The Ladder

You stride curiously toward the next tree.  At the base, you look up the ladder rungs, expecting to see a treehouse above, but the rungs seem to extend out of sight, vanishing into the tallest branches.   They appear to be solidly fastened to the tree trunk, so after giving the first few a vigorous tug to be sure they’ll hold your weight, you clamber up the ladder.

About thirty feet up, you pause and look down.

Whoops.  Shouldn’t have done that.

Your knees quiver and you get a funny lightness in your head, as a wave of fear swooshes through your body.   With sweaty palms, you cling tightly to the rung you’re holding, and wish you had some kind of climbing gear or a safety harness or something.

Oh well.  You rest your forehead against the cool bark of the tree, letting it steady you.

After a few breaths, you look up again.  Still no end to the rungs in sight.