They were one of the first settlers in this inhospitable place. Tenuously and strenuously holding on to the steep slope, attempting to insinuate their tendrils in the unstable soil; if you could call it soil. With a bit of luck, dawn would grant them a few drops of dew to quench their thirst. After dawn, the huge sun relentlessly shone its harsh rays on the pale green members. Not a bit of shade to be found. In fact, they were the shade. Underneath their rugged leaves, insects would find a little respite from the shimmering heat and avoid direct exposure to the sun. High above, on the slope, a tiny rodent was hunting for such insects. With its thin paws it rummaged between the pebbles and under the leaves. A small piece of flint, precariously balanced, was dislodged. Like in a game of pool, it hit a nicely rounded and shiny pebble. The whole slope was set in motion. A tiny, but unstoppable avalanche ran down the slope, faster and faster. Helter skelter the pebbles devoured the succulents, one tasty morsel at a time. The indifferent sun kept on shining.