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I think I may have underestimated Torch Flower.

When she approached me, I really thought she was trying again to seduce me, but her first question was, “Don’t you keep things cold to preserve them?”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Meat especially, but even plant foods keep better if they’re cold.”

“Couldn’t part of the ice and snow you brought us be used to keep things fresh for the feast?

I blinked in surprise. “I think it would come better from the shamans. They’re meeting already, aren’t they?”

Rain Cloud, Lion, Crane, and several other shamans were talking together when Torch Flower and I arrived. “Torch Flower has an idea,” I said, “and I think it’s a good one.” I looked at her.

She gulped and stammered, “Couldn’t part of the ice be reserved for keeping food cold? Especially the food for the feast? Jarn says it’ll keep longer that way.”

Rain Cloud looked thoughtful. “We could dig a pit for food,” he said doubtfully, “but how would we keep wild animals out?”

“Dig the pit in the harder ice under the snow,” one of the younger shamans suggested. “Pile snow and rocks over the foodstuffs,” said another. I could almost see them considering this new idea of storing food, even for a short period.

Crane got to her feet. “Let’s go and find where the children aren’t.”

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