Sunday, June 01, 2008

Not on my shift

The day began like any other. First the usual chores around the hut, tending the livestock, working the yucca crop, and repairing the hole in the thatch roof. I was looking forward to tribal conference that afternoon as I had an excellent rebuttal to Yonamono's accusations that I had cast the "stink-eye" at him. My wife was also almost finished with my new cod-piece and I would have to try it on for a fitting. Just as I was thinking about how long the last one she made had lasted, I heard a "whap-whap" sound in the distance.
It sounded the same as when the local large colony of bats took off into the jungle to begin their nightly bug scavenging. But it was morning and the bats were well asleep at this point. I looked in that direction and what looked to be a dragonfly was in the sky. However it seemed to be very large and far away. It was pointed towards the village's direction and seemed to be growing larger as it approached.
I called for my neighbor Yonamono who, while lacking common sense in matters of social courtesy, nonetheless was a decent hunter for the village. By the time he came to his door the object in the sky was rapidly approaching and looked to be bigger than even the largest condor in the jungle. I yelled at Yonamono to grab our hunting bows and arrows and make haste. I ran to the middle of our courtyard in the middle of the huts to get ready to meet the intruder. By the time Yonamono had come running to where I stood, breathless from the quick errand to fetch the hunting gear, he saw where I was looking and also saw the giant apparition continually approaching.
"What is it?" he asked while both of us continued staring straight at it. "It is not of this world," I answered. "And therefore not meant for us, possibly coming to take our yucca harvest. We must defend the village."
We both took our bows and an arrow each from the quiver and notched it in the bow string. Many years of hunting in the jungle had helped us to develop the ability to prepare the bow without looking at, thus enabling us to keep our prey locked in our sight.
At this point the great beast had stopped and was hovering in the sky above us. Perhaps it saw our weapons and hesitated in its approach. I could see the giant eyes that bulged from the front of its face. Its wings twirled with ferocious speed. It was a mighty beast indeed. But, I had singly killed the mighty puma of our near jungle and was prepared to take down any beast that might threaten the village.
"Ready Yanomono. Steady. At my command. Now!" I said forcefully, but evenly to keep my aim accurate. The arrows flew straight at the creature, but slowed down well before the target and reached an apex not even half-way the total distance before pointing back to earth and falling.
"Prepare another round." I commanded Yanomono. Two bows were quickly notched with two arrows and pulled back ready for the beast to come closer to firing range. The beast hovered in the air, slightly fluttering, and seemed to consider our display of might. Yonamono and I held our ground.
The beast apparently decided it had seen enough as it then turned around and headed back on the path it had approached from. We kept our bows ready, lest this be an attempt to get us to lower our defenses.
As it became clear that the threat was not going to return I turned to my fellow villager and proudly said, "That beast has seen the strength of our village and shall go back to its home and warn the others not to approach. We have defeated the intruder. Come, let us give thanks at the temple and tell the others of what we have seen."
As the "whap-whap" sound faded in the background I again considered the matter of village counsel and how to best argue for compensation over Yanomano's false accusations of 'stink-eye.'

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