Year 10 Day 40

I think I’ve made another job for myself.

I honestly thought the snow and ice would be a short-lived novelty for the children. The food storage caught me by surprise. The People do not normally store food, for several reasons. First, they can only carry so much when they travel. Second, on this hot continent food doesn’t keep very well, and they certainly cannot use ice for long-term storage. (Note to myself—do the northern hunters use ice to store food in winter?) Here they use drying, smoking and salt, though all are limited. But they are thinking more about the problem. Then came the slings.

I should note that almost all of the People are very good at throwing stones and hitting stationary targets. A few can throw spears and have them go into what they’re aiming at, though most spear work uses a thrusting technique. A very few have mastered throwing stones from a sling. There is, however, a problem in learning to use a sling, which is why most of the shamans discourage it. In the early stages of learning, a slung stone can go anywhere, even behind the slinger, and fast enough to pose a real danger.

A couple of days ago one of the children “borrowed” his father’s sling to throw snowballs. The father saw what he was doing, started towards his son, and (by accident, I suspect) got hit by a fairly sloppy snowball. He blinked in surprise, marched up to his son, and informed the youngster he was going to learn to use a sling properly.

With rocks, there is some danger in teaching the use of the sling. I would not want to be the teacher! But with rather sloppy, soft, snowballs as ammunition and a stuffed hide as a target, he proceeded to teach not only his son, but several other youngsters, how to use a sling properly. Today his class had expanded to include a number of adults, including Giraffe.

“I think,” Songbird said as she watched, “they’ll be expecting snow every year, now.