Jarn is a human-like alien, stranded in Africa some 125,000 years ago during the next to last interglacial. He has adopted a wild dog, Patches, and rescued an early human child, Songbird. This is the distant back story for my science fiction novels, Homecoming and Tourist Trap. The entire Journal to date is on my author website.

Day 575

The rain has reached my shelter.

Songbird has been saying for several days that she can smell rain and wet ash, and yesterday even I thought I could catch the scent of storm clouds, as well as see the lighting and hear the thunder. But last night we heard a great pounding on the roof, and when I opened the door the light from inside the shelter showed ice falling from the sky and bouncing on the ground around us.

“Hail,” Songbird said with satisfaction. “This rain is strong. Soon the grass will grow through the ash, and the game will return. And the People will follow them.”

She returned to her sleep, apparently lulled by the drumming on the roof. I found myself wondering what I would do without her.

It is not just that she as a far better cook than I am, or that she knows much more about this world than I do. I’ve grown used to having someone I can not only talk to, but hold a conversation with.

At first she was a burden, and a moral quandary. Do not interfere. But I did, and I doubt that either of us would have survived if I had not. Certainly I would have had a far poorer diet.

And because I let my heart overrule my training before, I am now faced with an even deeper quandary.

I can tell myself that we are both better off if she stays with me, but I know all too well that is sophistry. She has the right to make her own choices, and what I heard in her voice, when she said that her people would follow the game….

Part of me says that she is a child, that as an adult it is my duty to overrule her when she wants something that will injure her. And surely she is safer here than back with her people.

She is better suited to this planet than I am.

And I can take her back. I know now that I can teleport her, so what would have been an impossible journey to the place where she was abandoned is no more that a short jump.

And if I take her back, I will be interfering not only with her, but with her whole people.

I will have a chance to see and speak with this shaman who has intrigued me so.

I cannot interfere.

The only thing I have decided by morning is that I should probably teleport once a fiveday to my hiding place in the vicinity of the camp and see if Songbird’s people have returned.