This Sight is Continuously Evolving

Children of the Coyote
The History of the Fug-a-we

Chapter 12
Tagalong Learns a New Skill


The two young people feast on; roast lamb, ripe berries and fresh cold water. After their meal they sit staring into the fire and quietly discuss their day and their plans for the next few days. Presently each roles up in there own robe and drifts of to sleep. Several times during the night one or the other wakes and refreshes the fire with more wood.
            In the morning the two youngsters rise with the sun and breakfast on hazelnuts and fresh berries, then Tagalong climbs down the cliff and walks to the pond to bathe. Cautiously she wades into the water until it reaches her knees, then she splashes cold water on her arms then her shoulders. She shivers as the cold liquid runs down her back and stomach. Quickly she squats down until the water covers her to her neck. She squeals with the cold.
            Lizard watches from the cave entrance, a satisfied smile on his face. "I am truly lucky to have a friend like Tagalong," he thinks as he watches her bathe. He climbs down the cliff and approaches the place where she is sitting at the edge of the pool ringing water out of her hair. When he is along side her he dives headfirst into the pond and disappears.
            Tagalong screams and jumps to her feet searching the depths for sign her friend. She is just about to jump in to attempt to rescue him when he surfaces more than half way across the pool. With his head above the water he frog strokes back to where Tag stands with a frightened expression on her face.
            "What th... how did you do that?" She asks in amazement. "I thought you were going to die. How did you do that?" She asks again.
            "It is really quite simple he answers" as he reaches the shore and climbs out of the water.
            "I learned it from a bear. This new skill has saved my life once, and may do so again. Would you like to learn to swim to? I think it is a good thing to know" he advises.
            "I am not sure. It looks a little dangerous" she replies uncertainly.
            "Nothing to it. I can teach you in no time" he says confidently
            "Well, I don't know" she protests.
            "Come on, It's easy and some day it may save your life too" he argues.
            "Well, okay if you are sure" she agrees.
            For the rest of the morning the two are engaged in swimming lessons. Tagalong is a quick learner and soon she is bear paddling and frog stroking around the pond with confidence.
            "This is a remarkable new skill," she says as she climbs out of the water, sits next to Lizard and rings water from her hair. "A bear really taught this to you?" She asks suspiciously.
            "Well, not exactly" he confesses.
            He tells her the story of how he learned to swim.
            When he is done, she looks at him sternly. "You could have drowned," she says.
            "Perhaps but I think that Coyote is watching over me," he says seriously. "I have felt his presence ever since I left the village of the Fug-a-we."
            "I sure hope he continues to do so," she says. "We will need all the help we can get just to stay alive out here, Let alone complete his commission and return to our people."
            "Yes I know what you mean" he agrees. "Still, it was Coyote who called me here and I don't think that he would have done that just to have me die from some stupid accident. I think it was important for me to learn to swim to complete the mission. That is why I felt it important for you to learn also" he says, smiling at her.
            "Do you think then, that Coyote is watching us and will protect us from danger?" Tagalong asks.
            "Well, I wouldn't want to push it to far but you have to admit that we are very lucky to still be alive after this long alone in the wilderness" he says thoughtfully.
            "Do you think he knows that I am here with you?" she asks.
            "I am sure of it" he answers. "I think it is part of his plan to have you and I travel this trail together. How else do we account for you showing up just in time to save me in the desert."
            "Yes, well I hope you're right" Tagalong says looking around suspiciously. "You would think that the great Coyote could make this allot easier" she complains.
        "I think that maybe the difficulty is in some way a mean's for us to learn what he wants us to learn," Lizard says speculatively.
            After a long pause, Lizard stands and says. "It is time we checked the snares I am beginning to get hungry."
            "What about the pup?" Tagalong asks.
            "What about it?" Lizardfoot returns.
            "Aren't we going to teach her to swim?" Tag asks.
            "Well, I hadn't even thought that the pup might need to be taught to swim but I guess you are right." Lizard says scratching his head.
            He squats down and picks the pup up and steps into the water. The pup begins to whine and wriggle in his hands. The deeper Lizard goes the more the pup wriggles. Finally the creature panics and leaps from Lizard's arms into the water she sinks for a few seconds and then surfaces blowing water out of her nose like a seal. The little canine begins paddling frantically for the shore. When she reaches the bank she climbs out, barks twice at Lizardfoot then begins shaking the water out of her coat.
            "Waugh, stop that!" Tagalong cries, raising her hands in an attempt to ward off the cold spray.
            "Well, it would appear that the pup already knows how to swim" Lizard says with a chuckle.
            As Lizardfoot leaves the water the pup backs away from him growling.
            "Okay, now are you ready to go check the snares?" Lizardfoot asks. "I'll climb to the cave and put some wood on the fire then I will meet you to take care of what ever you have collected."
            "Right" she says getting to her feet. "Come on Pup, let's go see what we are having for lunch." She strolls off toward the trapping area with the pup following at her heals.
            Lizard watches her go for a few seconds then returns to the cave. The fire is only smoldering a pile of ash when he arrives. He breaks up a hand full of twigs and places them on the coals. He blows on the embers until flames appear, then he adds more wood until he has a respectable fire. After the fire is secure he walks to the rack where the mutton is hanging. He checks the meat to see if it is drying. Satisfied with the results he leaves the cave to join Tagalong.
            As he reaches the bottom of the cliff he sees her walking toward him carrying her bounty in each hand. In her left hand is a young cotton tailed rabbit in the other is a pair of quail.
            As Tag approaches Lizard says, "I'll clean the rabbit if you pluck the birds."
            "Fine." She says as she tosses him the dead hare. They commence preparing the game for cooking. She sits down on a rock some distance from the entrance to the cave and starts plucking the feathers from the quail. A slight breeze causes some feather's to float away. The pup makes a game of chasing the airborne down, leaping and barking at the escaping fluff.
            Lizardfoot sinks his teeth into the skin on the rabbits back, biting a hole large enough to insert both his index fingers. He pulls the skin in opposite directions and tears it from the carcass in two halves. He then opens the stomach cavity with one finger and pulls out the intestines. He walks to the water and washes the meat.
            Tagalong is finished plucking and is just starting to gut the birds.
            "I'll go up and start this one cooking." Lizard says as he walks toward the cave.
            "Fine, I'll be up as soon as I wash out the insides of these birds." She replies

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