Year 6 Day 151
Little Gnu is walking again, and even running, though I doubt he will ever have his old speed or agility. Unlike Giraffe, who worked well with Patches, he seems unable to grasp the idea of hunting with a non-human partner. But without hunting partners he cannot hunt mammals effectively, so we were mostly eating fish and small game we could snare.
We did need hides, so I took to stripping the hides off fresh lion kills. At first I mostly relied on a local pride, counting on my warnoff to keep them away long enough for me to separate the hide telekinetically and then leave the carcass to them. Then I realized that they were actually backing off their kills as soon as I appeared, apparently hoping that I would strip the hides and give them easier access to the meat! After some discussion with Gazelle as to the most desirable parts of the carcass, I now teleport some of the better meat as well as the hides back to our home. If the predators are benefiting from my removing the hides, it is only fair that they pay something!
I have also started rotating which species and which individuals or groups of predators I target.
Little Gnu may not be able to hunt, but we are amassing so many tools that I suspect he will do quite well giving them to more able hunters. These people do not seem to have trade as such, but they gain status by giving gifts, and generally are given gifts in return. Meat is a prized gift, but so are exceptionally well-made tools. I’ve seen a couple of individuals who are crippled to some extent so specializing, and there is no reason Little Gnu cannot become one of them.
These are the quotations tweeted from May 16 through May 22. All but the last are from The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
“Clothes are but little loss, if you escape from drowning.” Tom Bombadil, after he rescues the hobbits from the burial chamber in the barrow.
“I think you are not really as you choose to look.” Frodo to Strider, in the Prancing Pony when Strider first offers himself as a guide.
“All hat is gold does not glitter.” The first line of a poem made by Bilbo about Aragorn, included in Gandalf’s note to Frodo. The whole poem (by Tolkien) is:
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not touched by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
“I think that one of his spies would seem fairer and feel fouler.” Frodo to Strider, after the hobbits have accepted him as a guide.
“I hope the thinning process does not go on indefinitely, or I shall become a wraith.” Frodo, joking about his diminishing waistline in the wilderness.
“It is also as good a way of saying ‘here we are’ as I can think of, bar shouting.” Sam, when Strider suggests building a fire in the dell by Weathertop. This was very much changed in the movie.
“Stupidity isn’t illegal.” Bowling, “Horse Power.” Roi’s comment on how hard it is to prove that the Company is trying to force the colonists into debt slavery instead of just being stupid.
Welcome back for another snippet from War’s End. The big question for all of them (aside from how to stay alive and get home) has been how they got from the ship (which was getting decidedly unfriendly) to the surface of Rakal. Now they may have that answer, though the problem of survival is still there.
“Lyra said if she were frightened enough she might teleport to me. But ….”
“Colo was still after her!” Audi exclaimed. “She went farther to get away from him, and since she wouldn’t leave you, and we were all in physical contact, she brought all of us along. No wonder she’s hungry!”
“Poor baby,” Ginger said as she rummaged in her kit. “Nothing wrong with you, Coralie—no Human mammary system could keep up with the energy demands of a R’il’noid baby who’s just teleported that much mass. No wonder she couldn’t quite manage the energy and momentum matching.”
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I’ll be slow getting around today (most will be next week, if at all) because I’m taking off in a plane about the time this goes live at midnight. (The only way to get connections out of Alaska is via the red-eye.) If I make my connections, I’ll get to upstate New York (Ithaca) well into the afternoon and I am not going to arrive in any condition to be surfing the internet and leaving coherent comments.
Year 6 Day 105
Almost any stone will do for pounding, Little Gnu assures me, but for tools to cut, the stone and how it is shaped depends on what is to be cut. Most of the cutting tools he showed me were some form of microcrystalline quartz: chalcedony, flint, jasper or even agate. A few decorative pieces, more for showing off or for grave offerings than for use, were of colored quartz. But his real prize, used only for the most delicate of tasks, was a carefully chipped piece of obsidian as sharp as any steel knife.
“The stone is rare,” he told me, “and not easy to work. Sometimes I can arrange to trade a worked piece for a much larger piece of the raw material. But sometimes a thorn or a spear is driven into the body, and this is the best kind of knife for cutting it out.”
“It is also,” Gazelle remarked, “the best thing for cutting hides. When I can get my hands on it.”
It took me a moment to remember that Little Gnu was not at the gather the year I presented them with obsidian. “Would you like some raw stone to work?” I asked. “I know where I can find some, and it would be easy enough to get it. You could make knives while you cannot walk well enough to hunt.”
He was delighted at the suggestion, and so was Gazelle. “If he has more of that stone, perhaps I could have a knife of my own,” she said, “just to use for cutting tanned skins.”
These are the contexts of the quotes tweeted between May 9 and May 15.
“I know it is not the truth, and I say so.” The Dolphins of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey. Master Fandarel is contradicting rumors he knows are not true, that the dragonleaders are dragging their heels about settling the Southern Continent.
“We intend to talk to you or at you or at you, but you would be wise to pay attention.” The Dolphins of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey. Larad, speaking for the Lords when they confront Toric.
“I sing the songs of old so that the young do not forget the past.” The Dolphins of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey. The Tillek (Head of the dolphins) in response to Seball (Masterharper) saying she has much the same position as he has.
“When your Master calls, you go.” The Dolphins of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey. Readis’s new master and teacher is the Tillek, and she has just called him to join her.
“Stars did not change their courses.” The Skies of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey. Shankolin, one of the conspirators against AIVAS, rehearsing to himself what his father taught him.
“He had a duty to perform, a wrong to right, and a theory he must confirm or forget. The Skies of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey Shankolin again, justifying the terrorism he is planning.
“Maybe I can do something about it when I’m older, but not alone. Tourist Trap, Sue Ann Bowling. Roi dislikes more than one thing about the Confederation, but he knows no one will listen to someone as young as he is.
Welcome to another snippet from War’s End. Coralie has just realized she has no more milk for Michelle, who’s been nursing almost continuously. Kelty and Ginger seem to have figured it out, and Ginger is speaking first.
“Coralie, it’s not you, and I have some milk substitute in my kit. Remember what happened the last thing on the ship? Just before we wound up here?”
“That man — he grabbed Michelle from me. She was afraid of him, and — but he was moving away from me! And Michelle was back in my arms! I thought — but he can’t have given her back to me.” Her eyes widened as she remembered the conversation with Elyra.
The conversation was before they were even on the ship, but you’ll have to wait until next week to find out what Elyra said.
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Year 6 Day 85
Well, they’ve left.
I keep telling myself not to become attached to individuals of the People, because they age quickly and will die all too soon. On that basis, it is a very good thing that Songbird, Giraffe and WildDog will not be staying with me this year.
I will miss them.
I will even miss Meerkat, who has finally realized I have no interest in her as a mate and set out, very much behind my back, to seduce Lion, who lost his mate to a fever last year. I hope Lion knows what he is in for!
Not that Gazelle, the mate of Little Gnu, is not a good cook and clothing maker, or that her daughter does not remind me of Songbird as I first knew her. Gazelle has also taken to the fish traps, and we eat well even without a hunter.
Little Gnu has turned out to be remarkably adept at knapping stone. Giraffe did make a small spear point for WildDog, but he spent a great deal of time doing it. Little Gnu has almost finished his supply of stone, and every tool he has made is a success. He is not very talkative, but he has managed to make me understand that different tools are best made from different types of stone.
“If I bring you several kinds of stone,” I said, “can you show me what each is best for?”
He beamed as he has not done since the elephant attacked him. I think I may learn more about stone tools than I had intended.
Jarn’s Journal is a part of the remote back story of my science fiction universe. The entire journal to date is on my author site.
Here are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from May 2 through May 8. All but the last are from Lore of the Witch World by Andre Norton.
“Out of darkness comes even greater dark.” Elfreda’s warning to Hertha that vengeance is not the answer. “The Toads of Grimmerdale.”
“In these days we take what fortune offers, we do not often please ourselves.” Hertha, coming to the inn alone and on foot. “The Toads of Grimmedale.”
“A man mostly made his own luck.” Trystan is certainly trying to make his. “The Toads of Grimmerdale.”
“When one is driven by a lash one takes any way to free oneself.” Trystan, recognizing that Hertha’s desire for revenge, though mistaken, is something he can fully understand. “The Toads of Grimmerdale.”
“To seek death willingly is also a sin.” The Abbess, warning Hertha against trying to go again into the Waste to free her baby. “Changeling.”
“We all choose our own roads, some with less cause than you.” The abbess as Hertha starts into the Waste. “Changeling.”
“Don’t try to ford anything you’re not sure of.” Bowling, Tourist Trap. Timi’s advice to Flame as she sets off to find Roi, but it’s a pretty good general rule.
Mr. Darcy’s Diary is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view. It does not have as much of a “diary” feel to it as Georgiana Darcy’s Diary, as a real diary would not do a very good job of recording dialog, but as a first person novel with dates indicated (and with the narrator unaware of anything past those dates) it works very well.
It is close to Pride and Prejudice as far as those scenes which mirror those Jane Austen wrote. The scenes with both Darcy and Elizabeth mostly retain the Austen dialog, and the additional scenes in the overlapping time period are mostly those strongly hinted at in the original—Lady Catherine’s descent on Darcy after seeing Elizabeth, for instance. It starts slightly earlier than Pride and Prejudice, with Wickham’s attempt to seduce Georgiana, and continues on for about six months after Austen’s novel ends. I found the extra scenes at the end one of the less satisfying parts of the novel, but I have to say that as a whole it is a very enjoyable read.
Next month I think I will have to reread the original Pride and Prejudice, if only to get my head straight on exactly what Jane Austen herself wrote. After that, I think I will reread what has so far been my favorite retelling from Darcy’s point of view, Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman.
It’s Sunday, and snippet time. Click on the logo above to find other participating authors, or on the logo below to get to the facebook page with similar information.
I’m still posting the same scene from War’s End, a WIP. The group has been stranded, how they do not know, on a very hot, wet, jungle planet. They have rigged a shelter and are waiting to see if the rain stops, though by now it is evening. Coralie has been suggesting that they will need a latrine trench, and trying to stop her daughter Michelle’s fussing. She has just asked if there is something wrong with Michelle or with her, and she continues to speak. If you want background, the index (above) has all of the Sunday snippets.
“She feels like she’s starving, and aside from a couple of naps she’s been nursing since we got here. And I thought she was getting plenty, until a few minutes ago. I’ve run dry!”
“That’s how we got here,” Kelty laughed abruptly. “She’s her father’s daughter, all right.”
The others looked bewildered for a moment, and then Ginger began to giggle.
Obviously Ginger and Kelty have suddenly figured something out, but what?