Summer Growing, Stalker’s Day 4, Year of the Lion number 427
No sign of the bandits that killed those people and looted their wagon. It’s been several days – a moon’s phase. It seems the moon is leading me along as it moves further and further west as it wanes. I’ve never been one to study or watch the moon, but there is a certain fascination inherent in its ever-changing cycles.
I’ve stayed off the road. The tall grass has given way cultivated farmlands. Vast fields where rows and rows of plants are growing. Ordered and organized unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I see people, human men and women, working their way through these fields pulling weeds and checking the progress of the growing vegetables. I recognize most of the plants – grass-like wheat and amaranth, barley and oat, various beans, peppers, and tubers. In our small family farms back home, these plants are mixed and grow alongside each other. Here, each field is segmented and dedicated to only one specific type. It is strange.
And there are plants that are foreign to me. A large, thick-leafed plant whose color is darker than the others. I don’t see any type of vegetable growing in it. Another where the white, fluffy blossom is full of seeds. The workers in this field seem tasked to carefully pick the seeds out of the blossoms. Strange.
Other fields are fenced so that livestock, like cows, chickens, and horses, can graze but not run away. Smaller pens where docile, domesticated boars roll in the mud and cool themselves. I stay away from these as the odor is most offensive. But then, I stay out of site of the people working the fields as well. I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and they are not my kind. In fact, I see no Tabaxi at all. Just humans, though among them, there is notable variety: dark skinned, light skinned, and medium skinned, old, young, tall, and short.
Alas, my supplies are nearly exhausted. I’ve been away from home for more than a full phase of the moon, and I haven’t seen anything worth hunting for the last three days. I am going to have to step out into the light and make myself known to these people. I don’t want to depend upon their charity, but perhaps there is something I can do. And, more importantly, perhaps they will accept me into their midst.
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