Day 712

Well, I am alone again – alone as I have not been, except for a few days, since I rescued Songbird. The nomads left this morning. I teleported to their camp to see them off, and even accompanied them for the first hour or so. But by then my feet were starting to protest, and I bade them a good journey and joy at the Gather and teleported back to the shelter.

Are my feet so different from theirs? They look the same, except that Songbird has calluses on her feet that are thicker than the soles on the remains of my ship shoes. I don’t think she was born with them; a baby was born this summer and her feet looked like normal baby feet. Perhaps they grow extra skin thickness on their feet, just as I grow replacement teeth?

My feet burn on the sand, are cut and bruised by the rocks, and blister when I try to improvise something approximating shoes. In general I find it quite impossible to walk without injury. They walk and run everywhere, feet bare of any protection, without even thinking about it.

I helped them on a few hunts – not by hunting myself, but by teleporting to several points in the area and then telling them where I saw game. I’m also good at spotting the weakest animal in a herd, and Patches is good at turning back animals that are trying to escape, and even better at tracking injured animals. In return – or as an act of worship – they have presented me with several beautifully tanned hides, including one from a buffalo that is quite thick. Perhaps I could try again to make some kind of sandals? They would not be as good protection as the boots my people made for hiking, but at least they would protect my feet from heat and cuts. And making them would be something to do.

This year the nomads stayed a hundred thirty-five days. I think the year is around three hundred sixty-five days, give or take a few days, so they should be back in about two hundred and thirty days. It is going to be a long time with only Patches for company.

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