Man of Woman. Woman of Man. Child of the First.
Another, of the mirror, spies them through reed curtain by rocky slope.
Skulks, indecisive, for a time. The first he has seen, away from home hearth.
His fear, embodied. As the cat will hiss and spit, as the dog contrives a face and guttural growl upon the advent of the foreign other, he shows himself, thinking to do murder. Thinking to take their catch, feathered runners caught by the neck. Thinking his animal lust might be assuaged.
But Woman, Man, Child have wandered far, and know the defense of desperation.
He they subdue, and show their sabers of stone. When he awakens, bruised and bloodied, his ham hands are tied tightly with gripping vines. The timorous child brings to him meat, still warm from the hunt. He has no language. Gobbles the flightless bird-thing as it’s hung before his mouth. They take him down to the reeded pond. They drink, fill up skins. He eyes the several birds dangling from thongs about their waists. Man picks one up, holds it before him, points far and away to the setting sun. Motions with his hands that there are many of these things, a distance away. He must come with them, to eat.
And, along the way, he stops to gather plants in bunches. Eating the good parts, he offers some to the others. Their fear is plain, and they put their palms downwards. He eats more, smiles and pats his stomach. Wins their trust, and they do eat as well. In their walking, he shows them many kinds. Those that are good, and those that will kill.
In his home hearth, he had been a diviner, one to whom was given the hunch. One who had commanded his coven, so that they would prosper. Now, he would bring them the beasts of the land. And now, Woman, Man, and Child would gather without fear.