As La Pedrita finished
dressing him, Rocker could feel that he was about to be
formally presented to someone, or something. He also had
a sense of change. Big change like the world could never
be the same type of change. He looked around the hut and
began to inventory the contents for anthropological
He had been right last
night. The chests at the ends of the sleeping mat were
for personal use. His clothes and belongings had been
placed in one and the other seemed to contain,
essentially, toiletries. The bandages, herbs and salves
were also in that chest. The pottery was magnificent,
well painted and well glazed. The carving on the jugs
and pots was intricate indicating a high level of
artisan detail. The dwelling was very primitive but
ergonomic, comfortable, and hygienic. Rocker thought of
the Greeks: “A place for everything and everything in
The color from the jungle
outside brightly highlighted every aspect of the
interior design of the hut’s space. Some of the
principles of engineering used in constructing and
ventilating the hut were quite advanced. Rocker wondered
if this was from contemporary contamination of outside
science or if what he was seeing was developed
indigently in some antiquity of tribal history.
The textiles that richly
decorated most areas of the hut showed great
craftsmanship. The colors of the jungle were woven into
everything: mats, tapestries, scarves, headdresses,
baskets, dresses and serapes. Colorfully caricatured
blankets covered the interior walls of the hut creating
an artistic view of a tropical valley of lush jungle,
animals, birds and fruit.
La Pedrita had silently
withdrawn when she noticed Rocker begin to move around.
Now she reappeared at the thatched door opening with a
plate of food, already prepared. Beans, rice and a
muffin like maze product was served with eggs, flipped
and covered in a rich red salsa. He noticed there was no
meat with the breakfast but he could taste lard, or some
kind of animal’s fat as an ingredient. The entire plate
was sprinkled with white cheese, probably goat.
First class service
thought Rocker as Pedrita poured a glass of fruit juice.
When a young native boy brought a steaming coffee like
beverage, Rocker wondered if he should offer a tip or
simply a gracious thank you. A smile was all it took
from Rocker to leave the boy awkwardly backing out of
the hut with a wide grin. Rocker turned to La Pedrita
and spoke in the same Spanish as before, “Where is the
leader of your tribe?”
She answered, again with
lowered eyes, “The Feathered One, El Luz Caminante is
coming, my Lord, to meet you after you have eaten. My
Lady, La Cenisa, Queen of the Chapeck Aneal, wishes to
speak with you after her Father.”
“Rocker, not ‘my Lord’,
do you hear me?” Rocker told her again.
“Yes, my Lord.” She
replied, and even dared a mischievous smile herself and
for a brief moment met his eyes.
Rocker was comfortable
with her glance. He felt a bond, he did not know why,
but he felt a strong bond with this young maiden. The
deference all the natives were paying him was a little
overbearing and this girl seemed to respect him but at
the same time he felt as if she were his equal by her
bearing. He ate with vigor despite his injuries. He
smiled briefly as he thought of that lost lunch he had
brought on the plane. The native food seemed to provide
much better fare and he finished the plate of food a
little too quickly.
La Pedrita offered to
bring more and Rocker smiled again and said no thank
you. The portions had been more than adequate. He was
satisfied. Pedra, as La Pedrita was nicknamed, cleaned
away his dishes, and he lay back on the soft mat. The
dizziness had returned. A mild concussion would not be
out of the ordinary based on the bruises and contusions
around the head.
nature was just getting warmed up. As he lay on the mat
he reviewed what had happened. He remembered seeing the
huts just before impact. From the air they were almost
invisible but as he flew low and at just the right
angle, Rocker had seen the camouflaged village. It
looked totally grey, unobtrusive, blending with the
thatch floor of the jungle and its paths. As Rocker
continued to contemplate the situation he drifted off to
The Feathered One pulled
back the hide that covered the thatch opening into
Rocker’s hut. He saw that Rocker was sleeping and that
Pedra sat in the corner, in her usual inconspicuous
manner. He entered the hut. As his bodyguards tried to
follow, the Chief waved them back. Pedra was more than
enough protection against an injured guero.
Rocker opened his eyes as
the Chief entered the hut. He had always slept lightly
enough to sense the presence of others entering a room.
He sat up and bowed his upper body. In the Spanish they
had been using Rocker greeted the Chief in peace and
introduced himself, by name and profession. “I am James
Duncan, sometimes called Space Rocker. I am a Professor
of Anthropology, Archeology and Physics in Texas. May
God grant you peace.”
“I am The Feathered One,
The Light Walker, Chief of the Chapeck Aneal. I welcome
you James Duncan, Space Rocker, Professor of Texas.
Travel safely through the Universe. More safely I should
say. Are you feeling better after your rough arrival?
That was quite a crash to have survived without
significant injury. The Gods favor you.” The Chief
looked at Rocker with a perplexed expression and paused
in his speaking.