A young city dweller with a high-pressure job needed a break and a change of scenery, so he decided to go for a hike in the mountains. He followed a path by a sparkling mountain stream, and was soon whistling happily as he felt the stress of the city melting away.
After a while, he chanced upon an isolated log cabin near the banks of the stream. A bearded old man sat in front of the cabin, smoking a pipe. He greeted the young man and invited him to stop and rest for a spell.
The two were soon engrossed in conversation, the old man regaling the young man with stories of his life in the mountains. As the sun sank lower in the sky, the old man invited his guest to stay to supper, and the young man accepted.
The mountain man served up a simple but satisfying supper of venison, potatoes, and gravy. When they had finished eating, the city man thanked his host, and offered to help wash the dishes.
“Don’t have running water,” said the old man.
The young man, thinking there must be a pump or well nearby, asked the mountain man how he washed his dishes.
“River gets ‘em clean,” said the old man.
“Oh, of course,” said the young man, gathering up the plates. “I’ll take them down there.”
“No need,” said the mountain man. He went to the cabin door, whistled loudly, and shouted, “River! Here boy!”