Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I'd heard of a holy lake in the foothills of the Karakoram, near the Chinese Pakistani border. It was depicted as a placid lake, ringed by snow capped mountains, with yurts and herds of yak dotting the shores.

    I made the journey and it was as beautiful as described. I set out on a hike around the lake and after a distance I stopped near some submerged rocks. With the lake floor and reflected clouds and snow covered mountains in the background, I knelt to take a photo. I soon felt a tug on my shirt and turned to see a young boy, holding out his hand. He looked at me and said, "money." I stared down at him. He frowned and repeated himself. I reached into my pocket and pulled out the equivalent of three dollars. I pointed to the rocks I was about to photograph and gestured at the money. He climbed out onto them and looked back at me. I snapped the photo and paid him his fee.

    He did not smile, and his look told me how he felt.

    The photo did not cost me much at the time. But I still see his eyes, every time I look at the picture.
    • Share

    Connected stories:

About

Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.