2 - The Bear’s Gift: A Lazy Afternoon by flavia49 ()
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It was an early March lazy afternoon, the mild weather announcing the imminent spring. Yellow and indigo crocuses dotted the surrounding hills. The women were busy as usual preparing food, tanning hides, spinning and weaving, and young people were returning with their booty of fish since spawning time was over.
"It seems this time the old Srwos will not make it." Melos tossed, looking at the mask he was carving.
"Last winter's coughing scourge killed many." Wetwos counter-tossed studying the arrowhead he was chipping.
Unwillingly they turned their eyes towards the Cursed Valley beyond the pass, shivered and went back to their jobs: it was better not to draw the gods' attention.
"Really is Srwos going to die?" Opna asked as if accidentally, but his voice seemed awkward also to him.
Actually Opna was a bit annoyed - one would have said this was the constant state of Opna's mood - because he had just had time to get out of the hut with the idea of checking its thatched roof that he had found those two sitting in front of his door ready for a cozy chat. Men of some importance, the "big belly men" as young warriors called them, usually spent their time chatting about various events to weigh them and interpret them, and the host was expected to offer them fermented honey and acorn scones, but Opna was pissed off that those wasters always stopped at his house.
"Old fool!" Opna exclaimed angrily. "He should have given away the Sacred Bundle time ago when he was still in his senses, and all the sacred objects were stored carefully! Now who knows what we'll find in the Sacred Bundle and it's almost spring."
"You put it right." Wetwos approved.
The year before, when they had inspected the Sacred Bundle in view of the great feast of the Spring Equinox, they had discovered a quartz crystal and the sacred axe made of green stone were missing. Srwos, that old sod, hadn't the faintest idea of where they were. So the village had had to organize a big party, attended by the chiefs of neighboring villages, and had to give them lots of gifts in order to bear witness the Sacred Bundle had been restored with due ceremony.
All three kept quiet for a while, musing on the wealth they had given away, and this year it would be even worse.
"Who do you think will be chosen as the new Keeper?" Melos asked.
"Koas is suitable, a great warrior, a man esteemed and respected by all." Opna suggested.
"But he is not rich and could not honor the Sacred Bundle with lavish feastings, as every keeper should." Wetwos remarked. "Why do you not propose yourself, Opna?"
"Me? Nonsense! I'm already the Keeper of the Sacred Lance, I don't think I would be able to honor adequately the Spring Equinox Sacred Bundle."
"Actually if there are some missing items, organizing the party for restoring it will be a demanding task for the new keeper. However I think the men's council will choose wisely." Melos concluded and took his leave.
Wetwos followed him leaving Opna to meditate.
Image Comments (45)
KarmaSong () 6:29PM | Sat, 11 March 2017
Wonderful scene, along with a powerful and excellent narrative .
renecyberdoc () 12:35AM | Mon, 13 March 2017
in the mafia the old wasters or big belly men are called "old moustachos"lol.
g1tip () 10:25AM | Mon, 13 March 2017
A very well composed and very natural looking scene ! ! ! Nicely done ! ! !
shante () 11:10AM | Wed, 11 September 2019
Nice little set you built here. Like it. I have been working on a series and have been accumulating props and accessories for some time to add credibility to the scenes and noticed the straw scatters on the ground. Was that a prop you created or was it a purchased/Downloaded element available elsewhere? I have had trouble finding straw and hay and grain stalks and bundles for my project and those scatters would be great to gt a hold of.