THE SKEPTIC by Carole Estrup Things of splendor I have seen, but the grandest one by far, was the night I watched a mountain reach up and touch a star. It seemed to bounce along the ridge, splashing silver fire; then paused and settled into place as the mountain reached still higher. I told my doubting city friend and he said that he would show, my mountain-touching-star-display really wasn't so. "It's just a trick of vision, though stars do seem to drop. But never in known history have they touched a mountain top. It's living out here all alone that does things to your mind. It's an optical illusion, I know that's what we'll find." Adjusting his grand telescope, he'd come to set me straight. I knew that he would see it too and I could hardly wait. The moon was nowhere to be seen, the night a shield of hope. Beneath the brilliant orbs of light, he peered into his scope. We settled down, he with his lens, me with my naked eye, when suddenly, he shivered and gave a little cry. Transfixed, his mouth ajar, I whispered with delight: "It's not illusion after all, it happens here each night. The stars descend and touch each peak, the mountains seem to rise. Your doubt at last is cleared away, you've seen it with your eyes." "Impossible!" was his reply, his lips curled up in mirth. "I'm certain that this happens no where else on earth!" He may be right, my celestial friend, this is a special place, where planets play and stars bow down to kiss a mountain's face.