Brother sat at the Campfire, his senses alert. He had poured a fresh cup of coffee when Wilfred his head donkey brayed.
A Heron man approached the Campfire. “zo ƙauyenmu!” He exclaimed.
Brother understood this to mean that he was needed in the Heron village.
Quickly, he trailed after the warrior. His pace was much too fast for Brother.
When he arrived in the village, he was met by Ahusaka.
He and his warriors were adorned in the fabric of minions.
“Greetings, Emerson, I greet a warrior and brother in battle.”
Ahusaka took a drag of a unique long pipe and handed it to Brother. It smelled of burning rope.
Respectfully, Brother held the pipe and spoke.
“ I greet the elder statesman of the Heron. It is an honor to be here.”
Brother coughed. The smell was overwhelming.
He handed the pipe to Wispy Saplings husband.
The warriors laughed. Ahusake lifted a hand.
“Emerson Berengar Thane of Northwich,
I told a story when we first met. It troubles me.
There were several minutes of silence. The warriors knew to wait.
There was a boy who held a stick in his hand. He was curious and put the stick in the fire.
As he poked the fire, sparks came from the stick. He took the stick from the fire and waved it around. It became many colors of fire. It made noise and the boy was elated.
The fire departed and the boy sought for more firesticks. He never found a stick that made sparks with colored fire.
The boy became a young man and forgot about the firestick he had found. He took on the responsibilities and obligations of his tribe.
The young man walked through the forest one evening and saw a star brightly flying through the sky. The memory of the firestick returned.
He envisioned men traveling to the stars on a stick of fire.
The young man went on a journey to find another firestick. He spoke to the animals of the forest.
He met an otter, and asked, “do you know where to find a firestick?”
“No” said the otter, “I play in the water and roll in the sand.
Take the dark sand with you, I do not want it. It is not pretty like the shiny sand”
As he walked, the young man met a large tree and asked in rather whimsical way, “do you know where to find a firestick?”
The tree was not happy and said, “You would ask me for a fire stick? I do not like fire. Look at my once beautiful branch, struck by lightning.
Please take the darkness and char off. I cannot bear to leave it on my branch. It bothers me so.”
The young man took the char off the branch and wiped tears of sap from the tree.
“Thank you!” Said the tree.
The young man grew weary and lay down in a cave entrance to protect himself from the elements. He had just fallen asleep when he was awakened by bats. They shrieked, “Young man, we have visitors coming. Will you help us clean the walls and floors? The young man begrudgingly helped the bats and returned to his slumber.
When he awoke in the morning, he built a fire. Frustrated at the futility of his search, he said,
“I will never find the firesticks. All I have gathered to me is the problems of the forest.
The dark sand from the otter, the char and sap from the tree, the excrement from a bat. He sat for a long while and said, “ I will return to the village.”
With that, he took the problems of the forest and put them in the fire. The young man reflected on his journey. What a fool I have been talking to an otter, a tree and bats.
As the man rose, the fire suddenly gave bright flame and orange sparks leapt from the fire.
Brother remembered Ahusaka’s story.
“Thank you, Ahusaka. I will reflect on your words.”