The moon was full and the sky cloudless. It was the kind of night where artificial lighting was useless. The only true darkness was cast in the shadows of the tall trees and the huge mountains. John thought it impressive. He sat crossed legged on a mat with Marta and Tucker. On the next mat sat Numah and her new husband. They watched with smiles as the warriors told their exaggerated stories of the hunt. The Cassowary proved to be a difficult catch as it wove in and out of the thick foliage of mangrove trees and lontar palms near the Baleam River. One of the quartet of hunters acted out wide-eyed bewilderment. The whole village erupted in laughter as he strutted about making bird like screaming noises. Two of the others in the group feigned throwing rocks and spears tipped with sharp hornbills. The death of the cassowary actor could’ve won an award as he pled with an unknown bird god before offering its life for the survival of his human brothers.
“Was that bird praying?” John asked.
“Yes, it is an honor for him to die for such a noble cause. See, a few of the villagers still practice animism, or the worship of animals. The high spirit, if gracious, will allow the killing of its own to show pleasure in mankind,” Marta whispered.
Tucker kept smiling over his shoulder at John, then leaned back to rest on him. John looked back to Marta, who in turn smiled with approval.
“I think he likes you,” said Marta
John didn’t say anything; he was too uncomfortable. He let the boy stay that way until the chief of Tarampura called for Marta. John saw her smile and extend her hand to the chief, then to him. Pulling himself up, he rose to stand beside her.
The chief addressed the village giving a formal welcome to John, while Marta translated. After the formal welcome, the musicians banged out a harmony on the python skin drums as several costumed dancers pranced in front of the village. Red and blue feathers of the blue-streaked lorry and the green jungle fowl decorated their bodies. The outfits shimmered with iridescent life, as light glanced off the multi-faceted wings of giant beetles.
John reluctantly ate from large wooden bowls passing by him. The cassowary looked and tasted like most fowl, but he especially liked the tender and juicy wild pig. He ate greedily from another bowl of large nutty pieces. “Hey Marta, can you pass those Brazil, Macadamia, or whatever those nuts are back this way?”
Remember, 100% of all royalties will be applied to Jeff's mission trip to Asia. Jeffrey W. Bennett, ISP is the owner of Red Bike Publishing. Jeff is an accomplished writer of non-fiction books, novels and periodicals. He also owns Red bike Publishing. Published books include: "Get Rich in a Niche-Insider's Guide to Self Publishing in a Specialized Industry" and "Commitment-A Novel". Jeff is an expert in security and has written many security books including: "Insider's Guide to Security Clearances" and "DoD Security Clearances and Contracts Guidebook". See Red Bike Publishing for print copies of: Army Leadership The Ranger Handbook The Army Physical Readiness Manual Drill and Ceremonies The ITAR The NISPOM