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Stories from the Verse
Verse Three, Chapter One
Chapter 108: Kondor 36
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Even though Mrs. Hastings had described them to him, seeing the colorful parakeet people emerge from the wood was a bit of a shock. "They really do look like little birds, don't they?" Kondor said. "Only they're bigger."
She was already walking up the path toward them, and he took a quick few steps to catch up. "Yes," she said, "they are very bird like. Teeth like beaks, feathery covering, whistling and chirping communications. Yet they're very like us, too."
As the distance closed, Kondor saw them more clearly, like children, yet not, carrying baskets and clay pots filled with berries.
"So they have pottery, and basket weaving good enough to build houses, and they fish and hunt."
"Actually, I taught them to make the pots."
"How long have you been here?"
"Counting by seasons, I got here in mid spring; but I haven't been counting days. I think it's been close to six months."
The birdmen had slowed, and some had stopped. Mrs. Hastings called out to them with that singing sound he had heard. One came forward quickly, probably Speckles from the colors. A few others came forward slowly, and gathered around. They responded, only they weren't singing but whistling and chirping. They seemed to be conversing with her. He stood there feeling rather stupid, unable to understand anything being said.
He was brought back abruptly when the singing sound was momentarily replaced by his name, "Joe", and several of the birds mimicked, "Chyo".
Realizing he had been introduced, he said, "Pleased to meet you." The birds chattered noisily at this. Lauren said something to them in their language, and then spoke to him.
"Well, they want to welcome you here. This is the mayor, the flock leader they call him, and this is Speckles. We'll work on how to say their names in their language later."
Kondor wasn't sure whether to bow or shake hands or what. He just sort of smiled and waved. "Thank you ma'am," he said, "and thank them for me. Now, where do I stow my gear?"
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of the novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #61: World Transitions. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.
As to the old stories that have long been here: