Hallucinations And A Rice Paddy (DP 6)

She woke well rested, though not entirely certain she had actually met the majestic feline. The whole encounter may have just been a dream, a product of the strange purple fruit she’d ingested the day before. The day ahead promised a heavy load of backbreaking labor, but she’d decided it best to record the results the previous day’s work and mark the passing of time.

Taking the canvas bag from its branchy perch, she hoisted it to her shoulder and flew down to the base of the tree.  Opening her pack she removed the morning’s rations, another slice of the unleavened bread. However this time she chose to leave out the purple fruit, opting instead for what she felt quite certain was a banana.

While nibbling away at her breakfast, she retrieved a large leather bound book and writing utensil from the depths of her bag. She ignored the first of the books pages, opening it instead to the very first blank page on which began to write.

Day One:  Arrived at the place of exile. A humongous leopard type creature named Eldred has informed me the land is called “The Midway.”  Discovered an orchard and ate a purple fruit, which may be responsible for this possible hallucination and its apparent ability to talk telepathically. Constructed a dwelling, it is made from the areas indigenous plants. It is well camouflaged. Located a cold spring a hundred yards or so off to the west, water is pure and drinkable.

With her notations made she placed the book and pen back into her bag and withdrew her hatchet. Carrying her burden, she followed her markers and set off toward the spring. She used her hatchet to cut away at the vines and other plants that barred her way. Creating a path wide enough that it would be easy for her to find; yet still narrow enough that the trail would not attract the attention of any unwanted company.

Much to her surprise she came across numerous patches of bamboo that she hadn’t seen on the previous day. The tall hollow stalks would make excellent flooring for her dwelling and if cultivated properly there would be enough to create numerous other buildings and possibly even a primitive water system. But that was a task for another day.

Drue gathered the branches and vines she had cut and piled them up not far from the spring, if there were any animals about they might make use of the material she didn’t need.  Replacing her hatchet and drawing out a garden trowel Druesilla set to enlarging the track of the springs run off.

The deeper she dug the more water exited the reservoir and pooled in a little valley creating a shallow pond. With the track for the piping dug out Drue wandered back along the trail and cut a single piece of bamboo with her hatchet. She carried it back and laid it inside the track allowing the water to use it as a tunnel to reach the valley pool.

The bamboo worked well and she covered it over with dirt, hiding her handiwork.  Then she turned her attention to the valley, now filled with water the paddock was made. She spent the remainder of the morning pulling grasses up from the bottom of the pond and sowing rice seeds in their place. The paddock ensured another food source; a woman could not be expected to live on fruit alone.

 With her work complete, she washed off in the spring, gathered her belongings and walked back to camp.  Lunch and a well deserved rest were in order. The afternoon would be spent digging a root cellar and weaving baskets to be used in the collection of food and storage.  There was no sign of the cat, she must have dreamt the whole thing. Animals didn’t talk. Although a small brown hare had crossed her path today, it stopped and looked at her for just a moment. Then it winked, wiggled its little brown nose and hopped off.

The End

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