This Sight is Continuously Evolving


Authors Note

Many of my women friends have insisted that I must include a love scene in this story. Therefore I have written it into this chapter. If you are reading this to younger children you may want to read this chapter to your self first. Then you can decide how to adjust it to suit a younger audience.

T Foot  

Children of the Coyote

Chapter 25
Paradise in the Wilderness

        When Tagalong opens her eyes it is late afternoon. She sits up quickly and the dried mud on her body cracks and falls to the ground making a slight clattering sound. She gets to her feet and the rest of the dried shell falls away leaving her dark skin covered from her upper lip down in a fine layer of gray ash. She shakes her head and pieces of dried mud fly out in all directions. Her hair is also gray with ash from just above her ears, to the matted ends at her waist.
        She looks down at Lizardfoot. His body is smeared with a mixture of grime, blood and sweat. The edges of the wounds are an angry red. Blood and a yellow fluid slowly ooze from them. His breathing is shallow and he is mumbling incoherently under his breath.
        Looking around her she notices that to the North a short distance are high cliffs and at the base of the cliffs is a line of trees shimmering in the golden sunlight of late afternoon.
        "Water!" she cries. "Lizardfoot, wake up, I see trees." she says as she kneels beside him.
        She picks up his arm and tries to pull him to a sitting position. He is unresponsive and hangs limp in her grasp.
        "Oh, Pleas wake up Lizard" she cries. "There is water not far away!"
        After several attempts to wake him, she gives up and starts preparing to go for water to bring back to him.
        She manages to get Lizardfoot to drink from their nearly exhausted water supply. Then using his spear and their damp robes she constructs a sun shelter for him. When this is done Tagalong picks up both water skins and her weapons. After several minutes of frustration trying to convince the dog to stay put she begins walking toward the distant trees.
        Each time Tagalong starts off, Sky-eyes follows.
        Tag stops and turns to the little animal. "Stay!" she commands.
        Sky-eyes stops and sits on her haunches. She looks at Tagalong and whines with a confused expression on her canine face.
        "Go back!" Tagalong scolds.
        Sky-eyes stands and turns. Looking back over her shoulder and whining, with her tail between her legs she retreats toward Lizardfoot.
        Tagalong begins to leave and again Sky-eyes turns to follow.
        "No! Go back!" Tagalong scolds in her most commanding voice.
        After several attempts the young canine gets the message and sits at Lizardfoot's feet whining pitifully and watching Tagalong walk off into the distance.
        After an hours walk tagalong approaches the shimmering gold and green trees lining a beautiful clear stream.
        The South fork of the Wa'ste River drops from a deep cleft high in the vertical granite wall East of where the cliffs join the guardian mountain. The water plummets a hundred feet or more thundering into a deep blue pool at the cliff's base. A cool fragrant cloud of white mist fills the air for several yards down stream.
        The water flows along the base of the cliffs Westward toward the Smoke River. A few miles away it disappears into the earth to exit near the river as a massive geyser blasting steam high into the air.
        Along the South bank of the Wa'ste, the land is fertile and green. A thick Aspen forest extends outward for up to a hundred yards. In the woods and along the stream are open grassy meadows ringed with wild fruit trees and nut groves. Wild berries of all description grow in orderly groups as if they were in a well cared for garden. In the meadows deer quietly brows on the tips of blue Brodia blossoms and raspberry sprouts. The air is full of the songs of birds and the smell of healthy growing things.
        Cautiously, Tagalong approaches the tree line. She holds her spear at the ready expecting at any moment to be attacked by some thing hairy and ferocious. Just in side the trees she stops and listens.
        To her right a short distance is the roar of the falling river. The only other sounds that come to her are the whisper of the breeze in the foliage and the innumerable bird and insect calls. Slowly she ventures deeper into the forest. As Tagalong approaches the edge of one of the clearings a large doe lifts her head from the deep grass and looks in her direction. Nervously the deer flips her tail and wiggles her ears. Two fawns materialize from the grass beside her. Stiff legged; the doe slowly walks away from Tagalong with the two little ones trailing behind her.
        Skirting the clearing Tagalong works her way toward the stream. Breaking through a service berry thicket she finds herself on a grassy sward that slopes slightly to a sandy beach at the edge of a deep backwater.
       Being a normal young woman, her first thought is for a bath so stopping only to drop the water flasks, her weapons and belt on the shore, she steps into the healing waters of the Wa'ste River. Tagalong wades out until the cool liquid reaches her lower ribs, then leaning forward she dives deep. The water fizzes around her body as she slips into its depths leaving a trail of gray ash behind her. She surfaces near the center of the pool and leisurely frog strokes back toward the sandy shore.
        When Tagalong reaches the shallows she turns and sits on the bottom. She washes the ash and mud from her long dark hair. Standing in knee-deep water she reaches down, scoops up two hands full of fine sand, and scrubs her body vigorously. Again she dives for the middle of the backwater. All the cuts and abrasions incurred during the long harsh days of travel Sting and tingle as the waters of this special stream begin the healing process.
        Tagalong returns to the beach and strides from the water with a feeling of renewal. Before exiting the stream she reaches down with her cupped hands, brings the sweet liquid to her lips and drinks deeply. The cool healing essence spreads throughout her body nourishing her. A feeling of exhilaration fills her. Her mind is at piece and her thoughts are clear and sharp.
        "If I can keep Lizardfoot here for a few days he will heal and everything will be all right," she thinks as she takes both water skins to the stream.
        After rinsing out the grit, she refills the two bladders with clean fresh water. She then wraps the belt around her waist, replaces the weapons, and slings the water skins across her shoulders with the straps crossing between her small breasts. She takes up the spear and confidently marches off to save Lizardfoot. Again!
        Lizardfoot lies in the shade of the makeshift shelter that Tagalong erected before going for water. Sweat runs from every pour, and he mumbles incoherently as he tosses his head from side to side. His dreams are a jumble of disconnected images and sounds.
        At one point he sees him self, running alone from the Black Mountain. The earth beneath him shutters and shakes, throwing him to the ground. Time after time he has to leap great fishers that open in the earth before him as he tries desperately to escape the Mountain.
        The scene changes.
        He sees Tagalong, her long dark hare hanging down her back as she is held in the strong embrace by his old rival Bigmouth. Lizard foot stands paralyzed with his mouth hanging open unable to speak or turn away he is frozen to the spot. Hot rage spreads through his body. The heat starts in his loins and spreads up through his gut, into his chest. It courses through his neck, and he can hear his pulse pounding in his head as he raises a strange weapon, the little spear with its shiny obsidian point rests in the device with its butt against the ladle like socket. He tenses for the throw then he drops his arm, and turns away.    
       Again the scene shifts and he finds himself in the Tagalong's arms, in a love embrace. There bodies joined, arms and legs entwined, Their sweat mingling as they move together to reach fulfillment. At the moment of release the clouds lift from his mind. A coolness washes over him and the delirium begins to subside. All memory of the dreams begins to fade as he relaxes and slips into a healing sleep.
        When Tagalong returns, Sky-eyes rushes to meet her. The little canine whines and wags her tail so vigorously that she can hardly walk in a straight line. Sky-eyes lies down and roles onto her back with her tail still wagging, kicking up a dust cloud that practically obscures her from sight. Tagalong pats the animal on the belly and moves to Lizardfoot's side. Sky-eyes follows and sits at Lizardfoot's feet watching her friend.
        Tagalong gasps as she beholds the angry wounds across Lizardfoot's chest. The deep gashes are outlined in red. A yellow fluid exudes from them leaving a sticky trail where it runs down his body.
        Carefully she lifts his head and tries to pour water into his mouth. At first the liquid runs down his face. Then the tip of his tongue breaks through his chapped lips. Finally his mouth opens and some of the healing liqueur enters his body.
        After he has had a small drink Tagalong retrieves a piece of rabbit fur from her pack and begins to cleanse his wounds. She pours the water over the inffected area and is astonished to see it foam and sizzle. Cautiously she wipes at the crusty wounds cleaning away the dirt and dried blood. Again she pours a small amount of water over his chest to rinse away the filth.
        When she had first arrived, Lizardfoot was tossing and turning and mumbling but as soon as the water touched his wounds he relaxed.
        Now, his tongue is searching for more moisture. Quickly she lifts his head, and puts the open end of the water skin to his lips; he drinks deeply and with a sigh slips into a sound sleep.
        Satisfied that she has done everything she can for Lizardfoot, Tagalong collects material for a fire. Vegetation is sparse out on the ash lands but she manages to find some scattered sage and a few sun bleached branches from the trees that are buried beneath the ash. The fire tools have dried sufficiently and with her newly perfected technique she is able to produce a flame in a short time.
        Soon she has a piece of the succulent puma meat roasting on the end of a short stick that she has driven into the ground near the flames. Her stomach growls at the aroma of cooking meat.
        The pup watches her attentively whining to be fed. Tagalong tosses a few small pieces of raw meat at the animal's feet. Sky-eyes sniffs suspiciously at the morsels then gulps them down, and begs for more.
        With a smile Tagalong feeds the pup small pieces until Sky-eyes is satisfied and lies down protectively at Lizardfoot's head.
        As the cat meat roasts Tagalong slices off strips with her obsidian flake. She chews thoughtfully on the tender, juicy flesh and marvels again at the sharpness of this stone blade.
        By the time she has eaten her fill, cold, black night has fallen. Tagalong builds the fire high enough to see by its light and helps Lizardfoot to drink more of their dwindling water supply. She takes down the temporary shelter then she lays down beside him and covers them both with the buffalo robes. Listening to his deep breathing and warmed by the fire, she falls fast asleep. Twice during the night Tagalong wakes and adds the few remaining branches to the coals.
        The morning dawns cold and gray. A damp oily mist roles up from the Smoke River to cloak the land in sulfurous smelling moisture. In the dim light of pre-dawn Tagalong shivers and snuggles closer to Lizardfoot. He groans slightly at her jostling. Still half asleep she throws her arm across his chest.
        "Waugh!" Lizardfoot exclaims as he tries to sit up throwing her arm and the robe from him.
        Fully awake now, Tagalong places her hand on his shoulder and gently pushes him back down.
        "I'm sorry," she says. "Lie back and relax, I will get you some water," she whispers as she reaches for the container.
        With an intake of breath through his clenched teeth Lizardfoot settles back on his elbows.
        Tagalong holds the water skin to his lips and he drinks then lowers himself to the ground.
        As he settles back he asks, "Is there any of that puma meat left? I think I could eat the whole beast right now."
        Smiling at him, she plucks the small lump of cold meat from its skewer. Carefully she slices off thin pieces of flesh and feeds them to him one at a time; he chases them with sips of water.
        "Is there any heat left in that fire?" He asks shivering for emphasis.
        Tagalong reaches around and runs her fingers carefully over the ashes.
        "There is a little warmth but no live coals," she says. "Unfortunately, there is not enough wood around here for another fire."
        "We will have to move to the stream that I found yesterday" she goes on. "There is plenty of fire wood and lots of game. It is a beautiful place," she continues enthusiastically.
        "Stream?" He asks. "How far?"
        "Oh, it's not far" she replies. "We will have to wait until it is a little lighter and this fog lifts before we can travel. Rest now, you will need all your strength."
        It is very cold he mumbles as he shivers on the ground.
        Tagalong lies down beside him and replaces the discarded robe Carefully, this time; she reaches across and takes him by the shoulder. She turns him so that they are laying chest to chest with her arms around him.
        Responding to her warmth, Lizardfoot's arms encircle her and he pulls her close.
        After a few moments Tagalong can feel Lizardfoot's manhood stirring against her leg. Lizardfoot is still weak from his wounds and as her warmth begins to relax him, he and his member drift off to sleep.
        They lay together this way waiting for the sun, under a buffalo skin in the pre dawn mist.
        Again as on many sleepless nights, she wonders what it will be like to couple with a man. "I have been a woman for over two cycles now and still I am a virgin" she thinks.
        "What about Lizardfoot? He is so shy, or perhaps he isn't interested in me as a woman but only as a faithful friend and companion. Will he ever desire me? She muses.
     Oh well, It is the custom that I choose the one with whom I want to couple,
        "I choose you Lizardfoot" she whispers.
        "If I were with Bigmouth on such a journey, I am not so sure
     I would have much choice. I would most certainly be a complete woman by now. Maybe even carrying a child." she reflects, with a slight shiver.
        "Bigmouth is most likely dead by now" she decides. "No one can last long alone in the wilderness.
     When Tagalong opens her eyes again the sun has burned off the fog and a fine day is in the offing. She untangles herself from Lizardfoot and picks up the nearest water skin, it is empty. Casting about she finds the other lying near Lizardfoot's head. Only a few swallows remain.
        She wakes Lizardfoot by shaking him.
        Slowly he opens his eyes blinks and then smiles a radiant smile at her.
        "Good morning my dear friend," he says. "So, you have saved me once again" he chuckles.
        "How do you feel?" She asks in a motherly tone.
        "I'll live but I think it will take some time for me to heal enough to continue our journey," he answers seriously.
        "Was I dreaming or did you say that you found a stream with woods and game?" he asks after a bit.
        "That's correct" she begins. "Just a short walk from here to the North are high cliffs with a waterfall and a beautiful river that follows the cliffs to the west. Along the shores of the stream are shaded meadows and grassy coves bordering deep pools with sandy beaches. In the woods along the stream are thickets of berries. Fruit trees and nuts of many kinds are dotted about the clearings. Deer, rabbits and squirrels are abundant and almost tame enough to approach. The stream is also teeming with fish." Tagalong announces with breathless enthusiasm.
        "Is that where you got the water in the flask?" He asks.
        "Yes" she answers proudly.
        "I have never tasted any water like that before" he says. "It is a strange combination of sweet and sour that is curiously refreshing. I can feel it spreading through me with each swallow almost like drinking the rich fresh blood of a bison, of course the water is cooler and even more stimulating."
        "Is there any left in the skins," he asks after a short pause.
        "Very little" she replies. "Perhaps, one swallow for each of us."
        Silently she hands him the skin. He takes a swig and hands it back to her. She holds it up to the light inspecting the level then she takes a swallow.
        "Would you like some water?" She asks Sky-eyes.
        Cupping her left hand she pours some liquid in her palm and holds it near the ground. The little canine sniffs at her hand for a moment then cautiously takes a lick, sneezes twice then licks Tagalong's hand clean. Tagalong pours more water and Sky-eyes eagerly laps up the remainder of their supply.
        Sky-eyes sits to one side watching as Tagalong makes preparations to go to the river.
        They will only take the essentials on the first trip. Tagalong plans to return when she has Lizardfoot in a camp and comfortable.
        Into the large pack she puts the panther meat, the fire tools, the two buffalo robes and the empty water skins. Around her waist is her belt with her weapons and Lizardfoot's short club. She will carry her spear.
        The remainder of their gear she puts into the small pack and covers it with the skin of the puma.
        "Are you ready to try for the river?" She asks Lizardfoot looking at him with an expression of concern on her face.
        "I think so" He answers looking up at her from where he reclines on one elbow. "If you will help me to my feet we can be on our way."
        Tagalong hands him his spear, and helps him to stand.
        Lizardfoot leans on the spear for a moment, then with a smile he says, "let's get going. The sooner we start the sooner I can lye back down."
        The trip to the river is uneventful. They make good time despite Lizardfoot's injuries, and are soon at the stream.
        "That wasn't too bad," Lizardfoot comments as he seats himself on a downed tree lying near the water.
        You look a little pale, maybe you should lye down" Tagalong advises as she hands him the refilled water flask.
        Lizardfoot takes a long drought of its cool refreshing contents.
        "Thank you I think I will rest for a little while" Lizardfoot says after, handing back the container.
        "Good," she replies. "I will start a fire and cook some of the puma meat." When it is ready I will wake you, and after you have eaten I will go back for the rest of our gear.
        By evening, Tagalong has erected a three sided shelter of poles and brush a short distance from the stream. She has covered the floor of the shelter with a thick mattress of fragrant green bows and has Lizardfoot comfortably bedded down between the two buffalo robes.
    In a shallow pit in front of the opening a cheery fire crackles and a large fish bakes on a stick near the heat. Sky-eyes sits to one side with her chin resting on her paws, watching the flames and listening to the sounds of the forest around them.
        Tagalong sits at the opening to the shelter with Lizardfoot lying to her right. She stares at the fire and listens to his breathing. The night is cold but the fire's heat reflecting from the sloped roof of the shelter keeps their camp warm and comfortable.
        Lizardfoot stirs and raises him self on one elbow. "That smells good. What's for supper?" he asks with a yawn.
        "Baked trout, service berries, plums, and nuts." She answers matter-of-factly. "How are you feeling?" She asks.
        "Much better, another day of your nursing and I'll be ready to travel" he answers
        "I don't think you should push it" she replies. "You have been badly injured and should get some rest. This is a wonderful place, where we can stay for a long time. We can always continue
        The quest when you have completely recovered."
        Lizardfoot sits up and the robe falls from his shoulders. Tagalong is surprised to see that the gashes across his chest are almost completely scabbed over. The redness at the edges of the wounds has gone and a healthy color has returned to his complexion.
        "You do look a little better," she admits.
        "Right, let's eat, I'm hungry" he says.
        "Me too" Sky-eyes barks.
        The two humans look at each other and then at there canine friend.
        "Did you say something, Tag?" Lizardfoot asks.
        "Uh, no, I thought the voice came from behind Sky-eyes." She whispers.
        "Hello, is there some one out there?" Lizardfoot calls.
        The two humans peer into the blackness behind Sky-eyes.
        Tagalong grips the spear that is always at her side.
        Sky-eyes turns her head and listens behind her.
        "Nope, no body out there" Sky-eyes whines.
        Tagalong jumps to her feet and bumps her head on the cross pole of the shelter. "Ow!" she cries rubbing her head as she drops to her knees looking sideways at the animal.
        Lizardfoot is frozen to the spot, his mouth open he stares at Sky-eyes.
        "S, S, Sky-eyes d,did you s,say that?" Lizardfoot stammers.
        "Well, yes I suppose I did but how is it that you understand me?" She answers in surprise.
        Speechless, he stares at Sky-eyes.
        Tagalong creeps forward on her knees still holding the spear in her right hand and rubbing her head with her left. She crouches down to inspect her four legged friend and stares intently into the animals eyes.
        "How is this possible?" she asks in amazement.
        "I don't really know" Sky-eyes answers. "I mean, I have always tried to speak to you but until now you did not comprehend my speech nor I yours."
        "The Water!" Lizardfoot cries. "It's the water! That has to be it! I knew there was something strange about this water! That explains why I am healing so fast. The water must contain some very strong magic."
        "This must in deed be a magical place" Tagalong exclaims. "I knew when I entered the forest on my first trip here that it was special but I had no idea how special."
        "So, When do we eat?" Sky-eyes asks, looking wistfully at Tagalong and waging her tail.
        Tagalong just stares at Sky-eyes. After a moment she snaps out of her confused state.
        "What would you like? Cooked fish or raw panther." She asks Sky-eyes.
       Tagalong is barely able to control the hysteria that is threatening to over take her at the thought of carrying on a conversation with an animal and being understood.
        "Raw cat suits me just fine" answers the young canine agreeably, "But if you would not throw it on the dirt I would appreciate it as I don't care for grit in my food."
        "Oh! Excuse me! I didn't know that wolves or coyote's or what ever you are were so particular about how there food was served" Tagalong answers with mock indignation.
        "Well I don't suppose you ever had the opportunity to ask one of us." Sky-eyes replies.
        "And, as to what I am," she goes on. "Well, I am not really sure." she pauses for a moment. "My mother was a large wolf and my liter mates were also wolves but I am different. They treated me badly because I was smaller and had a different sent. I was always the last to eat and only was allowed what scraps were left. Believe me with five hungry pups there was not much for me." Sky-eyes takes a breath and continues. "When my siblings grew larger my mother would take us all out to teach us to hunt but since I was always smaller and do to lack of food, much weaker than my liter mates. I was not able to keep up. They would make fun of me and knock me down and bite me. Mother always came to my rescue eventually but it was difficult and painful just the same."
        She looks at the two humans who stare back at her with mouths agape and an amazed expression on their faces.
    "One day mother quietly woke every one up very early. Every one that is but me," she sighs. "When I awoke they were gone. I ran out side the den and called to them but there was no answer and their trail was cold. I called and called. All day and night I howled until I was exhausted and fell asleep. I barley survived the next few days. I managed to catch a mouse and a lizard to eat but I was terribly lonely. I remained at the den because I was sure that my mother and siblings would return for me. Finally I realized that mother and my liter mates such as they were had abandoned me. Had left me like so much refuse to survive or perish. I sank into the depths of depression. I had given up all hope." Sky-eyes sat with her head down, and her shoulders hunched in an attitude of dejection.
        "That Is when you showed up my dear adopted mother." she says lifting her head and waging her tail happily. Now every thing is good. I belong to a pack again, (such as it is) and my life has purpose."
        "Which is?" Lizardfoot asks lifting an eyebrow.
        "To help my human family, survive and advance" she replies flatly.
        Lizardfoot shakes his head. "I can't believe this. Not only is this animal talking to us but she is also fussy about how her food is served and has a sense of destiny. I think that there is much more to our world than we ever suspected. If water can heal an injured body and allow humans and animals to speak together, What other wonders are in store for us the deeper we penetrate this enchanted wilderness?"
        "I don't know but I for one am glad that we can communicate with Sky-eyes" Tagalong says. "With her sharper senses she will be able to warn us of danger and since we can talk to her, she can help us plan our defense." Tagalong reaches out and scratches Sky-eyes behind the ears.
        "Oh, that feels good, thank you mother" Sky-eyes says with her eyes squinted almost shut.
        "Oh, don't get me wrong" Lizardfoot replies. "I think its great that Sky-eyes can talk. I'm just a little baffled by it, that's all."
        "Please hand me a piece of that Fish" Lizardfoot continues, "And if you don't mind don't drop it in the dirt thank you very much."
        Carefully, Tagalong removes the fish from its stick and lays it on the clean bows of the shelter floor.
        The two humans hungrily devour the large trout while their canine friend consumes her helping of puma meat.
        After the meal Lizardfoot lays back on the robe.
        "Excellent!" he exclaims after a satisfied belch. "If you continue to take such good care of me I may become accustomed to it and injure myself more often."
        He looks down at his chest and runs a finger along the edge of one of the scars.
        "They are healing nicely" he observes.
        "Does it hurt?" she asks.
        "A little" he answers. "But what is a little pain to the mighty hunter Lizardfoot. Killer of the great puma and ware-er of its hide." He boasts, with a large grin on his face.
        "What? Oh yeah?" She replies with mock scorn and a scowl on her brow. "You would be panther poop right now if I hadn't been there to rescue you and you know it."
        "Oh yeah?" he says coming to a sitting position.
        "That's right" She retorts.
        With out thinking she pokes him in the chest with her finger.
        "Waugh!" he cries out. Wrapping his arms around his chest he doubles up and rolls onto his side facing away from her. "Ohhh" he moans piteously.
        "Oh! Lizardfoot, Oh my, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...."
        She is on her knees beside him bending close her right hand lightly touching his shoulder.
        With a growling laugh Lizardfoot turns and grabs her pinning her arms to her side.
        "I've got you now my pretty," he says through his laugh.
        "Oh yeah" She returns as she tickles him on his ribs.
        He quickly releases her and squirms away.
        "Hey that's not fare" he complains.
        As she is crawling away he grabs her by the ankles and drag's her back to the robes.
        "Not so fast. Where do you think your sneaking off too?" He says.
        She turns in his grasp and with the agility of a serpent she wraps her arms around him and pins him to the ground. They role back and forth giggling and laughing in there play.
        After a few minutes of play wrestling the nature of their old familiar game begins to change.
        Soon the two young people are becoming aroused. Their hearts begin to race their breathing becomes rapid they begin caressing and kissing running there hands over each others bodies.
        Tagalong runs her left hand up Lizardfoot's thigh to where his engorged manhood awaits her. She cradles his scrotum in her left hand while she wraps the fingers of her right hand around the erect shaft.
        Lizardfoot takes in a sharp breath and lets out a small moan.
        "I choose you Lizardfoot, I choose you." She whispers against his neck as she guides him to her.
        Their First coupling is awkward
        Her cry of pain at his first entering frightens Lizardfoot. He would have stopped if he could have but the lust in him is too strong, as are her urgings for him not to stop.
        Soon they lie exhausted in each other's arms. Sweat glistening on their bodies in the low light of the dwindling campfire.
        A slight shiver runs through Tagalong as steam rises from their bodies. She struggles to one elbow and looks around for the second buffalo robe. As she reaches for it she notices Sky-eyes on the opposite side of the fire watching her intently.
        Sky-eyes is lying on her stomach with her paws in front of her, her chin resting on them, her ears are erect and there is a questioning look on her face.
        "Well, What is it?" Tagalong asks.
        "Does this mean that I will soon have litter mates?" Sky-eyes inquires happily.
        "Perhaps." Tagalong says with a slight giggle. "Perhaps." She snuggles down beside Lizardfoot and pulls the warm robe over them.
        He is already asleep and she is soon to follow.
        Several times during the night Sky-eyes is awakened by the scuffling and giggling sounds that emerge from under the buffalo robe. The two children are learning the true meaning of life and their bond is now complete. Never again will they be "just Friends."
        At first light Tagalong sits up and stretches languorously. Quietly she slips from under the robes, stands and humming to her self walks to the river. She doesn't stop at the edge but continues until the water reaches her thighs then, leaning forward she dives into the cold stream. "Burrrr" she exclaims as she surfaces near the middle of the pool. She frog strokes back to the shallows and scooping up fine sand from the bottom. She stands in knee deep water and scrubs her body vigorously. Again she dives into the stream to rinse off.
        Lizardfoot watches her as she exits the water and slowly walks toward him ringing out her long dark hair.
        "Beautiful" he thinks. "I had never noticed how beautiful she is until now. I am indeed the luckiest of men. To have this beautiful, intelligent, capable woman as my..."
     "My what?" he asks himself out loud. "Friend? Companion? None of these terms seam to fit any more," he mumbles. "Every thing has changed between us now."
        "Your mate?" Sky-eyes suggests from behind him.
        "What? Oh its you Sky-eyes. What did you say?" He asks.
        "Well, if what was going on last night is what I think it was. You are mates." Sky-eyes suggests.
        "Well uh, Yes we did couple last night." Lizardfoot admits shyly. "But she is a Fug-a-we woman and can mate with any male she wishes.
        A dark cloud descends upon Lizardfoot at the thought of Tagalong with another man.
        "I think that perhaps there is more to your relationship than you realize." Sky-eyes replies.
        "Yes, we are good friends but we are also Fug-a-we and as such we must follow the customs of our people. I will fight these feelings of possessiveness. If she wishes to mate with other males of the tribe that is her right," he says unconvincingly. "Perhaps if I can prove to her that I am the best of the Fug-a-we then she will only want my offspring in her lodge." He suggests hopefully.
        Again his spirits sink. "Fat chance of that ever happening." He says despondently.
        "What do you mean," asks Sky-eyes. "You are a strong and agile hunter. Did you not kill the mountain lion?"
        "Yeah sure but Tagalong is right, if not for her help I would now be so much puma droppings and my bones would be bleaching out on the ash lands or in the great desert. Whenever I get into trouble it is she who rescues me. I don't know what she sees in me." He says miserably.
        "Well, here she comes would you like me to ask her?" Sky-eyes suggests brightly.
        "No! Don't you dare! I'll work this out for myself thank you very much. I don't need help from any talking canine." He warns.
        "Okay, okay! I'm only trying to help" Sky-eyes replies as she moves off toward the stream for a drink.
        "Good morning!" Tagalong says brightly as she approaches Lizardfoot. "How are your wounds this morning?"
        "Oh, a little sore and stiff but healing" He answers conversationally.
        She gives him a sidewise glance. "Why don't you take a bath while I get the fire going and cook some puma meat for breakfast."
        "Yeah, good idea," he replies as he rises to his feet and stretches gingerly. He still has some pain when he tightens the skin on his chest. He yawns and wanders off to the stream scratching his head.
        After the meal they sit quietly looking into the fire
        "For some reason, I just can't wake up this morning." Lizardfoot says after a while. "I think I will take a short nap. Maybe then I will feel more alert.
        Lizardfoot lays down on the buffalo robes and is soon snoring softly.
        Tagalong busies her self by collecting firewood, setting snares, and puttering around the camp. An hour later she is sitting in the shade of the lean-to working on the construction of a fish trap and listening to Lizardfoot's steady breathing.
        He is lying on his back with his left arm behind his head; his right arm is by his side. His left leg is straight and the right is bent at the knee and hip, his right foot rests against his left calf. Lizardfoot moans softly.
        Tagalong looks up from her work and watches him sleep.
        He is mumbling softly and rolling his head from side to side.
        As Tagalong watches, she notices his manhood begin to stir as if it had a life of it's own. It begins to grow and wreath. Soon it becomes fully erect and lies pulsing on his belly. She is mesmerized by the sight and slowly reaches out toward Lizardfoot's member. Her fingers touch the base where it joins the scrotal sack and she slides them along the shaft to the tip.
        Lizardfoot moans again.
        Tagalong quickly pulls her hand back and watches to see if he is waking. She picks up the fish trap and begins to work furiously but after a moment her gaze returns to Lizardfoot.
        He appears to be sleeping soundly. Slowly she sets down the trap and reaches for Lizardfoot again. This time she wraps her fingers completely around the engorged organ.
        A few moments later Lizardfoot opens his eyes and looks down at the place from where extreme pleasure spreads to fill his body and numb his mind.
        He sees the back of Tagalongs head; her black main spread across his stomach. As her head moves up and down he can feel pulses of ecstasy coursing through his nervous system. His eyes role back in his head and he sinks back into the robe. When the release comes it is the most intense pleasure that Lizardfoot has ever experienced. His entire body convulses uncontrollably
        "OOOOOOOOOH!" He cries out loudly.
        His brain, spins out of control and his sight dims for a moment.
        When his senses return he sees Tagalong looking at him with a wide grin on her face.
        "Did that feel good?" She asks innocently.
        With out a word Lizardfoot reaches for her and enfolds her in his arms.
        "That was the most amazing thing that I have ever experienced. He says into her hair. "Where did you learn that trick?"
        "Long ago, my mother told me that if ever I found a man that I wanted enslave that I should perform this magic ritual and he would be mine." She pauses a moment then adds "Of course the ritual must be repeated occasionally to keep the magic alive.
        "Your mother is indeed a very, very wise woman." Lizardfoot replies softly. As once again he drifts off to sleep with a wide smile on his face.
        And thus they pass their days and nights in the enchanted forest along the shores of the Wa'ste river. They divided their time between hunting, making love, fishing, making love, eating, bathing, making love, sleeping and, well you know how it is with young lovers.

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