To the southwest, the mountain range covered the retreating sun, leaving behind a tell-tale eerie pink and blue. Still a few hours before sunset, the village was in the shadow of the mighty Maoke Mountains. As if cued by a legendary director, the entire village came suddenly to life with shouts of triumph and laughter, as they buzzed excitedly around the hunting party.
“Wow, what got them on the warpath?” John asked.
“Sounds like the hunting party is back. Come on, let’s see what they bagged,” Marta replied.
John laughed at her choice of wording and took up a quick stride matching her. As they neared, John saw one of the party hopping around with the ugliest bird he had ever seen slung across his shoulders.
The bird had the longest legs, save for the ostriches he saw in zoos and on Wild Kingdom. Instead of feathers, it sported long fine hairs. Blue and red adorned its neck, reminding John of the bright colors of a baboon
“THAT’S disgusting!” John exclaimed wide eyed.
“THAT’S dinner,” Marta said.
“I’m not eating it, if that’s what you think,” John replied.
“I’m recalling our conversation about being courteous and non-offensive, is what I think.”
“You are a tough one, Marta Springer.”
“It’s not like you have to eat the whole thing. There’s probably only enough for a taste. I recommend you at least have the courtesy to try,” Marta said.
“What is it?”
“That is the Cassowary, they call it... hmm, I guess the best translation is ugly stilt bird,” Marta said.
“I’d say. But look, I can relate to those wild piglets they are showing off,” said John.
“You are in for a real treat fireside tonight-chockfull of adventurous hunting stories,” Marta said.”
“I can’t wait.”