After almost a year had passed, Jay was thought to be ready to join the tribe completely.  But they would wait until after the rainy season. He had learned so much in the last year, yet he still knew so little. But today he was learning what happens when someone dies. The old one, Puma, had died in her sleep. She would be missed. Jay would miss her also.  He had spent much time with Puma, for she knew much and he wanted to learn everything. The time of mourning is short in this climate. The women of the tribe cleaned her and dressed her in her best clothes and jewelry. Then she was put in a fetal position and bound with vines. Then wrapped in leaves and bound again.  They took her to a place that had been made ready. The young boys had dug a hole and Puma was placed in it. Then the dirt was placed back in the hole. Then they planted a small fruit tree on top of the dirt. There was much chanting and singing. The family wept quietly, and Jay wept also. Puma was almost like a Mother to him and he thought of his own Mother. He thought to himself it was funny that he had not missed her until now. But he had been so busy trying to learn that he had not really had time to miss her or his family.
     After the chanting was done, the rest of the tribe took the family to where meat was being cooked.  There were four parrots, two oscellated turkeys, and a large tapir roasting in the fire. Everyone ate and ate until they could eat no more. Then the rest of the meat was taken off the bones and placed in small piles near several cats that had come out of the jungle. Jay watched as a Margay slowly walked to a small pile of meat and ate it. Then the Margay went back into the jungle. Jay watched as a Jaguar, Kodkod, and Ocelot did the same thing. One by one the cats would come out of the jungle and eat some meat they were given, then return to the jungle.  Finally all the meat was gone and the bones were wrapped in leaves, then a young lad took the bundle and tossed it into the river. When the people went back to the village, there was no sign of a fire or feast left behind.
     Finally it was time to honor the Great Mystery and bring Jay into the tribe. It was only now that Jay learned he had been under guard all this time.  He had not even thought about it before. But when they said he no longer needed to be guarded, he realized that he had never been left alone.  There had always been someone with him that had a knife or spear. But he had not felt threatened. This tribe seemed like a peace loving people. Yet now when he looked into their eyes, he knew that they would have killed him had they thought they needed to. It was a bit of a shock to him. Yet he knew it was the right thing. They would have had to protect their people.
     It was at this celebration that the history of the tribe was to be retold. Most of the people already knew it by heart. But it was one of the things Jay wanted to learn. He listened as Cohezel told of the ancients long journey from the land of ice and snow to where they are now. He heard how the Great Mystery had told the people to find the trees and live in them.  He finally learned why they were here. They were given the secrets of the plants. They were told by the Great Mystery how to use the plants and what each was for. They were to keep this secret with the help of the jungle cats until the other people of the earth were ready to listen. They must protect the jungle and animals until it was time to let other people have the secrets. Three times there would be someone from the other people join the tribe. Then after the third person joined the tribe, the other people of the earth would finally be ready to listen to the secrets of the plants.
     To have an outsider join the tribe was important for keeping the tribe strong. Outside blood was needed once in a while. Jay was large and strong and would be a good asset to the blood lines of this tribe. He also learned that there were tribes from time to time that had a strange practice of leaving a newborn as a sacrifice to their jungle gods. When they did this, the newborns were always brought into this tribe and raised as one of their own. This also brought in new blood for the strength of the tribe. When the celebration was finally over, Jay had learned a lot and was now a full member of the tribe. He was well pleased. He knew this was where he was meant to be.
     A few months later one of the young girls came into the village after gathering some fruit, and was all excited. She had seen a woman in one of the tree holes and that woman looked like Jay.  Jay was told right away and when they told him which hole, he knew it must be his Mother. He told them who he thought it was and ask if he could go see her. Cohezel knew that Oncilla and Tucan had learned Jay's language from him. He said they would have to go with him and make sure the village was  not put in any danger.  Jay understood and agreed.
music: Lionduer