So there Baga was, hidden among the bushes, waiting for the mountain leopard to fill his stomach on the dead deer and hoping that the deer’s fawn remains unnoticed. Baga had his arrow pointed at the leopard and had tears flowing from his eyes. He rarely felt this emotion. His heart was in his throat, his hands felt weak and his ears felt warm. His mind was constantly racing back to the memories of the day that he wished he’d never lived through.
Baga’s father, Imca, happily lifted and placed Baga on his shoulders. They had planned to go down to the stream so that Baga could work on his fishing skills. Baga lived with his father on the edge of a tiny village in the valley. He had never met his mother. The village itself was just a handful of houses located close to each other. It was a beautiful day. The sky was exactly how Baga loved it, not clear but scattered with puffs of pristine white clouds moving ever so slowly. Baga and Imca took their usual route through the bushes, humming their favourite tunes.
Imca always encouraged Baga to climb trees and move from branch to branch. He knew Baga would have to learn these skills if he was to survive longer than just a few years. He made it playful and fun for Baga while constantly teaching him which branch would hold his weight and which one would snap. He talked about how to place the foot in the grooves in the trunk and pull the body weight up and he told Baga how to move from tree to tree to get to your destination without stepping on the ground even ones. This had become their own fun routine and Baga enjoyed it thoroughly.
Presently, Baga was on one of the high branches of a eucalyptus tree, waiting for Imca to guide him to the next branch. When no instruction came, Baga tried to look below but the foliage on the branches beneath blocked his view. He laid down on the branch, held on to it tightly like his father had taught and strained his neck to catch a view of the happenings. He suddenly heard a whoosh and a thud as he saw his father collapse with a spear in his chest. He saw the attacker, a heavily built mountain tribesman, step over Imca’s body. Baga wanted to scream but knew he shouldn’t if he wanted to remain unnoticed by the tribesman.
… to be continued.