Once, we wandered. A tribe as small and as tight as any. We ate what we killed, flavored with what we gathered.

We were giants on the land, in those days.

Meat and milk and honey make warrior’s bodies.

We were going to outgrow our range all along. We met with other tribes, we grew naturally within ourselves. We had lots of relations, as was our wont. There was not enough meat and milk and honey to feed all of those who wanted it.

Hungry mouths, asking to be fed. Hungry mouths, demanding to grow up with warrior’s bodies. What could we do?

Some grew grain. Not as nutritious, not able to grow or support the warrior in the same way. But there were so many hungry mouths. Of course there were bad teeth in some of those mouths, but such was the price of feeding them all. So hungry. So demanding. Their cries could not be ignored.

The old range was no good for grain, only for cattle. It took careful husbandry to maintain the herds, so the few who kept to the old ways could all eat meat and milk and honey. And most of them had warrior’s bodies, like kings in the old stories. The mightiest could be mistaken for a mountain range, they say.

The grain-growers said it was old-fashioned to sacrifice lives and labor for food. They called it exploitation, called it elitism. They pointed to the small group of those who kept to the old ways and called them the most offensive names they could think of. They turned to the hungry mouths and told the mouths to laugh at the old fossils. They also hinted that those strong bodies might be prone to violence, pointing the finger away from the criminals in their own midst who took advantage of the anonymity of the crowd.

The wanderers shrugged their mighty shoulders and took care of their own. From time to time, someone who understood would come along, someone who had no taste in their mouth for grain no matter their hunger. Someone who knew that meat and milk and honey were worth the blood and sweat and stings.

And they were welcome.

About Sparrowhawk

From the West Coast of the United States. Prefers to be a poet but will occasionally exhibit signs of madness and death. Everything is apparent for those who have eyes to see.
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