Odyssey from Africa 8b9a

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Odyssey from Africa 8b9a

Ch8, cont.

Northward parallel the valley.
And their ridge-top elevation 
Gave advantage of perspective 
They could see the forest's ending
 
In the distance. That same evening 
Would reveal a stronger reason 
For Ipiki's intervention
Something sensed in his night travels
 
Once again they stopped at nightfall 
Gathered food and lit a campfire 
Han continued chipping ironwood 
Fashioning a second wing-form
 
In the dying light of evening 
As they climbed into their treehouse 
Glancing downhill to the valley
To a lowland river canyon 

Han discerned a sudden movement 
Several saber-tooth cat hunters
Ran across an open gully
In a predatory manoeuvre 
 
This time they were hunting hippos
Several adults were surrounded 
Separated from the river
Corralled into gloomy forest
 
By about a hundred felines
Then arose the dreadful uproar 
As the sabertooths, attacking
Leapt upon the river creatures
 
And with their enormous canines 
Cleaved their spinal cords asunder
Brought the behemoths down crashing 
Then came crowding to the blood-feast
 
Witnessing this awful carnage 
Han and Kwona and the children 
Who with Rosy and Ipiki
Safely sheltered in the tree-nest
 
Realized that by responding 
To the warning of Ipiki
They were spared from deadly danger
They were shown the way of safety 
 
In the morning they continued 
By the wood ridge that descended
To the valley and the shoreline
Of the wide Lurio river

Several days of work were needed
To prepare a raft of tree-trunks
Which they rode across the river
Safely to its northern margin

Whence they traveled north and east
Toward the Mozambiquan coastline 
And with two more days of trekking 
Reached at last the forest's ending 
 
Finally the path before them
Opened into coastal scrubland 
Soon the fisherman and family 
Walked again along the seashore 
 
If however they considered 
That the wide familiar ocean
Was a refuge safe from danger
They would learn they were mistaken
 

Chapter 9 Mollusca

One thing that the sea did offer 
Was a very tasty supper
Coming to a rocky headland 
They began to hunt for shellfish 
 
On the wave-impacted shoreline 
Clinging to the rocks were limpets
Also mussels, snails and oysters 
Deeper down were clams and scallops 
 
So they dined on roasted shellfish 
Left a midden pile of seashells 
And they slept inside a rock cave
That the children had discovered 
 
While along the shore at nighttime 
Air was filled with flying insects 
Nothing flew inside their cavern 
But just one well-fed Ipiki

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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