Tell the Great Hunter

Rhoku entered the clearing with Normu, her new husband, holding the infant girl and had the little boy and girl clinging to her loincloth. She herself was well along in her pregnancy, and Wolf became ever more convinced that he was the father. Normu greeted him with a hug and indicating Rhoku's belly said, "Do not worry I will teach him to hunt with my own son. What would you name him?"

Wolf grimaced a minute; he needed a man's opinion on certain things and this was one of them. He confided in Normu things he could not tell Pell or Wachinga. "Companion in the hunt, you have advised me in many things in the last year. I have tried to be a good Kaniwa hunter and husband. The child is to be Rhoku's as a mother. Someday I hope to claim him as a father, but until then I must trust you to teach him. I will name him Marcus. If it is to be a girl I will name her Meghan."

"A strong name, she will be a fine huntress, fearless as you are," said Normu.

"My friend, I am chased by my fears."

Normu chuckled and squeezed his friend's shoulders. "I have seen you stand in front of men and jaguars that scare even me. Every man fears something. It is easier for women, for they are smaller and must bear babies. That is why Aman made them fearless. You are almost as fearless as Aurora was. Do not mistake fearlessness for foolishness.

"Did I tell you the story about Tell the Great Hunter and Gabro the Great Crocodile? No, well Gabro had been bothering his neighbor's family and Tell, concerned, promised to teach the beast a lesson. On the way to their longhouse, he collected fresh dart frog poison and tipped his spear, but he had no wish to kill the lord of the river. The crocodile enjoyed the sun on the side of the river as he always wanted to do. Tell yelled across the river that he would teach the beast a lesson to leave the people alone. Gabro ignored him, so the hunter stepped into the river, a small river. Gabro angry that Tell would enter his territory dived in after him. Tell being fearless stood still and raised his spear to strike. The crocodile swam at him and twisted to get a good bite of his leg. Tell struck his great spear into the beast's exposed belly, but he had forgotten the many lessons of hunting crocodiles; the poison does not act fast when the jaws of the animal are around your leg and crocodiles care little for dart frog poison. Tell fell in a bad way.

"Wato, Tell's second wife, hunting for iguana heard Tell's cry of struggle and ran to find him being dragged down into the river by Gabro. She dropped her blowgun, jumped onto the crocodile's back, and held tight. The crocodile rolled and rolled, but having Tell in his jaws slowed him down and Wato could not be thrown off. She pulled her knife and plunged it into Gabro's belly. The annoyed beast let go of Tell and with a growl said, "Little woman, you have defeated me, I will leave and bother your longhouse no more, but Wato, if I ever find you alone, I will eat you."

"Tell limped back to his longhouse, his arm over Wato's shoulder. He kissed her and said, "That was very brave of you to try and save me, but I almost had the beast where I wanted him."

"Wato tripped the great hunter to the ground, jumped on his back, pulled his head back by the hair, and held her knife to his throat. "Foolish man; I already have you where I want you. We will go to our hammock and you will make me happy with a baby, and then you will see who is brave."