| The next night Jay made his way back to where he had seen the women and children. Quietly he got as close as he could, but still kept himself hidden. He counted five children of different ages, and seven women. There were also ten men. He listened carefully and tried to catch some of their words. They all spoke so softly he could not make out what they were saying. Two of the men seemed to be hunters. They had spears and he watched them put something on the point. Then the hunters left. In a short time they were back with a large tapir. Jay watched in amazement as several large cats came out of the jungle and seemed to be friendly with the ghost people. The women had cleaned the tapir and the entrails were given to the cats. The jaguar got most of them, but the ocelot and the jaguarundi also got some of them. Then the cats went back into the jungle as the hunters took the tapir away, toward the clearing where Jay was sure a fire was probably burning. He watched the tribe as the children ran from branch to branch, and woman talked and laughed amongst them selves. They seemed like most tribes, yet they were so different. They were so light skinned, they had brown hair that was so straight, and they lived in trees.
Every night for two weeks Jay watch these people. On the next night he went to his usual spot to watch, and realized there was no one around. The holes in the trees were void of people. They had gone. Where, he did not know. But they had all gone. He slowly went to each one and looked inside. It did not look like a human had lived there.. No sign of the people was left behind. He went back to the little clearing and no one was there either. The rainy season was almost over. Jay wondered if that was the only time these people ate meat. He also wondered where they had gone. He would have to start all over again watching for them.
At least Jay knew what to start looking for. He had also learned that traveling in the top of the trees was so much easier and faster than on the ground. His hunt for the ghost people started again, but with a different view this time. He would slowly move about in the trees at night. Always looking for places they might be. Always looking for the animals that he now knew might be close at hand. But the rainy season came to an end and another month besides, and still no sign of them.
Then early one evening Jay thought he could smell something. It was the sweet scent of flowers. Yet it was different. It had almost a sweet citrus smell. He remembered smelling that scent once before. Long ago when he was a boy with his mother in one of the tree holes. She had slept, but he was awake and had smelled it. He remembered that the scent was gone in the morning, and he had wondered if he had dreamt it. Well this time he knew he was not dreaming. He went in the direction of the smell. Before he could see the flowers, he knew he was getting close. He could hear soft childlike giggles. Slowly he crept forward until he saw them. The ghost people were all around a small tree on the ground. The tree was covered with bright white flowers. There were also bats around the tree. The ghost people did not seem to be bothered by the bats at all. They would wait until a bat had taken all the pollen it wanted from a flower. When the bat moved to a different flower, one of the ghost people would pick the petals off that flower and eat the petals. Some of the women had small baskets and were putting the petals in the baskets. Jay watched in amazement. He had never noticed that kind of small tree before. He had no idea what kind of tree it was. In less than an hour the small tree was void of flowers. The scent was also gone. The ghost people went back into the trees. From his perch on a high branch Jay could see where they headed. He waited a few minutes and then followed them.
They were not far away. In only an hour he had come to where they were living now. He knew he was deep in the jungle. That is one thing Jay always made sure he kept track of. Which direction he was going and how to find his way back. Jay kept far enough away from the ghost people to make sure he was not seen. Yet he was close enough to see they were in the trees up ahead of him. He looked at his surroundings so he could find a good place to hide and still observe. Then he left well before dawn.
The next night he was back and crept to the place he had chosen. He could see many holes in the trees. He also saw places that had branches stacked together like a nest. There were some ghost men still in some of the nests sleeping. This group of ghost people was large. Twice as large as the group he had watched before. He did recognize a couple of them tho. He thought this must be the main village. Every night for the next month he was there watching. He was even close enough this time to hear some of their words. The language they used seemed to be an ancient language. Some of the words he could remember from old chants his Grandfather had taught him. He thought they even meant the same, tho he was not real sure.
For another week he watched the people, yet he had a funny feeling himself. Like someone was watching him. He did not see anyone. He was also real careful about getting to his selected spot. Yet for the last several days he had this strange feeling. Finally he decided to go a little earlier and perhaps he could see what made him feel this way. It was not really dark yet. But he slowly and quietly went to his spot. He looked around and saw nothing. He was real still for the next twenty minutes. Then he saw a movement. High above his spot and across a small opening was a skinny, tall tree. Not large enough to have a hole in it yet. He had not watched that tree before because it did not fit what he knew the ghost people would be in. But there was someone in the top of that tree. Who ever it was, was looking right at Jay!
|music: Circle of Life|