Keta's Storybook!

3. PART ONE

THE NEOLITHIC SETTLERS

The raggedy group arrives to the lush, sweet valley, so fertile, as the day draws to a close. The men stand off at a distance, sniffing for predators and looking for evidence of violent humans, while the women huddle at the edge of the forest discussing the location. Both groups come to the same conclusion; this will be a good place to settle for the time being until the group members can regain their strength after the long travel and lack of food. The women don't need the men's agreement, it is for them to choose where the group sleeps and eats. It is just easier to get along if everyone is of the same opinion.

Upon first arriving to this special valley they noticed that it is comfortable, comforting even. The women almost immediately find the means to make shelter. Some quickly go about lighting fires as others gather edible vegitation, even coming across a bird rookery with plenty of eggs. The men are pleased with such a hearty meal, grunting approval to each other across the fire as the women put the children to bed.

Everyone sleeps on soft, warm piles of dry grass the women had gathered. Their dreams are fantastic. It is the usual practice of these people to discuss together their dreams upon first waking in the morning and today is no exception. Older members of the group, with their wisdom of experience, listen to everyone intently, right down to the smallest child. They aknowledge that it is rather extraordinary for everyone in the group to have such wild dreams, dreams of such deep significance. Dreams of foretelling, dreams of a great and powerful spirit that rules all, dreams of an existence beyond this watery, green earth.

This has never happened before. After a long discussion, the aged members of the group decide it can only be their location that is making this special mystical connection of their spirits. Everything else in their lives is the same, the valley is the only new element. The group aged watch as the women erect more permanent shelters, and work together to make a communal cooking place, all while keeping an eye on the children. The men had split into small groups at daybreak and were off exploring the surrounding landscape.

"That the main theme of the dreams involves peoples' treatment of each other and respect for the land is very curious," says one particularly wizened old woman as she sucks on a pipe.

"Yes, and the strong visual. I've never heard such descriptions of living spaces. Constructions that soar way up into the sky? Higher than these hilltops around us? Most curious," replies an old man.

The others nod and grunt in agreement. The group sits in silence as the morning passes. As the sun approaches mid-sky the smell of sweet vegetation cooking wafts through the air. The women had found patches of edible roots close by in the forest and are excitedly planning different means of preparing it. This place is proving to be very productive in the things they need to survive and flourish. These people had been on the move for a long time, pushed out of their former ranging ground by the constant warring of others. Even there, there had been periods of no food. As they had walked across the plain to this valley no one previously knew existed, they had subsisted on very poor nourishment. To suddenly come upon a place with such plentiful supply seems beyond fortunate.

The group of aged ponder on all of this, the epic significance of their good luck, while soaking up the atmosphere of this place and watching the women and children bustle about. Already they seem acclimated to their new surroundings.

A crash and some loud rustling bursts out of the forest not far off. Everyone in the village turns toward the sound. They can hear men calling to each other, voices raised in excitement. The aged start to rise as the women quickly gather up the children. Together they huddle behind some of the half-built shelters. Some of the women grab large branches, ready to defend against attack if necessary.

Victory cries rise out of the forest, sending all manner of birds flying upwards out of the canopy. The village members relax, and as they begin to emerge from behind their make-shift fort a wonderful sight unfolds before them.

The men have captured a beast. It takes the combined strength of almost all of them to drag it into the valley. The women gasp in awe, the aged's eyes shine at the sight, and the children run toward the men to get a closer look.

It is a wild boar, big and fat and juicy. The group can hardly contain their excitement. The women congratulate the men on their fine work.

CONTINUED . . .