Year 2, Day 355
Fifteen days it took them to get Meerkat to the place where Storm Cloud’s group was encamped, and by that time most of Storm Cloud’s group had moved on. They’d left a few behind, and everyone seemed to know where they were going, so I didn’t worry too much about leaving them at the old camp site. Lion’s group had reached good grazing and water several days earlier. Everyone was feeding themselves and finding water, so all I had to do was continue to have Patches track Storm Cloud’s group to the Gather.
The Gather. Patches. Two problems for me to worry about. Do I really want to go to their Gather? Should I, or have I interfered more than enough already? And what am I to do about Patches? How easily the impulse to help can lead us into trouble!
I could have ignored the orphaned and starving puppy. Then I would not be agonizing over the moral problem of just how far I can justify meddling with Patches’ mind. She is not a domesticate, whose mind is adjusted to living with a dominant species. She is a tamed wild animal, and her instincts are telling her she should be part of a pack, challenging the dominant female for the right to breed. But she understands nothing of pack living.
I could free her, easily enough, but she could never survive on her own. No pack would accept her. Any dominant female would kill her on sight. She knows nothing of fighting; I myself have conditioned her against the very things that might keep her alive.
True, she is not a sentient, a creature that is aware of its own mortality, I can modify her mind, deepen her acceptance of humans as her pack, even reduce the instinct to mate. Perhaps that is what I should do? I cannot think of anything else. Perhaps I should not have saved her, but would I myself be alive if I had not?
In case you’re new to Jarn’s Journal it is a Friday feature of this blog, and represents the (fictional) journal of a (fictional) human-like alien stranded in Africa 125,000 years ago. The journal to date is on my author site, and is the remote back story of the setting of my science fiction books.