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The High Country.

The High Country consists of the highest foothills of the Two Show Ranges. They sit between those mountains and the lower, harsher country that goes by the name of the Falling Hills. Snow falls here occasionally, but the weather is generally warm.

(from Crossroads wide as the skies, Book Two by Tran Hurls)

"This is the High Country in its well-worn summer clothes. The grasshoppers purr like muffled clockwork, the grass touches its fingers to our ankles, enquiring, the bold, blue sky, the sun, oh what a caress these swelling hillsides are, how far away is winter? If one can only know a thing through comparisons with its opposite then we are walking through the confirmation of enough snow to cover the country, bury and forget us all in neverending darkness.

The sun forgets us, dreaming, the hills are too old to care. The harsh peaks of the Two Shows, we were there yesterday, today are gentle smudges on the horizon, charcoal on a thumb, the High Country in its gentleness has lulled its violent cousins, they cede power. The valley below us glitters: glass. Glass beehives. Bees, reaping the sweetness of the air, supply the cities with the ingredients for their honey-cakes.

People breast the sea of hives with water in their jars. A shallow bowl on top of each hive is filled. One man plucks a dead bee from the lip of a hiveway door and lays it in the grass. Do the bees shy away from death, will a corpse frighten them away from their home, as the murder of its owners keeps a house empty? We visit Top of the Hill, and sit among them, these mortician apiarists, honey drooling from the combs between their fingers."