek. This is all our imagination, you won't feel cold and you can breathe down there quite normally."
Before Derek could reply they went down and into clear waters.
The orca swam at ease and along the way they could see seals and penguins swimming and playing together.
The water was a lime green colour and there was a beautiful rainbow which they swam through.
That evening, the walruses had gathered and Paul introduced Derek to everyone at the party.
"This is my best friend; I've brought him here to meet you all."
After this, they all had a delicious buffet meal and bid farewell.
The orca whale took them back to the same point and left saying, "Goodbye Derek. Do come again!"
"Alright Derek, I think you've seen enough for now, let's go back."
"Oh no, but I really like it here. I could live here forever."
Paul lifted the wooden piece and asked Derek to hold the other end.
"Alright, this time, concentrate on my home. Concentrate...concentrate."
Suddenly they were whizzed back at Paul's house, back to their normal lives. Outside, the sun was out and it was warm.
Derek scratched his head in confusion. "How long have we been away for, Paul?"
"For the whole winter season", replied Paul, winking.
Well, that was the tale of Paul and Derek's trip to Snow Mountain. I hope you enjoyed it.
They would return, time and time again, but they never told anyone about their secret.
So, tell me children, can you guess who I am?
Ho ho ho,
I'm Santa Clause and I'd like to wish you all A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HOH HOH HOH!"
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