Year 9, Day 34
I don’t know why I even spent time wondering whether I should tell the People about the northern hunters. I’d asked Little Gnu about the spear tips. I had Rainbow trying to tan fur and make me warm clothing. And I unthinkingly assumed that only those two knew?
I might as well have stood up at the most populated part of the Gather and announced everything I knew or had surmised about the hunters. It probably would have taken longer for word to get around. Everyone seemed to arrive knowing of my explorations. They may call themselves the People, but I have to say the Gossipers would be a better name!
Granted, it was fresh news to most of them, and the salt pebbles and stories of the salt lake were of far more interest than the northern hunters. The exception, of course, was Songbird, who was rather obviously pregnant again. The soft-tanned furs and my tales of skiing the mountain snowfields fascinated her.
“If you took me to watch the women preparing furs, I might be able to learn by watching them,” she said hopefully.
I looked at her protruding belly. “I can teleport you, yes,” I said. “But right now there are two of you, and I cannot teleport both of you together.” I wasn’t really sure, but I did not want to take the risk. “Besides, the season for the best furs is past. It is getting warmer, and the fur animals are beginning to shed their winter coats.”
“Here we have rainy and dry seasons. In the far north, they have warm and cold seasons. In the cold seasons, the animals grow thick coats. When it becomes warm, they shed them. Right now there is shed hair caught on every twig. The skins would not make good furs.”
She thought a minute or so. “My child will be born soon, probably before we leave. How soon will it be cold again there?”
“The cycle of seasons – warm to cold to warm again – takes about as long as the time from gather to gather. So it will always be warming up there at the time of a gather here.”
She frowned and thought a little. “So the furs would be getting thick again when the new baby has teeth? But before it can walk?”
I was stunned. The People simply did not think ahead that far. At least, the men did not.
Songbird looked at my face and giggled. “I am a woman,” she informed me loftily. “We must think ahead, for our children. So can you take me to see the snow and these northern hunters when I begin to chew food for my baby? I know you can find me.”
I sighed and gave in. “Yes. But remember we must stay hidden. They do not know of my existence, and I do not want them to find out.”
What have I gotten myself into now?
Jarn’s Journal is the (fictional) journal of a human-like alien stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago. His story is part of the remote backstory of the Jarnian Confederation, the setting for my published science fiction. The entire Journal to date is on my author site.