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The Falling Hills.

The highest foothills of the Two Show Ranges are known as the High Country. Between the High Country and the Forest of Ex, many miles away to the north, lies an area of grass and bare, blasted stone known as the Falling Hills. It is the home of loners and any number of small, eccentric groups, such as the people who run Museum of Present Normalcy.

The size of the Hills surprises people who live in Gum Gooloo or Ex. They always expect them to be somehow smaller. Smallness would account for their almost complete lack of population - fewer people live here than in the city of Gum Gooloo Gum Jublet, a place that covers less than one tenth the groundspace of the Hills. The area is rocky, windy, cold and hard to cultivate, but redolent with a powerful sense of mystery and growth, a wild, natural atmosphere not found anywhere else in Umbagollah. The Hills' most famous inhabitant, Agnes Moulcrumpet, once said that the desire to live in the Hills was a thing that had to be earned over a long period of time, like love or respect. "It hits you when you're sixty," she said. "Or not at all."

Moulcrumpet often describes the Hills in her writing. One of her early poems is still popular out here. It runs:

"I sing of the rough-knuckled hills,
Of the gale and the plants that survive it.
We know the life of our sky, though it is silent.
We smell water on the wind; we know our insects
We know them in their safety and their weakness.
We know that ecstasy is grand
And silent, and does not move.
Implacable, immobile, the hero of the earth
These hills, these vales, this sky, this space,
This raw cloud in my hand."

Tran Hurls writes about the famous, piercing Hills winds:

"... the wind at night, a blanket is dragged roughly across the grass from one end of the Hills to the other, the grass roars, is the wind, the air bellows, the sky is in pain, the power of the living wind inhabits the air ... no calm corners, the wind will come through doors and holes in the roof, calling in a human voice, you, you."

The Hills are the home of any number of small, eccentric groups, such as the people who run Museum of Present Normalcy.