Year 4, Day 287

New MoonThe baby is actually starting to look human. I almost said R’il’nian, but that is not true. The head is smaller, probably to fit through a smaller birth canal, and he still looks rather unfinished. But from what I’ve seen of R’il’nian babies (not much) and what I’ve been able to find from the computer files, he’s normal, just born at a little earlier stage of gestation than is usual with my people.

We had a little naming ceremony when the faint crescent of the new moon was just visible at sunset. Meerkat very officiously escorted Songbird and her new son from the birthing hut, which was then ceremoniously burned. While it was burning, and before the crescent set, Giraffe curled the baby’s hands around the tiny spear he had made and promised to teach him how to use it, and Songbird announced that his name was WildDog, after Patches. I stood by looking benign and feeling rather foolish.

Patches appears to approve the name, and (with a little tweaking of her mind) regards little WildDog as a pack puppy. Getting her to regard him as her own puppy might not be safe for Songbird—the packmate bond is strong, but not so strong that it will prevent a female from attacking a packmate she thinks is stealing her pups!

Giraffe and Songbird seem to have appointed themselves as my acolytes, and I helped Giraffe build a relatively permanent structure for the two three of them to live in. He started out with a somewhat more permanent version of the huts they build for shelter during the rainy season, a sort of brush structure roofed with grass and leaves. I suggested that if he pressed mud against the walls, it would hold it together and I could fuse the surface to stabilize it. Then he suggested that the inside walls might be daubed too, and I offered to fuse the floors. We left an open space between the walls and the roof, for light and air, but it can be filled with thorns to stop predators. In fact, Giraffe devised a very clever shutter system, so that thorny branches fastened to a frame of smooth ones can be lifted into place by hide ropes. More of the creativity these People posses.

Songbird is delighted with her new home. I need to get back to my mapping.

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of an equally fictional human-like alien stranded in Africa 125,000 years ago. His story is part of the back story of my science fiction universe. The journal, as far as it has been written, is on my author site.

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