There was never enough snow or ice to please the mountain spirit. It rose up like a ravenous monster whenever the spring came, and submitted like a lamb when the winter reared its magnificent head. This mountain spirit had no name for itself, but it was affectionately known as "Foti" and "he" by the people who lived at its base and as near its peak as they could manage.
Most of them could only manage to reach a little way up the slope, no more than a two-day journey, but it did please Foti that they tried.
He suspected that they reached so in order to be close to him. During the windy nights, he could sense their prayers. Those who shouted, he could even manage to hear, if only a little. Their voices could not quite pierce the winds, but some of the words were carried up to his peak, woven into the fibres of the stray and wild goats' fur.
One such prayer came to him directly, still trapped tightly behind the lips of a child. &