Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gone Fishing

One day Tiras, Kimeril, Grip, Billaad’s two uncles, Billaad, and the Guslar all went up river on a fishing expedition.  Here we, my cousin and I, thought to have a perfect opportunity to probe both Grip and the Guslar for specific details regarding our concerns.  Our journey began with praises to God for the opportunity and the good word we had received from Macedon’s village that Macedon and the village itself were all healing well and on the way to full recovery.  It was requested that God would accompany us giving His protection and guidance.

The plan was to walk two days up stream, find a nice location and camp for four or five days before returning home.  The master mind of the whole operation was Grip.  He had noticed that my father had been under a great deal of strain as of late what with the continued building and now the added burden of organizing defenses.  He believed that a few days away from these projects, which were well in hand, would do my father good.
Grip sold the trip to my dad under the gize that it would be a good reconnaissance mission in order to know more about our northern boundary.  “As long as we are thinking of defense; we might as well begin to map out these surroundings north.
We started out early on a beautiful summer morning.  My mom was smiling and would not stop fussing with my hair and clothes as we said our farewells.  Be sure to do this and oh don’t do that and “Oh my goodness do you have the medicine balm I made for you?” “Do you mean the stuff that reeks?  Yes, I have it.”  She was very excited but also she seemed nervous.  There were even a few tears rolling down her face.  I said to her; “Are you going to be alright Mom?”  “Yes don’t worry about me.  I will be fine.  I am going to miss you a lot.”  She answered with more smiles and wiping away the tears from her eyes.  “Not as much as I mill miss you.  I don’t think any of these tough guys know how to cook.”  My comment was met by a great swell of laughter from the large group of people who had gathered to see us off.  My mom then kissed my forehead and said “I am so proud of you my little man.  Go and show these old farts a thing or two about fishing.”  “I love you mom.”  “I love you too Crill!”  “I will see you in a few days mom.”  “I will be here son.”
We walked steady all that first day.  The surroundings were pretty familiar to the men but Billaad and I tried to take it all in.  We had spent our whole lives just a stones throw from the sea.  So, many of the sights and sounds that surrounded us were new and it was very exciting.
Although it was a warm sunny day the dense canopy of the thick forest so hindered the light as do the thick dark clouds of the storm.  We could see well enough of our immediate surroundings, a hundred cubits [adjust distance] or so round about but further than that the shadows prevailed and the forest took on a dark and mysterious character.  This was enough to motivate Billaad and I to keep up with the pace of the men without having to be told.  The air was cool at the forest floor.  It was like the leaves and pines were soaking up the heat of the sun like the bread soaks up the milk when poured over it.  I think that if we would not have been exerting ourselves so, it would have been down right chilly.  Never did we separate ourselves so far from the river that we could not hear its waters against the rocks.
We saw many different animals that first day.  Some were familiar to us, the dear, the fox, the bear.  Some were not so familiar.  Some were mere shadows visible only for a moment before darting back into the depth of the concealing forest at the boundary of our field of view.  I must admit to you that I was a little frightened by these aberrations dancing in and out of the edge of darkness.  The men did not seem to be worried at all.
My dad could see that I was a little nervous.  He came over and walked alongside me.  He said; “What troubles you Crill?”  I said, “Well every once and a while I notice something moving about into the dark perimeter around us.  What sorts of things are out there, out there in the dark?”  “Look Crill, there are many animals in the forest.  What always happens when we come up upon them?”  “They move off.”  I replied.  “Some of them are very big, like the bear, why do they move off?”  “They fear us and they dread us.”  “Why?”  “God put it in their heart.  They fear us because they know we have dominion over them; we are superior.  They have respect for our God given position in creation.  They dread us because they have been given to us by God as meat.  This combination of respect for our capabilities and despair over our motives drives them away.”  “But they don’t always run off.  Sometimes they attach and kill us.”  I raised my hands with fingers out like claws and fained a lunge at my dad with this comment.  “Yes son, but again, this is due to fear and dread.  When the animal feels threatened and cornered they can lash out.  That is why we move slowly and deliberately through the forest.  And that is why we move loudly.  We want them to know we are here, what direction we are heading, and at what speed.  This way they won’t feel the need to fight us; they will simply get out of the way.  That is what you are seeing in the shadows; the animals getting out of our way.”
“What if they did want to attach?  How would I know?  What should I do?”  “Well, watch the horses and listen for the dogs.”  We had a number of horses with us carrying supplies and Billaad’s dog and Grip’s dog?  “If the horses are getting uneasy and the dogs start to snarl, then trouble is a foot.  You should get close to me and fast as you can.  We have brought the sward and bow to protect us in case of attach.  Do you understand?”  “Yes dad.”  “Good.”
Late in the day and on one of our water breaks near the riverbank, Grip suggested we make camp for the night.  “This looks like a good spot and it will take some time to set up.”  Grip always made sense.  We worked hard to set up our camp and build the fire.  My dad, Ballad and I were in charge of catching diner.  While the others finished the camp, we fished a nearby hole with the five-pronged spear.  We first suspended the firebox over the surface of the water to draw the fish and then my dad thrust the spear into the water in an attempt to impale the fish on one of the prongs.  If we did not catch anything it would be cured meat and dried veggies [word] for diner.  The three of us met with limited but sufficient success; six fish.  It was a good day and a great night around the fire.  Billaad and I were with the men sitting around the fire eating the fish we caught and listening to the stories of yesterday.  We could not have been happier.

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