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The Myth of Kyrrell Swamp – Chapter 1 Part 6 (End) September 6, 2009

Posted by Yarnspnr in The Myth of Kyrrell Swamp - Chapter 1.
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The wailing of the newborn infant
is mingled with the dirge for the dead


CHAPTER I.6:  Birthin’ in Thelra  (End)

© D. Erick Emert


The day after, as mama and papa rested from the hectic birthing, an expected villager paid a visit. Jalleli helped her into their stead from the access pole.

“Shammtu how good ta see ya! We are x’cited n x’pectin’ your visit.”

Shammtu crafted the silver Cord symbols worn around the necks of all Thelra’s villagers.

“Is my pleasure, Jalleli, as always,” Shammtu smiled.

She sat down on a floor mat next to Gilrrie as Jalleli collected her baby from the crepea, a high-sided hammock strung above Jalleli’s sleeping pad. The little girl slept through the commotion. Gilrrie helped his Cord sister, still a bit tender from her ordeal, squat down on the floor mat.

“Whatta wondrous day for Rirchet n Lobot alike! Must be sumthin’ special ’bout your hira, Jalleli, for the Elder ta recite the God Firetale.”

“Thank ya, Shammtu. We have no idea why he chose ta do so. I hope ya had an ‘njoyable time,” said Gilrrie.

“Yes, for sure. Mayhaps a bit too much latzu passed these lips tho.” Everyone laughed. “Ya will have ta be careful ’bout the name ya select for such a unique quacha.”

Jalleli and Gilrrie looked at each other and at their little hira. You may wonder why her name had not been given yet. Vigroth babies received their true names later in life, sometime between their fourth and seventh year. Parents considered names personal. They watched a child grow and develop before deciding on a name. Names chosen reflected the nature of the child, some physical characteristic, or a noticeable habit that the child developed. Until then parents referred to them as hira, if a girl, or karne, if a boy.

Shammtu reached into her belt pouch and removed an object wrapped in brown mouse-like melna fur along with a small strand of leather.

“I su’pose ya know what this is,” she quipped.

The new parents both nodded their heads in anticipation. They had seen the Lobot Cord symbol, a silver wolf head with gleaming red ruby eyes that hung around the neck of the son of Onnoix and Treptca of the Keisha Cord. But this one belonged to their own child.

Shammtu unwrapped it and handed it to Jalleli.

“Ohhh is strikin’, Shammtu. Ya work true wonders with metal.”

She turned the silver wolf’s head, intricate to the last detail, over and over between her fingers.

“Thank you, Jalleli,” Shammtu said while handing her the small cord. “I’m glad ya ‘preciate my ef’orts.”

Jalleli passed it to Gilrrie who attached it to the simple leather cord and placed it over his daughter’s head.

“For you, hira. Forever.”

The silver Lobot Cord symbol remained around her neck throughout the girl’s life. Gilrrie, as any proud father would, smiled his approval. Their daughter’s birthing stood complete.


Thelra celebrated a new life. Death, however, continued being an ever-present fact in the Great Weald. Some time after the birth of her child, Jalleli and her Cord sisters Ciattie and the melodious Gauggan worked at gathering gutamar roots deep in the Weald west of Thelra. Returning to their village a Summanari hunting party ambushed them. Ciattie and Gauggan died in an instant as purple-banded shafts found their marks. Jalleli took a shaft in her midsection, which by some stroke of fortune missed her vital organs.

Left for dead by her attackers, Scakkif and Gilrrie found Jalleli only moments later, alerted by the instant throbbing pains that shot through their own bodies. Gilrrie removed the shaft and dressed the wound. The two Cord brothers carried her to Jacattou and Lopptyrie, the village planters, who applied their healing herbs, danced and sang the fever from her body with the help of her remaining Cord family. Jalleli would live and though her month’s cycle would continue, she would birth no more children. I’ll not go into detail here concerning the deaths of these Rirchet Cord members because theirs is not the story being told. But it stands as an example of how Circle, the natural religion of the Vigroth, continued to turn its wheel in the deep rainforest of the south Weald. Life and death danced together as they always had and always would.



1. sputnitsa - September 7, 2009

I like how Death isn’t left out of the cycle, even as birth is celebrated. It adds a dimension to the story, a natural rhythm that’s true to life. 🙂

2. Yarnspnr - September 8, 2009

Whenever you’re dealing with an aboriginal people, death and life are closely related. Whether they call it ‘circle’ or ‘the wheel’ or ‘the wheel of life,’ it’s all very much the same thing. Nancy Wood wrote a great poem about the circle of life where she says Native Americans take note that they survive because they eat the birds of the air, the fish from the waters and the beasts of the land. When they die, their bodies offer sustenance to some of these same creatures along with other species. Hence there is no great fear of death among these peoples such as we westerners have. Many tribes also believe in a path that will bring their dead back to life in their tribe again. This truly completes the wheel.

3. sputnitsa - September 8, 2009

I like that–birds of the air, fish of the waters and beasts of the land. I like that. 🙂

4. Yarnspnr - September 8, 2009

Well, we are a carnivorous people, aren’t we? 🙂

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