This is a serial story told over many chapters. To see the first chapter click here.
“One wintry day, the sky-mother lowered her most beloved son down to Earth in a golden cradle. Pondering her child’s fate in the land of men, she tenderly held the little bear one last time before returning to her starry home above…”
Yaloki continued chanting in a low gravelly voice, as he methodically beat a tambourine covered in rattling beads. The music reverberated into the night air, accompanying the wind in its lonesome haunting lament.
A solemn group of villagers sat in a circle around the old man, whose figure glowed in the light of a bonfire behind him. Like baby hawks devouring food their mother has brought them, they listened intently and let the music fill their being.
Several women in bright red and blue shawls stood up and started dancing. They twisted and turned, and turned and twisted, and spun this way and that, all the while carefully rotating their hands above their heads.
After the women sat down, a man draped in a bear pelt stood up. He looked into the eyes of each of the villagers as he fiercely stomped around the circle. Another man in a fur coat stood up and the two wrestled, locked arm in arm for several minutes. Finally the man in the coat grabbed a knife and pretended to stab the man in the bear pelt, who collapsed to the ground. Then they both returned to the circle.
Yaloki put down his tambourine and slowly rose from his deerskin covered chair. Clutching a gnarly twisted stick, he turned and stared into the enormous blaze for a long time before lowering his eyes to the ground. Suddenly, he let out a deep guttural cry and began to speak:
“For many years, we have shared our herds, our songs and our hearths with the Smirin people, and the great bear has rewarded us with peace. But now, the sly hand of greed has taken hold of them, and I fear that we shall soon have war.”
To see the next chapter click here.
– Carlos de la Gringa