Grinding grain, weaving fabric, gathering firewood and foraging had one thing in common to the women of the village.
The dark brooding figure who brought the pequin hides for trade was on the minds of every unmarried woman in the village.
A man with the skill to kill such creatures could provide meat in the hard times.
The women’s conversation had no order a man could accurately calculate.
One woman looked on in disgust.
“ He is so ugly!”
Another watched, trying to stare into his soul it would seem.
“But he is so rugged. He could lift me up in his arms and…”
Her day dream was interrupted by another.
“ I know, right? I bet he has a warm heart.”
The first woman crossed her arms.
“ He scared those children away!”
A woman, working a newly acquired pequin hide
appraised the man thoughtfully.
“He is a bad man, but he would keep me safe and warm!” ( she used the “words bad” man to signify he could handle himself.)
One woman smiled.
“ He has a snail shell pinned to his shirt, he must be sentimental!”
The man ignored them and walked the outskirts of the village. He found a secluded place and began meticulously looking over his hair and body looking for Ahus, tiny creatures that sucked blood and gave bad dreams. The man with the Shepherd’s Crook had taught him to look out for them when he was in the woods.
When he returned to his supplies, there was a fine toothed comb laying on top of his trade goods. Embarrassed, he put the comb in a pocket and looked around. There was no one, but he heard giggling.
The elder who welcomed the man to the Ruetoohto village compelled him to stay. His wife had prepared a dinner to celebrate the generous trade of pequin hides.
The man declined and went on his way, gifting all of the things he traded for the pequin hides back to the villagers.
He had traded because he was lonely and did not need the trinkets. Those of the Ruetoohto tribe looked on in admiration of his generosity as a great warrior, but it was a practical matter. There was a beast to conquer.