Everything was wet. Families huddled under the rooftops of the dwelling, watching the rain. The abstraction of the sound of rain was a fascination to these simple people. Life stopped for the sake of rain. One paid rapt attention to the look of rain, as it fell, and the sound of rain, as it rebounded off everything, except for the hunting that had to be, to getting supper.
The hunt could not be stopped.
The people had to eat.
Hunters returned from the steppe, with a couple of dripping carcases for the evening meal.
Rain could not hold the attention of the hunters coming home, as the preparation of meat did. The preparation of food took the place of the fascination of rain. Carcases were partially prepared on the open steppe, near the place of the kill. At home, the sound of fat spitting in the fire, took all fascination out of the rain.
All eyes were on the kill.
All were hungry.
All were listening to the cooking.
Hunger knew dinner would not be far off.
Greasy fingers and greasy knives were busy dicing meat, for those too old to have teeth. Knives did the work of teeth, which was another familiar ritual of the steppe. The tribe took care of their own. Alert hunters became alert butchers, busy making meat. After the children and the old were filled, the people were permitted to heave to and make their repast.
All knew about this.
It was unspoken.
Eventually hunters changed their wet clothing into dry. They weren’t planning on going out again that day. They could spend more of their time watching the rain. The downward motion and the few sounds of the rain were unceasingly entertaining to the people. Their wet clothes were not only soiled by the hunt, but as well by their interactions with the kills.
The sound of the rain became more thunderous, and then ebbed off, finally.
Fresh, dry clothing made more sense, once the men could tear themselves away.
The gossips had been kept too long from their talking. The gossiping was a craving. It had a need all it’s own. There were wishes for drier weather, and wishes for an individual person’s liberty to tell their tales to their cronies. When all was said and done, the hunters changed their wet clothing to dry and all quieted down in the dwelling.
The gossips found comfort telling tales.
They all looked forward to the day they could walk around unimpeded by the weather.
That day came, too, almost by surprise. The heavy rain stopped one day, the land and the undergrowth started drying off. There were many a story craving to be told, after the great deluge had finished. Those people didn’t had no books to read. They had only the spoken word. Some of the storytellers were so uneasy they could scarcely contain themselves.
Some of the other storytellers had to hold off, till the long hours of night, till the long-winded storytellers could be heard out. The children became weary of all the listening to all these age-old bards. The songs only meant something to the adults. Adults wanted the children to learn all the old songs, but it was a rebellious generation to be sung to.
The day came it was plenty dry outside. The children were finally liberated to do anything more than play in the mud, since the ground was finally dry. They’d been playing in the mud since the rain stopped. Mothers had their hands full, keeping up with dirty children and dirty laundry, but this was the end of the rainy season, and everyone was having their share of keeping things clean.
Finally, there was minimal laundry to do.
The children had enjoyed their share of the liberty, and had minimal supervision too.
The boys could finally go out onto the steppe and do mock hunting’s of game. Being nothing more than children, the boys would go and wander in the bush, huddled close together to ensure their safety. The steppe was a wild place, where there was not only real game, there were also real predators. Their childish weapons were only sticks, which were harmless enough.
It was one more act of an innocence that would generally last awhile.
One of the boys did as was secretly expected of him, and mounted the unicorn, out of curiosity. It was clear to him that he would have a very great fortune, with much intrigue, and plenty of the thrills in life. He was certain he would be a great warrior. He learned the net, for catching game. He learned the tricks of doing the netting; where and how to hang it to catch game for the consumption of the tribe.
Then, he learned the blowgun and the bow and arrow.
A great warrior, that’s what that boy would be. He could scarcely keep his mind on his lessons, for all the daydreaming he was doing, riding that unicorn the way he did. It was clear that the unicorn would have to allure that young man again, to be certain the boy learned his lessons right. Unicorns have the most wonderful way of attracting the same student more than once, if need be.
All this was done in a singular flight of the unicorn, which was more a part of the imagination of the child, than it was reality. Of course, such things are subject to the way one looks at reality. What is any thought, or any perception, in the mind of a child. Is it what any of us would term, reality? Flight was an added bonus, drawn on the thoughts of the child, to entertain them, mostly.
The unicorn had the reputation of being able to fly, so it did. One might say unicorns had the power of mind over matter, giving the tribal to tasks the illusion of being performed, while giving the children enough entertainment that, theoretically, they would learn what they needed to know. The unicorn had a well know and well respected position in the community.
He was a teacher, with a certain way about him.