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The First Thanksgiving
The ship came down with the roar of a thousand tigers. This was a truly frightening thing. Even Gunn, the old shaman, had no explanation and shook his rattle without conviction. All day we hid deep in cave among the rocks where the ceiling hung like teeth. For many hours we hid until the little ones, crying from hunger, would not be calmed. Knees shaking I, Thog, led my bravest men to the cave entrance. It was dark and quiet as it should be. I led my men a little ways in the direction of the great noise. There was nothing to be seen. We would get a closer look in the morning.
Every day the newcomers wander further from their tall cave. Are they hunting? We knew it wouldn’t be long before our cave was discovered. What would we do then? Time was short. A council was called.
Spears were raised and it might have turned out badly if Old Gunn had not approached the strangers with hand raised. The strangers appeared as frightened as we but returned the sign. Slowly we began to relax and a kind of communication was established.
We decided to put off our migration while we talked with the visitors. They too had come to hunt but found little to eat. It was little wonder they had no food, as their hunting skills were poor though their weapons were strong. Together we hunted small game, which meant hunting daily. We showed them which roots were good to eat and where the berries grew. We told them stories of the great hunts for mammoth, bear and rhino that once we hunted, but were now only to be found in the land of ice or paintings on the cave wall. The like-men indicated they wished to see these creatures for themselves.
“They are many weeks march,” we told them.
“Not for us,” they replied.
Those were times of great feasting. We dried much meat and gave our friends what they needed. Before they left they showed us how to plant seeds and let the sun and the rain make our food. It was a great gift. We have been doing it now for many seasons and it is good. It is not mammoth meat but it is not so much work either. All in all, it was a good trade.
micheledutcher - laurabeaz: You are great at description and showing things. You have a real knack for storytelling that not everyone does. I loved your phrase "language only half-remembered." That was great as well. Lots of good stuff here.
micheledutcher - delziggio: I was very impressed with this story. I love the lead character's voice and the style the author has chosen for this piece. Very authentic and engaging. I was not overly taken with the plot. I realize it is mirroring the first Thanksgiving between natives and Europeans, but there seems to be little else here. Still, the story's brevity helps in this respect. I just think you may want to shoot a little higher (even if it adds an extra page(s). It feels like it would be worth it. A couple very minor grammar miscues here and there. I liked the concept and the story quite a bit. Good luck with it.
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