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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #14

"Stripe's hankering for the climbing life worsened. The pillar haunted him. He crawled there regularly, looking up and wondering.

"But the top remained clouded. [...]

"Finally Stripe announced: 'I've got to know. I must go and find out the secret of the top.'

"And more gently, 'Will you come with me?'

"Yellow struggled inside. She loved Stripe and wanted to be with him. She wanted to help him succeed.

"But -- she just couldn't believe that the top was worth all it asks to get there.

"She wanted to get 'up' too; the crawling life wasn't enough for her either.

"She also had to admit that it looked like the pile was the only way to do it.

"Stripe seemed so sure that Yellow felt ashamed not to agree. She also felt stupid and embarrassed since she could never put her reasons into words that his kind of logic would accept.

"Yet somehow, waiting and not being sure was better than action she couldn't believe in.

"She couldn't explain, she couldn't prove anything -- but for all her love she couldn't go with Stripe. She just knew climbing was a wrong way to get high.

"'No,' she said, heartsick. And Stripe left her for his climb."

-Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers: a tale -- partly about life partly about revolution and lots about hope for adults and others (including caterpillars who can read) (1972) pp. 54, 60-62

Artwork by Linda Odhner, based on illustrations by Trina Paulus.

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