Monday, February 18, 2013


PLEASE START WITH CHAPTER ONE, published on February 16th, 2013. This is a fictional tale.

It was no Garden of Eden. Though the upper plains and valley were blessed with sufficient assets, survival was a minute-by-minute struggle. Every day you had to obtain food, water, and safe shelter. You were always aware of threats. The Pioneer Clan absorbed the homids who survived the expedition. The mixed genetics evolved into a distinctive culture and copulation was our legacy. We had to make certain that the next generation learned enough to survive and reproduce. There was little time for entertainment except on a rare evening when we would gather around the fire to share stories. We passed along the story of our journey via oral tradition from generation to generation.

The traditional healers, the shaman, would gather flora, fauna, roots, and bark during specific conditions to mend the hurts of the members of the tribe. Their knowledge was passed from parent to child and Tlsa-se was a risk taker. She learned from her predecessors the essentials and then experimented with new cures. She found many new ways to heal though occasionally she would harm or kill a patient with the treatment. The valley was a natural pharmacy, almost all the curative plants they needed were present as well as sunlight and moonlight. She taught her offspring the way of the shaman and made certain that they respected the power of comprehension. Medicine could be used as a weapon, too.

After the monsoons ended and the well-worn trail dried, the tribe would move out of the valley. The clans would thrive in the growth of the plains until the heat drove them back to the valley. Each tribe had returned into their summer home and was enjoying the bounty while hot sunshine burned the plains. They traded, mated, and shared information. Quarrels would occur but since everyone was related, blood rarely dampened the ground. It was Tlsa-se’s busiest time of the year because other family-tribes would seek her to treat their ailments.

Tlsa-se was busy making a poultice for a woman who had an infected wound on her arm. Suddenly, the ground shook and the sky began to fall. Members of the tribe ran to each other for comfort. Trees toppled over and Tlsa-se feared that the world was ending. She prayed to the sun, earth and moon to protect her kith and kin. A horrible roar filled the peaceful valley and dust rose into the air making them choke and gasp for air. When the shaking finally ended and the dust settled, a group gathered near her. They didn’t know where else to go. She and her kin tended injuries and provided comfort. It was too late for the dead. A young male covered with dust and holding his broken arm, limped to her home. Tears rolled down his dirty face while describing his personal tragedy. He had been hunting a snake with his two sisters near the south wall when the earthquake began. The cliff face gave way and crushed his siblings. The pathway was no more. The whole tribe was stranded in the valley.

The story of the rumbling earth was verbally passed down from generation to generation. Tlsa-se was elevated to a hero who stopped the rocks from crushing everyone. Many iterations of her children continued the healing and counseling of the thriving tribe. The fertile valley offered enough to survive. Occasionally, the torrential rains would flood the lowest end but the tribe would move to higher ground until it drained away. The earth would still shake, sky would darken, and the volcanoes would scatter dust but they survived. Even though two of the streams dried up, they had enough water to endure as they incrementally became human.

© 2013 Ima B. Musing

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