I don’t know why I am so surprised. I knew that these people mature far faster than my own species, that the females are fertile quite often – they must be, to have several children of different ages at once. I had deduced that with them, pelvic width and breast development were not a sign of rare fertile periods, as is the case with my own people, but normal once sexual maturity was reached.
Somehow I had not applied that knowledge to Songbird.
I decided to go looking for Rain Cloud’s group, with the aid of Patches. She knows them, so I just levitated high enough I could see a day’s journey in all directions, and then teleported her to the vicinity of any concentrations of game I could see. Within three days she had located the group, and I flew to them, lowered myself to the surface and walked in.
They appeared pleased, if surprised, to see me. “Are you not staying by the lake?” Rain Cloud asked me.
“I have built a shelter there, but I have not yet moved everything I need,” I explained.
They looked at me in utter bewilderment. Shelters, to them, are temporary things, intended to last no more than a few fivedays at most. Possessions are worn or carried. The idea of having more possessions than could be carried was totally foreign to their way of thinking.
I seem to need more than that: the computer, a safe and reliable water supply, protection from wild animals as well as the elements, and a place to sleep. And footwear, of course, which still totally puzzles them.
What will they think of my new dwelling?
Well, at least I had a chance to visit with old friends. Songbird seems quite happy with Giraffe, and they plan to be formally mated at the next Gather.
Why does that make me fell sad?