Drum Sound

(The Saga of Caveman Hom, Episode 18)

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Pevette right. It only few days later when drum sound. It bang three times loud — this alarm signal! Everybody jump to feet, grab weapon. Then drum bang soft, for count men. Me follow on fingers — it five and one more. This few. Maybe we lucky. Or maybe it trick. It not matter. We have plan. 

Arca and Cheri, Ruti and Cal all take bow and plenty arrow. They run through forest for take position in tree. Men take spear and club, then follow rocky mountain path. After come women — some bring bow, other spear. Older children also come, but most stay behind in cave. Ali have two spear and plenty rope, he follow last with son Cul, who bring many stone good for throw. Tribe armed, and we many, but still scared. We not want war. Fighting bad.

Soon we see men in distance, far from cave. They move slow down path. When we see, tribe ready bow and arrow, but still move forward. We not know what expect. Men closer now — me see five and one more, like drum say. But also me see strange thing — they bring small cave of stick! It same like one for smooching, but smaller. It rest on platform, like Bivi make for carry injured Pevette. It look heavy — me count four men carry on long stick. Maybe this why men move slow. 

When closer, me recognise men. Me see Henn in front. He carry big spear. Behind come Pal, Ang, Kwi, and Yin — they hold long stick for carry cave. Last come Schmenn. He also have spear. This surprise. It only two spear total! Maybe in cave is more weapon? But that stupid idea. If attack come, weapon in cave useless! In fight what matter is weapon in hand. Everybody know this — so where weapon?

Me turn Chief Fem for whisper, ‘Maybe they not attack.’

‘That possible,’ say Fem. ‘But what if it trick?’

Now Henn hold up hand. All men tribe stop. Women tribe stop too. Henn point us, he turn look others for speak. It too far for hear, but me see Schmenn reply. Pal, Ang, Kwi, and Yin lower small cave to ground. Then Henn face front again. He wave us. 

Me look Fem. She nod, so me return greeting. 

Meanwhile me see Schmenn walk from back of men tribe. He pass Kwi and Yin, then poke head into cave. Me watch careful, but he not take weapon. Instead he talking. It someone in cave.

‘It Tra,’ me say. ‘He hide in cave! Maybe he injured.’

‘Maybe he lazy,’ say Fem. ‘And men stupid.’

Me shrug. ‘Scared also possible.’

‘If scared, why he come?’

‘Maybe it no choice,’ me say.

‘It always choice. It no need make trouble.’

’Maybe he not make trouble.’

Fem laugh. ‘That nonsense,’ she say. ‘Tra always make trouble.’

Now we see head poke from cave and look around. Me think it Tra. He see us! He wave hand at Schmenn. Me see lips move. Then he hide back in cave. Schmenn return to rear. Four carrier take hold long stick, again lift. Again Henn hold up hand. He shout, and men tribe move forward. So we also continue move.

Two tribe come closer. When women tribe reach special tree, we stop, wait men  tribe arrive. Gai and Fab stay front with spear. Me just behind with Fem and Nizzi. We also carry spear. Mat here too — he have big stick. Behind us come bow, more spear, and plenty club. Then come older children. Ali and Cul catch up, then Cul hand out stone. Now women tribe ready for win fight.

When men tribe close, Henn raise hand again for stop. Pal, Ang, Kwi, and Yin put cave on ground gentle. They groan, they stretch, rub muscles. Then Schmenn shout, and all carrier stand straight, look forward. Schmenn shout more, but me not understand words. Me think it nonsense, but he shout loud! Schmenn crazy. He shout close in face! But carrier not blink, only stare ahead, stand straight. They terrified!

Me know Schmenn. He bully. Me remember one day he try bully Hom, so me kick nuts. After that, me not have trouble from Schmenn. That long ago, when both children. Now he grow big and strong, but still same. It no wonder he follow Tra. He stupid. Me also know Henn, but me not know well. Maybe he clever one? But me doubt. Me think he stupid too.

When finish shout, Schmenn come forward for join Henn at front. They hold spear at side, keep distance from women tribe. They scowl for try scare. It work only little. Me look Fem and Nizzi — it not easy, but they manage not laugh. 

Then Tra emerge from small cave of stick. He wear many flower in hair. He wear big coconut on chest. It decorate with paint of many colour. He wear long loincloth, and around waist he have many dry flower on string. He have big feet, but he shave toe and paint nail red. He dress like woman on night of wedding, but he fool no-one. It obvious he man. Now Tra walk slow to front of men tribe. He walk with wiggle — he flounce! When he reach Henn and Schmenn, he stop. He try give sweet smile, but he only make leer.

‘Where Fem?’ he say.

‘That Chief Fem,’ say Fab.

‘Chief Fem,’ agree Tra. Again he leer. 

Fab shudder.

Fem step forward. ‘Me here.’

Tra hold out hand for shake. ‘Me greet Chief Fem with all honour.’

Fem approach cautious. Gai and Fab watch close, spear ready, while Fem shake hand. ‘Me greet Tra,’ she say. 

Me see Henn frown. Spear twitch. He not like Fem disrespect King Tra. Schmenn same. Me poise for fight.

But Tra only laugh. He nudge Henn and Schmenn with elbow. ‘Relax,’ he say. Then he say Fem, ’Weather cold. Me thank Chief for warm welcome.’

Fem point Tra feet. ‘Why you wear open shoe?’

‘Feet pretty.’ Tra lift feet, he show nails. ‘See?’

‘It good colour,’ admit Fem. ‘But soon toe freeze and fall off.’

Again Tra laugh. ‘Me not stay long in snow. Feet survive.’

Fem nod. Then she say, ‘Why you come? You want fight?’

‘Fight?’ say Tra. He pretend shock. ‘Of course me not want fight!’

‘That good. Men tribe weak. If fight, you lose.’

‘Men tribe?’ say Tra. He look around. ‘Who that?’

‘That you.’

‘But we all women!’ say Tra. ‘It no men in tribe of Tra! Only women. But tribe of Fem have plenty men. Men very dangerous for women — always oppress! How Chief keep control?’

Fem shrug. ‘These men good,’ she say. ‘It no trouble.’

‘Oh!’ exclaim Tra. ‘Me see! They good men!’ He laugh. ‘Chief Fem have mind full of nonsense. Me warn — these men play trick. They bad, same like all other. One day, me think you learn hard way. Me lucky it only women in tribe of Tra. It no need worry.’

‘That good,’ say Fem. ‘But again me ask, why you come? Why men cross mountain in snow?’

‘You forget,’ say Henn. ‘We not men.’

‘You have willy. You man.’

‘Tra right,’ say Schmenn. ‘Fem stupid. She think women not have willy.’

‘She not stupid,’ say Tra. ‘She only confuse.’

‘Me not confuse.’

‘Of course you confuse. You not know science of women! But not worry, me explain.’

‘Wait,’ say Fem. ‘Me want everybody hear.’ She turn women tribe, speak loud. ‘Come close,’ she say. ‘For listen Tra talk. He want speak truth of women — me not want tribe miss good education!’ Women tribe laugh, then bunch up closer for hear. Then Fem say Tra, ’Now you teach. And not forget speak up!’

‘Me happy oblige,’ say Tra. Then he clear throat. ‘Everybody know it two kind human — men and women. But maybe you not know this — it two kind women also!’

‘Two kind?’ say Nizzi. ‘What that? Big bum, small bum?’

‘No, that sexist!’ say Tra. 

‘Long leg, short leg?’

‘That silly. Leg not make difference, and not bum. Both kind have big and small, long and short. What most important is willy.’

Women tribe laugh, but Tra ignore. He continue, ‘Most women not have willy — that true! But some women extra special. They born with magic gift of willy! These women most beautiful kind. They stunning! They also more clever, with plenty charm. But willy cause big problem! They never safe from men! Willy-women more desirable than other kind; they very good for sex, so men always chase. If refuse, men hit with stick! This no surprise. Men always same, always oppress! 

‘But for willy-women, it worse! Not-willy women jealous — they want sex men too! They think other kind steal all men, so they fear, they hate! They tell lie, say real women not have willy, only men have willy. If woman have willy, they laugh. They try hit with stick. They oppress, same like men! So willy-women suffer more than not-willy kind. They not only stunning, but brave! Not-willy women always scary, always mean.

‘For long time, not-willy-women play trick, so tribe think woman with willy just man who go crazy. But now, thanks Tra it different — tribe use science for regain ancient knowledge. Now we know it two kind women. This progress! Now me lead glorious tribe of willy-women. You, Fem, lead nasty tribe — it not-willy-women and few men. That bad. You evil oppressor of willy-women! But me know you ignorant, so me not blame. Me kind, so me not want punish. Me want only teach fact!’ Tra grin wide. ‘This make better world for all!’ 

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