Hey Gail! I so want to bag a Munro. Please please please. Why not next weekend? Let's go up Beinn Alligin. I know I can do it!
Why Bertie, what ever put that idea into your cute little noddle? Munro bagging indeed. You know you're still far too young to be climbing up our highest Scottish mountains.
Cute little noddle? Oh puh-lease. Don't be so patronising, I'm not a baby any more. I'm getting quite the big and strong young laddie. You said so yourself, only a few days ago. I've got loads and loads of energy. I wasn't even tired after that five mile hike last Sunday.
But Bertie, you're only just over six months old. And that outing on Sunday was on the level, on nice smooth tracks and soft grass. It's a whole different proposition, climbing a Munro.
But, but, but...I've already been up Scolty. And Millstone Hill. And Hamish climbed lots of the biggest hills. And my legs are longer now than his ever were.
Yes Bertie, but on a Munro there'll be lots of rough ground and boulders to clamber over, and steep slopes and ledges where you need to be very careful to keep your footing. Remember how you jumped right onto that cattle grid last weekend and fell in between the metal bars, and then got into a tizzy and I had to rescue you? You must learn to look before you leap. Hamish now, he was always careful to assess how safe it was before proceeding. But with you, it's all a bit 'fools rush in' at the moment isn't it Bertie?
Hamish Hamish Hamish. I'm so fed up of hearing about him. I'm ME! And anyway, why is my 'posh' name Beinn Alligin if I'm never going to be allowed to climb it?
Bertie! Don't be a silly billy! I didn't say never just not yet. And it's only because I love you so much, you're so precious to me and I don't want you to come to any harm. Your half-year old bones still aren't so strong, you see, and you haven't yet learned to judge things very well. Then there's the weather. I couldn't help but notice that when we turned around that headland on our boggy walk last weekend, and we were suddenly hit by a 30 mph wind, you were just a little bit frightened. As you indicated by all that nipping at my ankles.....
Oh that. Well OK, yes, I was sort of scared. I didn't think you'd noticed. Will it be very windy on the top of a Munro then?
Almost certainly, Bertie, almost certainly. Now listen, we'll do some more practice hills this winter, and then next year, when the snows have gone and you're past your first birthday, I promise you, we'll go over to Torridon and climb Beinn Alligin, all the way to the top.
I absolutely promise Bertie.