Flowering. Approach. Part 8: Consoling Lessons
Be thoughtful with your generosity.
Reader discretion is advised: This series contains death, violence, and sexual content. Flowering is not a lighthearted series. Flowering is meant for a mature audience. It is not my intention to mislead those who read it, thus misleading the perception of the series itself, leading your hearts astray.
Please, "take this lesson to heart." - LaRha and Wetah
Turning back to Zephyr he bid him to sit down on the log next to the fire. Handing him a stick that had their roasted river critters on it, Wetah began to speak as they ate. “I’m proud of you today.”
“Huh?” It wasn’t often that Zephyr heard that, but when he did hear it, it was normally followed with a lesson.
“You went and got food for us, and didn’t complain when I gave some away to your mother and little sister.”
“Oh,” he said, before taking a bite into the fish’s backside, crunching its bones that were made even more brittle from the heat of the flame.
“That being said, you need to make sure that you don’t just forage for yourself, but you need to make sure that you bring enough food for everybody. We’re a family, Zephyr. We all need to eat.” His son stopped focusing on his primitive shish kabob, chewing away, as he looked his father in the eye. “It wouldn’t be fair now, would it, if I were to only feed your sisters and not feed you at the same time.”
A sense of guilt washed over him, “I’m sorry.”
Rubbing his son’s back Wetah said, “Hey, don’t worry. You didn’t do anything bad. I just want you to think about this going forward. If there was one apple between the three of you, you would all pass it around trying to make sure that you took the same size bites, right?” Zephyr nodded his head. “There you go. Ya’ see? Your heart’s already in the right place. How about tomorrow I teach you how to make a few more traps and where to place them?”
The young tike shook his head eagerly yes, hoping to catch a bounty tomorrow if possible. That, and to make sure to remove all forms of guilt from possibly excluding his older sister.
“Now, let’s go wash up, and join them at the main fire.” Looking at the smoke from the animals, and recognizing that it had changed color he said, “I think moon’s meal is about ready.”
Upon washing his face and hands, making sure to remove all of the possible grease of the river critters from off of his body, Zephyr sat down next to Xelu while she was eating her field mouse. “I’m sorry about not bringing anything back for you.”
“It’s okay,” Xelu said. “Dad got this for me. So, it’s alright. Besides, I think this is bigger than the amount of what you ate.”
“Still, I should’ve at least gotten you something. Like even a handful of berries from one of the trees.”
“Don’t worry Zephyr,” she said in between bites. “Remember, you said that you saw a stranger today. If I saw a stranger, I don’t know if I could even eat afterwards. Yet, you seem unaffected by it.”
“All she did was stare and stand there.”
“Was she still standing there when you and Mom got back?”
“No,” he shook his head. “She was nowhere to be seen. It was as if she vanished.”
“Do you think she ran away or hid?”
“I don’t know. We only saw two footprints, and the apple that I had dropped was gone.”
Finishing up her kabob, Xelu burped and said, “Well, she must’ve been hungry like us. I love eating apples, but after too many I have to eat something else.”
“Ugh…” He clutched his stomach with both hands. “When you’re full from one food, but starving for others. I hate that.”
“I know right!”
“It’s like I have a different tummy.”
“Remember when Mom wouldn’t let you eat any corn until you ate your hot greens?”
“That was the worst, and she tricked me too by putting meat in it. I told her I only wanted the meat.”
“Well, that’s the thing. Mom makes the rules and the food.”
“And Dad forces them down our gullets.”
They laughed at that. “Hey, which one do you want to eat tonight?” She pointed at the animals sitting atop the stone slab next to the fire.
“Naturally, I’d like to have a taste of both. They all look so good.”
“I knew you’d say something like that.” She grinned, “Your stomach’s always greedy.”
“Not as greedy as you wanting to win a game.”
“What do you mean?”
“You pushed me down today! It was because of you that I got it.”
“My bad. My bad. It won’t happen again. I could’ve hurt you because of that.”
“When you went to the river, Mom told me about how I shouldn’t have been so rough. She told me that you could’ve hit your head on a rock that was hiding beneath the grass. I don’t want you to get hit by anything.”
Taking in a deep sigh, he said, “I’m sorry for slapping you the way I did. I just wanted to make you feel the pain that I felt from when I got thrown down and tagged.”
“Yeah it does. Let’s stop making one another feel pain, together.”
After shaking hands, Zaria sat down next to them. Being hungry herself, she reached for the stone slab, but pulled back immediately as soon as the tips of her fingers felt the heat. Wafting her fingers and almost starting to cry she was picked up by their mother.
“What’s wrong baby?” She looked at her fingertips. Rubbing them she said, “Nothing’s wrong with you. You see?” Kissing her little hands, she placed her back down amongst her siblings. “Wait here, and we’ll get out the slabs.”