Things were going well. Everyone had their welcome drinks, Keene had moved on to the broth station. That’s where Homo’s go to get drinks for the rest of the feast.
There was a little tension between the hunters and they were still a little sad about losing Ja, but everyone else seemed in good spirits.
I went to the back cave to check on the mammoth. Joog was stressing out as usual. “What part of put the meat on the platter don’t you understand!?” He was yelling at Bleech.
“You said Put the meat over there. There is here.” Bleech pointed to the slab of mammoth meat laying on the cave floor.
“WOW! WOW!” He turned to Zta. “I can’t!!”
Zta put herself in between them. “It’s fine, we have more meat, I’ll make sure it goes on the platter.” Joog shook his head and went back to carving the meat. Zta looked at me, crossed her eyes, stuck her tongue out and pulled on something like a fur tie. She did this when the kids were fighting. Always hilarious!
She had everything under control so I made my way back to the feast. I could hear her talking very slowly to Bleech. In his defense, there was in fact, here. Joog was on a mission to change that, I never understood why.
In the main cave, a couple of the ground flatteners had started banging on what they called “drums”. They had just started doing this earlier in the moon cycle. They used large hollowed out stones and stretched antelope skin over the top. Normally they would bang on them with bones but this time it was branches with more skins tied to the ends. It was fantastic! It sounded like the sound was coming not from the top, but the middle! I couldn’t help tapping my toe!
All of a sudden, more Homo’s were tapping there toes! Some even put their hands on their hips! I don’t know what came over me but I not only put my hands on my hips, I bent my knees! The old woman was off to the side doing something ridiculous. I want to say bringing her hands together, then apart then together again? Some of the actual women did something similar but it made sense. It made yet another sound! We’d later call this “A dance set”.
It was turning out to be the greatest feast of all time!
Zta and Bleech carried the mammoth meat out. Fresh off the bone! Everyone was excited. I did my usual job, made sure it was one Homo behind another, not just a bunch of Homo’s pushing each other to get to the meat.
“The hunters got into the fermented berries early, better keep an eye on them. Some of the wives too.” Que jerked his head toward the back of the line where the hunters had gathered.
The hunters always had before feast berries and Que always wanted me to “keep an eye on them”. Nothing ever happened except falling in the snow. I didn’t take this seriously.
I really should have…..