I open my eyes in the bleary light of the early morning dawn. All is still. I am thankful for the new morning, but tremble at what this day may bring. Another dislocated joint? My sustenance strewn on the ground and wasted before I am able to nourish myself? I shudder at the thought of the potential catastrophes that lay ahead.
The Jay’s piercing cries cause me to wince and squirm beneath my blankets. Any sudden noise may awaken the slumbering wild ones – and then I am done for.
I tiptoe to the latrine to wash the slumber from my eyes. I use only enough water to wet my fingertips. It is a precious commodity and I should waste not. I creep to the commode to appropriately dispose of my bodily fluids, when I hear it:
The cry of the wild ones.
I race to latch the door of the commode, but it is too late. They have discovered my hiding place.
They are insatiable. Pulling at my clothes and clinging to my flesh before I can rise. They demand my eyes, my ears, my every last breath. I struggle and beg and plead, but I am no match for their strength.
I am frightened.
They lead me by the hands out of my camp, and to the place where they keep their bounty. (Lest you raise a query, my partner has not raised an eyebrow. He is still slumbering in his bedchamber.) They demand I conjure up black magic spells and create something from nothing. That I fill their already bulbous bellies with milks and grains. I begin to sweat, but attempt to draw on my many years of field work and anthropological training for a means of satiating these wild beings! These wild ones.
Suddenly, the answer is clear. I regain my composure and wipe the beads of sweat from my brow.
I request milled flour and sugar cane from their stores. I gather an egg from a roaming goosehen. I search into dark spaces for exotic spices. I create fire.
The wild ones have their pancakes. And I will live to see another day.