Chapter 5


Jhacks Punished

2 days after getting mad at Jhacks, Nora picked up a silkplant. It was brown and dry and its pods were open, but it still had some of the silk that gave the plant its name inside. Cautiously she approached the pass. At the top of Mt. Yinin, she watched the group. They were all a bit ragged and dirty, but didn’t seem to even care. The boy was wrestling the smallest girl off the side of the pass. The leader was condensing a piece of clean snow to make into a Popsicle. The tallest girl, who had blond hair, was playing with a long stick. When she saw Nora she let out a series of noises that sounded somewhat like this: “ubby wa fob olmire!” The leader turned toward Nora. Nora approached the leader, who hissed menacingly. Nora backed up, to show that the leader was in control. Then Nora held out the silk plant. “Present”. The leader cocked her head to one side. Then she reached out and took the silk plant. She didn’t seem to have understood Nora’s words, but her actions. She seemed to feel it was time for introductions. Pointing at her, the leader said “Trish”. Obviously, that was her name. Then she repeated the action, pointing at the tallest girl. “Shayish”. The smallest girl was “Onie” and boy “Mappi”. Nora told Trish her name and then said “I walk?” and walked her fingers in the air through the pass. Trish nodded and Nora backed away.


A few days later, Nora saw Peto wandering the prairie as usual, but Jhacks was nowhere in sight. Where was he? Then Nora heard a scream. Turning, she saw in horror a most unfortunate scene. Jhacks had taken a piece of ice and was attacking the Tangas (that was what Nora called the people of the pass) with it. As Nora watched, he wrestled Trish to the ground and punched her in the eye with the hand that held the ice. Seeing their leader wounded and bleeding, the Tangas retreated behind the walls of the pass. Jhacks came back up Mt. Yinin, and looked pleased to see that Nora was there. Wiping his hands in a buissness-like manner he said “well, I don’t think they’ll bother us any more, now that they’ve seen what I can do to them! What day a say…” he was silenced by the cold glare that Nora was giving him. Summoning up all her anger, Nora said through her teeth: “go. Get out of here. You are never welcome here again, ever.”


That night Nora heard a whimpering noise. She rose from the sleeping Peto and looked around. A small form was huddled on the ground. It was Onie, the smallest Tanga. When Nora drew closer, she gasped. Onie’s legs were covered in with little cuts. As Nora watched, a bit of blood escaped the biggest cut. Onie held a piece of snow to it but all that did, Nora could see, was make Onie’s leg cold. Just then, Onie noticed Nora. She looked up at her with tears in her eyes. “Hurt” she whispered. “Please”. Nora understood. She would have offered the Tanga’s treatment sooner, but she had a hunch that they wouldn’t trust her anymore.

But back to Onie. Nora looked around frantically. Drat that snow that had fallen the night before! Finally, she saw what she needed. Under a rock, damp but still alive, was a seedflower. Its petals curved upward and only opened at the full moon, but inside were dozens of little seeds. Carefully, Nora pried the petals apart. She picked the 2 firmest seeds, and pounded them with a rock. They burst open, revealing a thick paste. Nora carefully spread the paste on each of Onie’s cuts. Then she put a bit of reed over them to protect the paste. Onie tugged on Nora’s sleeve, and pointed toward the pass.

“Alright, but in the morning. Get some sleep.” Nora replied to Onie’s silent question.


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