At a recent meeting of the Ancestors of April 9 I was asked what we were doing to celebrate the help given to us by our great friends and allies the Sauromati.
‘Ztoef,’ said a miner, ‘they’ve given us picks to make digging that damned salt easier, and I’m sure we wouldn’t have had those 8 deaths if we’d had the picks then.’
Another piped up. ‘And now we’re getting implements to dig up stones faster.’
Still another … ‘Let’s not forget that next Firstfair we are expecting a bumper return because of what the Sauromati are giving us.’
‘Aye,’ a particularly attractive young man said in lisping falsetto tones, ‘thith coming Fair ith altho going to be thtrong on thilver, and thatth all becauth of Thauromati.’
‘What do you suggest,’ I asked, and looked at the pretty young man in the hope that he would again grace us with his tender voice.
‘The Anthethtors should thelebrate the Thauromati’
It took me a little time to understand what he had said, perhaps because I was so enthralled by his voice, but once I understood the concept a plan immediately formed in my head.
While the clan was talking about roasted goats and painted fancy dress skins and elephant dancers and prairie weed by the barrel, I was thinking in more practical ways.
‘Folks,’ I said. ‘By all means have your party, but how does our clan having a good time thank the Sauromati for their kindness? What we should do is give them gifts.’
The head nodding soon turned into the traditional twirling of hands above the head and leaping up and down on the spot. A sure indication that the clan were behind the idea.
‘Tell us, o worldly wise Ztoef, what should we do?’
‘Tell me, what do the Sauromati want?’
T hey knew, of course, because I report all my interactions back to them. Still, it took a while before they came to the conclusion I wanted them to reach. After a few guesses at ‘young girls’, ‘elephant ears’ and ‘frilly carvings on the wheels of their wagons’ somebody mention ‘birdth and beeth’ and that prompted somebody to say ‘honey’, which was quickly followed by ‘hiveth’.
After that it took only a few prompts for them to come to the conclusion I wanted them to come to.
‘Let’s buy them hives at the Fair!’
‘Yaaaaay! they all cried, and they went off on a dance.
But I wasn’t finished yet. Once they had all returned to the meeting house I said, ‘Do you think that would satisfy your desire to give gifts?’
There was a lot of headshaking, a sure sign that they were unhappy, but a few prompts here and there and suddenly a herder jumped up and said. ‘Seekmi’,
Many thought he’d had too much weed and was in the throes of visions of spiritual enlightenment, but it slowly dawned on a few and then on the many, and within the time it takes an elephant to piss everybody was chanting. ‘dedicate the Seeking. Dedicate the Seeking. Dedicate the Seeking.’
I humbly agreed that that was a great idea and said it would be so.
The meeting broke up and the gorgeous young man approached me and said. ‘I uthed to think you were the beeth kneeth, Thtoef, but not anymore. Really, if the clan can come up with the
betht idea for thelebrating the Thauromti before their thuppothed chief can, then you can’t be that thenthible. Thorry.’