This is another (fictional) excerpt from the journal of the alien supposedly behind the modern human race (at least in my science fiction!) He was stranded in Africa about 125,000 years ago when his ship crashed, and has just rescued a child of the early human tribe he has found. For the earlier parts of his Journal, see my Author Website.

Day 353

It’s a good thing I have spied on the sentients enough to have learned a little of their language, as the child seems unable to learn mine. Hers is a pretty simple one: specific sounds for specific objects, more specific sounds for specific actions, various other sounds that describe objects and actions. R’il’nian might have been that simple, early in our evolution, but her brain does not seem wired to understand R’il’nian as it exists today.

They do have individual names, and her only difficulty in understanding me when I tapped my chest and repeated “Jarn” seemed to be that the particular sound meant nothing to her. Her own name is also the sound her people use to designate a small bird, dull colored but a beautiful singer. I find myself thinking of her as “Songbird.”

In some ways she is remarkably quick. She rapidly grasped that I did not understand her language very well and set about teaching it to me, and demanding that I give her the names for things strange to her in the shelter. Rather a turnaround from what I expected, but a surprisingly pleasant turnaround! In the day and a half since she awoke, we have established far better communication than I have with Patches.

Oh, Patches.She was afraid of Patches at first, but once she understood that Patches was friendly to me and willing to be friends with her, she managed to tell me that her own people now and then tamed young animals from the wild. In fact, they seem to have a religion of sorts, and the shamans always have some kind of tamed animal – or claim to. I must confess I have my doubts about invisible animals no one but the shamans can see!

Physically the leg appears to be knitting rapidly, and all signs of infection are gone. In fact, once she was convinced that my splints would hold, it was impossible to keep her lying down. I have managed plumbing, although rather primitive, in my shelter, and a system for disposing of bodily waste. I have to say she is far more fascinated by these than by the recorder or the computer!

So far I have managed to avoid asking why her people left her to die, telling myself it is because I still do not understand her language well enough. This is an excuse, and tomorrow I will ask her.

Or perhaps the next day.