This Sight is Continuously Evolving

Children of the Coyote
Chapter 14

Bigmouth's Skirts the Desert


            Far to the Northeast a tall hunter works his way along a ridge. Not far away he hears a coyote wail. He stops to listen, then is struck by a feeling of loss and sorrow. He slowly lowers himself to a rock and listens for a moment.
            "The Speaker has passed" he whispers.
            Bigmouth sits for a while contemplating the land around him. To the West, past a couple small hills is a large expanse of desolate land. The desert narrows at its eastern end. Here the ridge he is following climbs to a peak, the Western slope of which has been blown off by some ancient catastrophe. Past the summit another ridge slopes down to the Northwest where it joins the long black line of a lava flow along the northern border of the wasteland. Far to the Northwest past several low ranges of hills he can see the top of a large cone that is part of the Western divide. A plume of black smoke rises from the distant mountain staining the sky black to North and East. To the South and East the hills diminish until they disappear into a blue haze that is the endless prairie.
            Bigmouth has been traveling along this course for two days, staying in the hill country skirting the open badlands. Although finding food is a challenge, it has not been impossible. He has managed to kill two rabbits and a grouse. He was able to scare off three wolves from a dear carcass. The kill is fresh. The wolves had opened the paunch but not had time to eat the organs. He removes the balder to use as a canteen. The steaming liver he devours with many exclamations of pleasure.
            Using his teeth fingernails and mean strength he removes a large portion of the hide. Laying the hide out on the ground with the hair down he dissects what he can of the dear with out tools. The first parts he takes are the kidneys and heart with all there associated fat. Then he work’s his fingers around the back straps. Pulling hard he frees each one from along the spine. These parts he warps up in the hide and ties the bundle with a long strip of skin torn from the animal. When he is through, he stands picks up his spear, sticks it through the tie on the bundle and puts it on his shoulder. Before he leaves he turns to the wolves who are watching sullenly from a short distance away.
            "Thank you my friends for allowing me to take a share of your kill." He says in a loud confident voice. "I have only taken what I need, the rest I leave to you. Remember to tell your brethren that Bigmouth respects his wolf kin and appreciates their help."
            He turns to the carcass of the deer. "Thank you my friend deer for giving up your life to feed these wolves and me."
            With the spear over his shoulder he continues his journey.
            That was this morning. Now it is mid afternoon. He sits on a rock looking out over the badlands, He is intrigued by the smoking mountain and decides to make that his destination. He feels sure that Lizardfoot will also be heading that way. He can see a thin column of smoke rising from the middle of the old lava flow some miles to the West.
             "It would appear that Lizard has made it across the desert." Bigmouth thinks. "He is the only one besides Bringer of Fire, who knows the secret of making fire. Curse Bringer for keeping the secret to him self. All the people should know how to do this. Now I understand what Coyote meant about Bringer being more interested in his own position than the welfare of the tribe as a whole. When I find Lizardfoot I will ask him to teach me the fire making ritual and when I return to the tribe I will teach the secret to all the people."
         Bigmouth rises and begins to walk North. After a few steps he stops, he turns and looks at the rock that he had been sitting on. He thinks for a moment, then he looks around as if to see if anyone is watching.
            In a low self conscious voice he addresses the small boulder. "Thank you for the seat, brother stone." Bigmouth mumbles.
            He then, pivots and confidently continues his journey along the ridge.

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