posted on Apr, 23 2009 @ 03:14 PM
Harrum returned to the fire and, holding a stone out to me, told its story.
Harrum: This stone came from the mines in the northeast, many days away, near the great salt sea. I traded skins and finished arrow heads for all I
could carry. The weight on this axe is good and the cutting edge thick, so it will not break easily. This stone I worked on for almost a four days. If
you wish to keep it, you must give me herd meat in trade. Enough for one moon cycle will do. For the cutting you need to do, and, if it is returned to
me as it is, I will instead ask only ten big fillets of fish. Agreed?
I took the stone he held and it felt heavy for its size. Holding the rounded blunt end, I peered closely at the beauty of his work. The edge was
knapped and polished at the widest but thinnest side with most of the weight still in my grip. Chipped carefully to make a smoothe uniform crescent, I
could see no roughness or variance in the cutting end. I also knew from experience that testing the sharpness with a finger would quickly make the red
blood flow. It was beautiful.
I nodded and agreed to the herd meat and would claim it as my own, a prized posession and well worth all the flesh an Auroch carried. I knew he would
also want the antlers for tooling.
Harrum left me alone then and I rose to return to my shelter and wrap the axe in skin. With care, this axe should not only cut spear and smoothe
arrows, but also serve for skinning and butchery, it was so well worked.
With the axe now carefully wrapped and tucked into my shoulder pouch, I once again looked out into the warming dawn. Low clouds hung in patches,
revealing blue patches above the budding tree branches. A haze of red, pink and yellow covered the thin twigs, telling me which each tree was
already... some good for bending and bows, others good for spears by their sturdyness. I knew other small bushes and trees which provided arrows and
made fish traps because they were supple but strong. All this I had learned from Saithe, among so much else that she had taught me about what the
Great Mother provides.
I looked down from the skies and towards the central fire, now busy with the gathering people mingling, children running every which way. Their
laughter and excitement rang off the low hills to my right and filled the air. Once again I thought of Daynuk and the cave from which she is expected
to emerge today.
I closed my eyes and remembered my initiation by her again, how she had shuffled softly ahead of me into the dark interior past her shelter. The cave
was very deep and long. Our only light the small lamp she carried with her. In it, a tiny chip of fibre burned, fed by some oily liquid I did not know
of. The flame barely as long as my thumb flickered as she moved deeper and deeper, climbing down stone ledges or wooden timbers tied together to make
The shadows upon the rough walls jumped about ferociously and reflections of the flame sparkled in the dampness that seeped here and there. In some
places I saw silent motionless animals on smoothe surfaces, in others there were piles of bones on the sandy floor. But still deeper and deeper we
went as Daynuk began to speak softly.
Daynuk: "Great Mother, here is Lug. He will come to your breast. Great Mother, welcome your son. Greal Mother, take his eyes so he may see. Great
Mother, take his hands so he may feel. Great Mother, take his feet so he may stand. Great mother, take his heart so he may understand."
She repeated this and more, over and over, as we descended, sometimes emerging into huge open spaces, echoing even the sounds of our skin-wrapped feet
on the stone, other times we crawled into small tunnels where we could not raise our heads above our backs. More and more animals came into view upon
the ceilings and walls. Life was to be seen everywhere. Bison, Auroch and horse leapt out in the lamplight and I stared in wonder at what emerged from
Then we came to a small open place and I could see large pile of warm furred skins and several water jars placed against one side. It was there that
Daynuk turned to face me and placed the small lamp to the side.
Daynuk: "The skins are yours to keep. Drink the water slowly and do not leave this place until I come for you again. It will be a long time, but I
WILL come back. When I do, we will talk and discuss what the Great mother wants of you. Listen to her speak. Do not be afraid."
With that, she touched my face and, nodding, her eyes glimmering in the light, she picked up the lantern and left me.
The darkness was as black as the silence was complete when the sounds of her movements faded into nothing.
[edit on 23-4-2009 by Lug]