Boys' Life
September 1925
pp 20-21, 57-58

Og, Boy of Battle
Chapter 21, "The Thunder Bird" 216-231
Chapter 22, "The Fish People" 232-243

Og and the Fish People

by J. Irving Crump


Then it swooped downward, its hooked bill open,
and its ugly talons extended to seize one of them.

illustrated by Charles Livingston Bull

 

[Chapter 21]

IT WAS the great wolf pack that drove Og and Ru to take refuge high upon the tops of the White-Haired-Old-Men, the snow-capped mountains that had for days reared themselves in the background of the new and strange land they had been traveling so long in an effort to find a suitable home for the Hairy People. Ru blamed Og for their plight. Og hunting had found the den of a lone wolf in the forest, and from it had stolen two young wolf-cubs. Once before he had owned two wolf-cubs and had trained them to be his friends and hunting companions, and when he found the wolf den in the forest with the mother wolf gone, he took the half-grown cubs and bore them joyously away. But this theft of the wolf-cubs nearly proved their undoing, for the mother wolf trailed him and her howls of bereavement called other wolves until soon the whole great pack of savage hunters were on their trail driving them relentlessly up the slope of the mountains toward the snow-line, toward the strange land of the mountaintops where a mysterious cold white death lurked.

But a great blizzard had befriended them. The storm had driven the wolf pack back down the slope and Og and Ru, nearly perished from the cold, stumbled upon a cave in which a band of mountain goats had taken refuge. Here was food and clothing for the two wandering Hairy boys, for with their bows and arrows they killed several of the goats, and Og conceived the idea of using the shaggy skins of these creatures of the mountain-tops to wrap about their bodies for warmth and protection against the bitter coldness of this land of snow and ice.

For days they lingered in the cave while the blizzard raged in all its fury about the craggy summits, contenting themselves with explorations through the winding galleries of the caves until one day they stumbled onto the place of hibernation of a great cave bear. Fear gripped the two boys, for there were few creatures that roamed the forest so fierce and formidable as the cave bear.

Aroused from his slumbers by the snarls of the wolf-cubs the old bear set upon them with all the savageness of his terrible temper, and had it not been for the courage of the two young wolves, Og and Ru would never have left the cave in the mountain-tops alive.

The cubs, recognizing in the old bear a natural enemy, valiantly leaped to attack him, and between them they managed to keep the shaggy creature so busy that Og and Ru found time to bring their bows into action, driving arrow after arrow into the monster of the cave until finally a chance shaft pierced the bear's throat close under the jaw and the point buried itself in the base of the great beast's brain.

But the bear was not killed before he had crushed one of the young wolves into a lifeless mass in his great arm-like paws and seriously mangled the second one.

Og and Ru sadly surveyed the result of the battle, and a great dread of the cave swept over them. They determined to quit it as soon as they could, but they did pause long enough to strip the big bear of his great pelt and wrap it into a neat bundle which Og carried lashed to his back while Ru carried the wounded wolf-cub couched in the hollow of his shield. Through the twisting and turning passages of the cave they wandered, finding their way by the fitful light of torches improvised from fagots and sticks that littered portions of the cave and testified to the fact that more animals than the great bear had used the place for a den.

On and on through the passages they wandered, sometimes hopelessly lost. But just when they both became fearful that they were doomed to wander through the winding galleries until they starved to death or lost their reason, they suddenly came out into the sunlight of a snow-clad mountain-top and found themselves looking across a strange new valley that lay behind the barrier of the snow-clad peaks of the White-Haired-Old-Men.

 
FROM where they crouched under the shelter of a snow-draped boulder, Og and Ru saw a great bird drop, swift and straight as a flying arrow, out of the blue. Down, down, down it plunged into the valley miles below them, to disappear behind the mass of forest that fringed a lake. It was some great bird of prey, and it was striking for a kill. They wondered vaguely, as they crouched there chewing raw goat flesh, because they could find no wood in the strange white land of the mountain-tops with which to build a cooking fire, what the bird was after. It must be a veritable winged monster, for though it was far away, still it appeared big to Og and Ru.

With concentrated interest they watched the forest-clad point jutting out into the lake in the valley, behind which it had disappeared. Presently they saw it rise with heavy flapping of its great wings and start slowly upward, mounting higher and higher above the tree-tops. It carried something in its talons, but the Hairy boys could not make out just what it was.

Up it mounted, higher and higher, then suddenly it turned and headed straight toward them; toward the craggy snow-clad peaks of the White-Haired-Old-Men, the mountains to the top of which the wolf pack had driven them. Og and Ru watched it come; watched it as it swept toward them on outspread wings and as it drew closer they could not help but marvel and grow a little frightened at its enormous size.

 
ITS body was larger and heavier than Og, and the spread of its huge black wings was so great that its shadow as it sailed across the snow toward them looked like the shadow of a cloud across the sun. As it drew nearer Og could see the great black head and ugly curving yellow beak. And in its terrible talons it carried a form that looked surprisingly like that of a half-grown Hairy man — a young boy.

As it sailed toward them, the wolf-cub that lay sprawled beside Og taking bits of goat flesh from his fingers, began to whine and cower and creep closer for protection. Both Hairy boys were growing equally frightened. They stood up and while Ru gripped his stone hammers firmly, Og hastily strung an arrow in his bow. Tense, silent, they waited. They could hear the wind whistling through the great bird's feathers. They could see its big lustrous yellow eyes fixed on them. It was dropping lower. It would pass within short bowshot over their heads. It seemed to be making for a great ledge of rocks just behind them and higher up the mountain. As it drew closer, and its shadow, traveling ahead of it across the snow, passed over them Og saw with surprise that it was a boy that the great bird held in its talons, and that he was alive. He could see that he still struggled feebly despite the terrible claws that were fastened in his shoulder and the thick of his leg.

At this discovery Og cried out in anger, and despite a warning from Ru he raised his bow with a swift motion and sent an arrow whistling at the oncoming eagle, aiming at the broad black breast as the bird sped over their heads.

The Hairy boys could hear the thump with which the shaft struck the thick plumage. But it had not flown true. Instead it struck the eagle a glancing blow in the shoulder, just above where one of the great wings joined the body. In an instant the air was full of black feathers, and the eagle dropped the huddled form it clutched and shot high in the air screaming louder and louder in its anger. For a moment it hovered out of bowshot above them. Then it swooped downward full at Og and Ru, its hooked bill open and its ugly talons extended to seize one of them and bear him aloft with it.

Og and Ru went cold with fear then. They crouched flat against the cliff, and Og sped another whistling arrow at the great bird as it plunged toward him. But the arrow missed its mark and the next instant the huge winged creature like black doom was hovering over them striking at them with its cruel feet. Og dropped his bow then and seized his stone hammer, and swinging this above his head aimed blow upon blow at the hovering bird. Ru too tried to knock the creature down with a well-timed swing, but the eagle, quick, alert, kept out of reach and watched its chance to dart in and strike at them with talons and beak and huge falling wings that struck such a powerful blow that Ru, hit on the chest, was knocked sprawling.

 
THIS was what the bird had evidently tried to do, for the moment Ru was helpless on the ground it darted down toward him screaming triumphantly as it tried to fix its talons into his back. But Og with a cry half of fear and half oŁ anger, leaped toward Ru even as the bird darted down. At that he would not have been able to save Ru from terrible punishment under the claws of the bird had it not been that Ru had kept his turtle shell shield fastened to his back while he rested. In falling he sprawled face downward and when the bird struck its talons only rasped along the rough surface of the shield. Again and again it struck, and delayed to make a third attempt to sink its nails into Ru's flesh. Og swung a mighty blow at it with his stone hammer and caught it glancing on the body and knocked a huge patch of feathers out of its thick plumage. Before he could strike again it recovered its balance and mounted screaming to wing once more.

This time it flapped well above then. And while Ru picked himself up it hovered over them and screamed in a frenzy. But it did not renew the attack. Apparently it had had enough. It flapped angrily away, continuing its piercing screams until it came to rest on the edge of a crag well up toward the top of the mountain, where Og could see a pile of sticks and rubbish that he knew must be the monster bird's nest.

The great bird gone Og and Ru bent their attention to the huddled form that lay in a snowdrift not far from them where the eagle had dropped it as the arrow struck it. The boy was still alive, though badly cut and bleeding. Og gathered him up in his arms, for he was thin and emaciated, and carried him back to the place beaten down in the snow where he and Ru had rested and eaten.

The boy was unconscious from the fall, and Og, uncertain what to do under such circumstances, laid him prone on his back in the snow. Who he was neither he nor Ru had the slightest notion. He was not of their tribe, they were certain, for they knew every member. And they did not know that there were any other Hairy people on the face of the earth save their little colony. Og and Ru pondered as they watched.

Who could he be? Where could he have come from?

Suddenly Og remembered something that had happened a long time ago; something that was almost legendary; that only the oldest men of the Hairy colony remembered. Og had heard Gog the old leader of the tribe who had been killed by the Tree people tell of it. He had heard his blind father talk of it too just before he died when he used to sit by Og's camp-fire till day and tell stories of the past. Ru had heard the story too. He recalled it when Og mentioned it.

Once in the days before the great volcano had set fire to the world and driven the Hairy people from their home, the tribe had been much larger. The great Fu Fu, the scar-faced one, had been the leader then. Da was a young man. A strong young man, but treacherous. He wanted to be the leader. By sly tricks he sought to discredit Fu; to make him look ridiculous in the eyes of the rest of the Hairy men. But old Fu was too wise to be caught by young Da. He had seen through his treachery and turned it against him and the Hairy men had banished Da from the colony; banished Da and his handful of followers. And they had gone out into the world, no one knew where. Nor did they care. Da's people became the lost tribe. Could it be then that they had found their way into this valley beyond the snow-capped mountains? Could it be that this boy that the great bird had carried up to the heights was one of them?

 
OG SUSPECTED that this might be so. He watched the boy a little longer. Then he bent over him and washed the blood from his wounds with handfuls of snow. Slowly the boy showed signs of returning consciousness, and after a time he opened his eyes. Og spoke to him. The boy looked frightened.

"By what name are you called?" be asked.

"I am Dab, son of Dab," said the boy in a tongue that differed only slightly from the language of Og.

"Are you of Da's tribe?" Og queried

At the mention of the name a look of fear overspread the boy's face.

"Yes, the tribe of Da, son of Da. The Fish people," said the boy.

With some effort he sat up then, and pointing down the valley toward the shores of the lake, he indicated where his people dwelt.

"Good, we will take you back," said Og.

But this did not seem to please the boy. The look of fear crept into his face again.

"No. No. I do not want to go back. They will give me to the Thunder Bird again. I do not want to go back."

"They will give you to the Thunder Bird? What talk is this?" demanded Og, puzzled.

"That was the Thunder Bird. He is a demon that carries people from our village when they do not feed him. He casts spells upon us. Brings sickness and death. The great Da is sick now, and only by giving me to the Thunder Bird could the spell be removed. So they put me on the mound where they feed the great bird fish and he carried me away."

The boy's attitude and the great bird they had just encountered could but arouse fear even in the staunch hearts of Og and Ru. But they were curious to know more.

"Why do they feed him fish? How do they catch these fish?" The last question puzzled Og a great deal, for he had often wondered how he could trap or kill some of the great fish he had seen swimming in the lakes and rivers over which they had traveled.

"Da, the chief, makes us feed the Thunder Bird fish," said the boy. "Da has mighty hunters around him, and they make the people give half of all the fish they catch to the Thunder Bird. And half of what we catch is not enough to feed us, for sometimes one man will work three days to catch mud-fish. We are thin and hungry. It is not easy. Our fishermen have long sticks cut from the fork of a tree. This makes a hook. A man must lie and watch for a big fish to swim slowly past. Then he must hook the stick into its gills and pull it up onto the raft. Sometimes he will miss as many fish as he has fingers before he catches one. Still Da makes us give half of the catch to the Thunder Bird because he is afraid of the spell that the bird will cast upon him if he goes hungry. But fishing has not been good, and Da's hunters have not been successful. The Thunder Bird has gone hungry and Da is sick with the spell. He lies and groans in his cave and the Thunder Bird flies over the village and screams at him and the fish people. Da was afraid he would pass on to the land of dead men, so he made his hunters take me up to the mound and leave me there to be carried off by the Thunder Bird. He will put me there again if I go back. I have no father to protect me, to fight for me. I do not want to go back."

"Go with us. We will not go near the Fish people then," said Og.

At this Dab seemed quite happy. And when Og gave him several chunks of goat flesh this painfully thin boy devoured them ravenously.

"Red meat is allowed the Fish people only once every full moon, when Da's hunters bring in more than Da and the Thunder Bird can eat," said Dab, as he bolted a third and then a fourth chunk.

Because they saw that he was shivering in the snow-chilled air, Og gave him a piece of goatskin to wrap about his body, and Ru cut enough from his jacket to wrap about his naked feet. Dab was highly pleased when he found himself dressed as Og and Ru were.

And when Dab was ready the three with the wolf-cub romping on ahead of them started down the mountain through the snow. Down toward the timber-line where the great sequoia forest began again they hurried, for they were all eager to be out of this land of snow.

By night-fall they were deep in the forest of great trees. But in spite of Og's efforts to avoid the lake, be found that the natural slope of the land had forced them to approach closer to the upper end of it than he had wanted to.

With darkness Og and Ru made camp, and much to the mystification of Dab they built a fire. Dab had a natural fear of the flames, and it was some time before Og and Ru could induce him to crouch down in the warm glow beside them. He watched them roast chunks of goat meat with consuming interest, however, for the odor of it as it sputtered over the flames made his mouth water. And once he had tasted it he made a veritable glutton of himself eating all that the two Hairy boys would give him.

Dab had profound respect for these new companions, and timidly asked where they came from and about their people. For a long time by the march of the moon across the heavens they talked, each asking curious questions of the other until presently Ru's head dropped between his knees and his hands folded across his neck in the characteristic sleeping position of primitive men. His loud breathing warned Og and Dab that he had passed on into oblivion. Og and Dab realized then that they were sleepy too, and huddling closer to Ru they followed his example, while the wolf-cub curled up in a ball beside them.

And when they were all breathing loud and regularly and the flames of the fire had died down to glowing coals, into the circle of dull light from the embers crept four big-shouldered and long-armed men, each carrying great stone hammers. They were the hunters of Da.

As silently as shadows they slipped up behind the three sleepers. Closer and closer they came, each with his huge stone hammer upraised and ready for a skull-crushing blow. But before they were within striking distance, like a steel spring the wolf-cub uncurled from the position in which he was sleeping and with a snarl leaped at the nearest of them.

 
IN AN instant Og and Ru were on their feet and reaching for their shields and stone hammers. Dab with a cry of alarm leaped across the smouldering fire and hid behind a big tree. The unexpected attack of the wolf-cub disconcerted the hunters for a moment, and in the brief space Og and Ru were able to prepare themselves for the onslaught. Back to back with shields upraised and stone hammers swinging they met the four big hunters of the Fish people as they leaped in to crush them down with their ugly weapons. One swung a terrible blow at Og's head, but Og caught the stone hammer on his shield and turned it aside and as the man staggered past him carried off his balance by the sheer force of his own effort Og crashed his own hammer down on the back of his neck and he slumped to the ground, his head wobbling grotesquely on his broken neck.

Ru was not so fortunate. The other three bore down upon him together, and although his stone hammer bit deep into the hairy chest of one, the other two hurled themselves on top of him, and by sheer weight bore him to the ground. Og whirled to help Ru, but even as he turned the wounded man threw his stone hammer full at Og's head, and though Og flashed up his shield for protection he did not move quite quickly enough and the handle of the heavy weapon hit him a stunning blow on the temple. For a moment he stood with legs braced trying to fight off the dizziness that came over him. Then suddenly he collapsed and dropped to the ground.

[Chapter 22]

OG AWOKE with the consciousness that he was underground. It was not a cave; at least not a cave in the rocks. The walls about him were earthy. He was in a burrow like the burrow of some huge ground squirrel. By the wan gray light that filtered in through an opening at the end of a long passageway he could see that there were others in the burrow beside himself. He could make out the huddled form of Ru and Dab and the wolf-cub. They were all captives.

Before he could speak to Ru the shaft of gray light was blotted out by some one coming down the passageway. He could hear the sound of feet approaching and several men talking. A big hairy fellow stepped into the burrow and looked at them, then called to someone behind him.

Others crowded in and seized Dab and dragged him down the passage. Then they returned and hurried Og and Ru out into the open.

Og looked about curiously. The village reminded him of a colony of ground squirrels. It was composed of scores of holes burrowed into a big clay bank that overlooked the lake. In and out of these holes scuttled the thinnest, scrawniest and most ill-kempt lot of Hairy people he had ever seen. Assuredly things had not gone well with the descendants of the followers of Da since they had been cast out by the Hairy people. The only big and strong men he saw anywhere were the five hairy fellows with huge stone hammers who guarded him and his companions as they marched across an open space toward the entrance to a particularly big burrow at the upper end of the village.

As they walked Og noted that there was a peculiar stench about the place; the smell of fish rotting in the sun. It came from a high mound beyond the clay bank above the village and Og concluded that this was the altar to the Thunder Bird that Dab had spoken of. Og saw too that these people, living for a generation beside the lake had conquered their fear of water as he had. He noticed with interest that there were a number of queer craft beached on the shore. They were composed of groups of logs lashed together to form rafts. He saw some of them far out with men lying flat upon them looking into the water. Each had a long stick cut so that the fork of a tree was inverted and formed a hook. He saw a number of these sticks lying outside the doorway of each burrow and he concluded that these were the fish sticks that Dab had told him of with which they hooked the huge sluggish mud-fish out of the lake.

But he could not observe much more before the guards brought him to the doorway of the big burrow toward which they were walking. A powerful hunter with stone hammer stood in the entrance, but he stepped aside when the guards, shoving Og and Ru and Dab ahead of them, entered.

In a corner where the light from the doorway fell upon him, Og saw a big man, with puffy, flabby cheeks, and huge paunch, lying on a pile of skins. Og could see at a glance that the man was very sick and weak. He could scarcely raise his head when they entered.

"We have brought them, oh Da," said one of the guards.

"Good. Give them to the Thunder Bird. They will satisfy him. Then will I become strong again," said the old chief.

A cry of terror escaped Dab as he heard Da speak. He had been miraculously saved from that death once. Now he must face it again. Og and Ru grew weak too, but after a moment Og spoke.

"If the Thunder Bird has made you sick, oh Da, then why not kill the Thunder Bird?" Da looked at him from blood-shot eyes for a moment.

"Fish-belly fool, who can kill the Thunder Bird?"

"We have killed the cave leopard, and the great cave bear. We can kill the Thunder Bird too," said Og. "You see for yourself we cheated him of Dab."

"Yes, you cheated him of Dab and he is still angry, and I am still sick. But how would you kill him? If he were dead the Fish people would be rid of a great curse. Always my people are working to catch fish to feed his belly. If he were dead we would all have more to eat."

Og had noticed their shields, and leopard-skin packs and their bows and arrows and stone hammers lying in a corner of Da's burrow where their captors had put them when they brought them to the chief.

"Give us back our weapons before you put us on the altar for the Thunder Bird. That is all we ask," said Og.

"Good, it shall be," said Da.

Eagerly Og and Ru lashed on their shields and seized their stone hammers and their bows and arrows. A moment they paused to fit the hammers in their belts and to lash their shields upon their arms.

Then silently the guards marched them out into the open again and turned them toward the mound upon which they fed the Thunder Bird. But before they started up the slope Og turned and seized the wolf-cub, who had been following at their heels, and holding him by the loose skin of his back tied a goat skin thong about his neck. Instinctively the wolf cub knew that something was about to happen to him and he slunk along with tail between his legs whimpering in a frightened manner.

Up the slope toward the top of the mound the three boys and the dog trudged, the guards close behind them. Og could see that the entire village was watching them from below. Men and women looked from the doorway of every burrow, and somehow Og and Ru experienced a strange sensation of elation at this. Each felt himself more the hero, than the sacrifice.

To the top of the mound the guards accompanied them. But even these big, strong hunters armed with huge stone hammers scanned the sky with fearful eye while they were up there, and they appeared glad indeed to hurry down the slope once they had seen the three boys and the dog safely on top. At the foot of the mound they took their stand with other guards completely surrounding the place, so that there was no way of escape for Og and Ru and Dab.

On top Og looked around. It was a filthy place. All about were strewn the dead and partly eaten bodies of big fish, with here and there parts of animals, all brought to appease the appetite of the Thunder Bird. They were rotting in the sun and giving out a dreadful stench. Og could see at a glance that the great bird was not the only visitor to this altar of sacrifice. Tracks of a great saber tooth tiger, and claw marks of a case bear were evident too.

Suddenly Og heard shouts from the village below, and Dab with a frightened cry grasped Og's arm and pointed upward. Far, far above them in the cloudless blue sky Og could make out the form of the great bird wheeling slowly about in the air. It had seen them come up on top of the mound and it had learned through the years that whatever was put there was meant for it. It was getting ready to drop out of the sky and bear one of them away to its craggy aery.

Og began to talk very fast then explaining to Ru and Dab a plan that had been taking shape in his mined. To Dab he passed his stone hammer while Ru strung an arrow in his bow. Then working swiftly, Og dragged the rebellious wolf cub to the center of the mound and by the thong about its neck fastened it to an arrow that he stuck deep into the ground. As much as he disliked to do it Og had decided that the wolf-cub must be the bait for the big bird. Og backed away then and fitted an arrow to his bow too. He took a station on the opposite side of the mound from Ru, and looking upward watched the maneuvers of the big bird.

Evidently the presence of three on the top of the mound disturbed the Thunder Bird, for it wheeled and hung on its great gliding wings for a long time as if it suspected a trap, and was afraid to descend. Then suddenly it seemed to make up its mind to claim what belonged to it, for with a scream that came down shrill and clear to the three boys and made their blood go cold, it suddenly launched itself, plummet like, in a swift plunge.

Og cried a warning to Ru to stand steady then, and both with bows upraised and drawn, and all their muscles tensed and ready watched the swift descent of the bird. Down it swept, wings partly folded against its body, its great head with its yellow hooked beak outstretched, and its terrible talons drawn back ready to strike and seize its prey.

Og could hear the whistling of its body through the air grow steadily louder. He could see its great yellow eyes glaring fiercely. He could see a crest-like formation of feathers on its head upraised in anger, and for a moment he was swept with fear; fear that if they failed one of their number, perhaps all of them, would be killed or maimed by this terrible enemy from the sky. Never had time seemed so long. Never had he waited so tensed, and alert for an enemy to strike. Nearer and nearer drew the menacing black bird. Within a good bow-shot above them, plunging downward with the speed of an arrow, its great blanket-like wings suddenly spread like black clouds on either side. At the same instant its scaley yellow legs with their terrible armament of talons shot outward and downward, and with a scream that all but made Og's heart stop beating it plunged straight for the wolf-cub, cowering in the center of the mound.

An instant it seemed to hang in the air ten feet above the animal, and in that instant Og yelled to Ru and loosed his arrow. Came the sharp strum of their bow strings and the thump of the arrows striking home, and Og saw with a feeling of elation his shaft bury itself deep into the body of the great bird just under its left wing. He could hear Ru's shaft strike, and he saw it protruding from its great black breast while feathers caught in the draft of the great fanning wing whirled aloft and scattered in the wind.

With a wild scream of rage and pain the Thunder Bird seemed to leap upward in the air, its great wings fanning in powerful strokes. Half a bow shot it rose beating the air frantically and glaring at Og with its terrible eyes. Swiftly Og fixed another arrow in his bow, but before he could draw it to the head, the great bird suddenly collapsed in the air and fell to the ground with a jarring thump. Like great flails the huge wings beat the ground. Feathers flew in all directions. The wolf-cub yelping in fright was bowled over and over by the turmoil, and Dab, who leaped to deliver a blow with Og's stone hammer was knocked half-way down the slope of the mound by one of the beating wings.

For a moment Og and Ru stood silent and tense watching the struggles of the dying bird. Then Og gave voice to a cry of triumph that was echoed by scores of voices in the village below where the Fish people came running out of their burrows like a colony of huge ants. Up the mound they came, Da's hunters in the lead, and seizing the wings of the great bird they dragged it down to the village and to the entrance of the burrow in which the sick chief lived. Da had been moved to the doorway of his hole in the clay bank to watch the encounter and when Og and Ru and Dab came up to him surrounded by the throng of Fish people bearing the dead Thunder Bird, a look of happiness spread across his face.

"You have taken a great weight from me and my people. You are brave hunters. Do you come from the Hairy people?"

Og nodded.

There was a far-off look in the eyes of the Da.

"Once we were Hairy people. Da, my father, brought us to the lake. We became Fish people. All went well until this Thunder Bird came to the lake country to carry off our children and bring evil upon us. Now that it is dead, all will go well once more. I will become strong too. You are brave hunters. Will you stay with the Fish people?"

Og shook his head.

"We look for a new home for the Hairy people. We must go on."

"Show us then this mighty weapon that killed the Thunder Bird. Show it to my hunters. Teach them to use it," said Da, looking curiously at Og's bow.

Og and Ru did more than that. They stayed in the village of the Fish people half a moon and showed the hunters how to make bows and arrows and how to make fire. In return they learned how to catch the mud-fish with a fish-stick, and when they continued on their travels Da's people gave them one of their rafts of logs on which to journey down the lake. And Dab, because he had become very fond of the two Hairy boys and because he had not parents or relatives among the Fish people, went with them.


Back   Next