Bird in an African sky (Morguefile.com)This is ridiculous.

I am not a young buck trying to impress the does, though no doubt there will be some at this gather. I am certainly not trying to convince anyone that I am a god – the People (as they call themselves) seem altogether too inclined to believe that anyway. So why am I worrying about clothes?

Worrying about footwear would make sense. My feet have still not hardened to the point I can walk any distance without covering them, though I can now walk for an hour or so in the tanned skin bags I have fashioned. The rest of my wardrobe ….

Well, my ship clothing is past repair. I have the linen tunic and a leather vest that Songbird made me, but they are getting badly worn. My tanning skills are not up to Songbird’s, and nowhere even close to her mother’s, but I’ve managed to tan — sort of – some gazelle skins for breechcloths. But compared to the men of the people, who were preparing for the gather when I visited them early today ….

I wish I could just go naked, the way I do around the shelter. But the people honestly believe that the difference between the People (they think of the word that way) and animals is that the People adorn themselves. Pigments ground from rock and plants, scarification, feathers, beads, shells, finely crafted tunics and breechcloths and even whole hides tanned with the head on. They would be shocked by my nudity. Beside, I would prefer to be as inconspicuous as possible, though my veined eyes and relatively straight hair would mark me out.

At least I think I have found the site, near a lake. Storm Cloud’s group is no more than a day’s travel away, which is no doubt why they have stopped for a day or two of preparation.

I hope they do not take my rather scruffy clothing as an insult.

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