Odyssey from Africa 8a

CHAPTER 8 Two Paths
North they travelled through the jungle 
Aiming to escape from forest
Seeking an itinerary 
Near the coast in open country 
So they climbed a wooded hilltop;
Han attained the top-most branches
Of a mighty towering ironwood
To survey the route before them 
To the north the ground descended
Hills were smaller and more rounded
Running east to west a river
Valley cut across the landscape 

Further yet he saw the forests
Merging into coastal scrubland 
Faintly in the hazy distance 
Was the glimmer of the ocean
Mapping in his head their journey 
Han descended from the ironwood
Picking several of the tree fruits
As he swung down through the branches 
Once the evening camp was readied 
Han began to cut a branch from 
That great tree with his stone hatchet
But he found this very arduous 
For it was the hardest, densest
Wood that he had yet encountered 
But, determinedly persisting,
Finally the branch was severed
Han now started on a project
That would take some days to finish 
Carve a boomerang of ironwood 
To replace the one of bull-horn
Then they nested in the branches 
Of the ironwood for the nighttime 
And Ipiki, growing stronger 
Circled wider in his night-flight
In the morning light they started
On a route toward a valley
Han had sighted from the treetop 
Till young Matto stopped abruptly 
There was no sign of Ipiki!
In distress he called the others
Looked around in all directions 
Then at last, some way behind them
Flitting through a forest clearing 
They could see the bat Ipiki
Who, although the children beckoned
Would not fly in their direction 
Matto thought this most unusual 
Wondered sadly if Ipiki
Now would bid farewell and leave them
Was their partnership now ending?
Kwona, though, her steps retracing 
Walked back to the forest clearing 
Bidding all of them to follow 
Slowly stepped toward Ipiki
Who, as soon as they were gathered 
Flew off on a different bearing 
Kwona sensed now that Ipiki
Wanted them to change direction 
Han at this was most affronted 
After his high treetop survey
And his navigation efforts 
Thusly to be contradicted
By a tiny furry creature!
Kwona tried hard to persuade him
That Ipiki must be driven 
By some forceful motivation
To be acting in this manner 
Which for him was quite unusual 
So reluctantly assenting
Han and all the family followed
As Ipiki led them onward
By a different higher pathway 
Not descending from the hillside 
But advancing by a ridge-crest

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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