‘Gee. Look at the colour of that.’ Betty had her hands on her hips.
‘Opalescent, I think it’s called.’ Pat stood a few feet back, studying the map.
‘Milky green. Like some radioactive mistake.’
Betty turned and glared at Dot. ‘Have you no soul? It’s beautiful.’
Dot stuck out her tongue and joined Betty on the ridge of moraine. Both women regarded the tarn in silence.
Pat meanwhile approached the edge with care. She stood a few feet behind and just below the other to. ‘It’s just the light reflecting off the rock flour that’s suspended…’
Betty spun round. ‘You’re almost as bad. It’s just pea soup for the giants that live here.’
‘Giants? What have you been drinking?’ Dot leaned forward slightly. ‘Do they look like clothes to you? There. That’s definitely a shirt.’
Pat and Betty looked where she was pointing. Pat was the first to speak. ‘It’s just ice; part of the Angel Glacier. Probably came down in the hot weather we had last week. Though…’ She too pointed and let out a stifled giggle. ‘They’re knickers. For sure.’
Betty clapped. ‘You are smutty, Pat. If Roger could hear you now…’
‘… he’d run a mile.’ Both Dot and Betty laughed though Pat didn’t join in. She turned back to her book. ‘Legend has it that this is the bathing pool of Saskatchewan giants who lived here ten thousand years ago. When the dinosaurs died out they hid in the mountains but died out before European settlers came.’
Betty nodded again towards the water. ‘How come a giant could hide?’ She shook her head. ‘Mind you the woman who owns those knickers – now she must have an arse on her.’
Pat turned away, her face colouring. She wished she’d never mentioned the knickers. ‘Come on ladies; we’ve a few miles to do today.’
As the three women turned the corner by the last of the lateral moraine, Hulga pulled herself away from the glacier and bent down to the water to pick up her knickers. As she did so Huf detached himself from the side of Mount Edith Cavel and collected his shirt. ‘We need to be a bit more careful,’ he said as he pulled it on before unhooking his breeches from the large aspen.
Hulga twisted round and looked down. ‘Do you think my arse is big, Huf?’
Huf considered both the question and the arse. After a few minutes he said, ‘Yes. You’re a giant.’
‘But big for a giant?’
Slowly to begin with but with increasing speed, as a tree might as it toppled over Huf swung his hand and smacked said arse. Hulga giggled her rumbling giggle.
Betty turned and looked back down the path. ‘Another piece of the glacier lost I suppose. Makes you want to smack someone.’
Dot sniggered. ‘Get you.’