4. CHAPTER IV - THE WALL OF THE WORLD
It was bewildering. He was sprawling through solidity. And ever
the light grew brighter. Fear urged him to go back, but growth
drove him on. Suddenly he found himself at the mouth of the cave.
The wall, inside which he had thought himself, as suddenly leaped
back before him to an immeasurable distance. The light had become
painfully bright. He was dazzled by it. Likewise he was made
dizzy by this abrupt and tremendous extension of space.
Automatically, his eyes were adjusting themselves to the
brightness, focusing themselves to meet the increased distance of
objects. At first, the wall had leaped beyond his vision. He now
saw it again; but it had taken upon itself a remarkable remoteness.
Also, its appearance had changed. It was now a variegated wall,
composed of the trees that fringed the stream, the opposing
mountain that towered above the trees, and the sky that out-towered
A great fear came upon him. This was more of the terrible unknown.
He crouched down on the lip of the cave and gazed out on the world.
He was very much afraid. Because it was unknown, it was hostile to
him. Therefore the hair stood up on end along his back and his
lips wrinkled weakly in an attempt at a ferocious and intimidating
snarl. Out of his puniness and fright he challenged and menaced
the whole wide world.
Nothing happened. He continued to gaze, and in his interest he
forgot to snarl. Also, he forgot to be afraid. For the time, fear
had been routed by growth, while growth had assumed the guise of
curiosity. He began to notice near objects - an open portion of
the stream that flashed in the sun, the blasted pine-tree that
stood at the base of the slope, and the slope itself, that ran
right up to him and ceased two feet beneath the lip of the cave on
which he crouched.
Now the grey cub had lived all his days on a level floor. He had
never experienced the hurt of a fall. He did not know what a fall
was. So he stepped boldly out upon the air. His hind-legs still
rested on the cave-lip, so he fell forward head downward. The
earth struck him a harsh blow on the nose that made him yelp. Then
he began rolling down the slope, over and over. He was in a panic
of terror. The unknown had caught him at last. It had gripped
savagely hold of him and was about to wreak upon him some terrific
hurt. Growth was now routed by fear, and he ki-yi'd like any