Chapter Six – Jacques, the Modern Explorer

Falling from a cliff

Portaging the waterfalls.

Poor Jacques, just recovering from some awful illness, banned from his familiar  comfortable easy society and suffering such hardships just to see the Pacific Ocean or the Big Waters as Spotted Eagle said.  He was sure he’d hit rock-bottom. Nothing could get worse.

That is until he saw the actual rocks.  Folks, if you’re from flat lands, nothing can compare to the awe and fear you experience first seeing those colossal pile of rocks that tower above the clouds.  Jacques would have turned around, right then and there, if he’d had any place to go.  But he didn’t.

“We have to go through those?”  He could barely speak and his voice was shaky.

He would have felt like an ant might with a human foot moving beside him.  But he didn’t because he had never seen an ant. Ants had their designated place too and it wasn’t with humans.  For some reason or other, the lofty, superior government hadn’t figured out a way to train ants not to bite.

“Are there hospitals in there?”  He hoped they would get by these towering mountains he could see and then there would be valleys of flat plains again.

“Yeah, lots a villages and medicine men, scattered about in the valleys.”  Spotted Eagle was laughing again. “You scared little man?”

Jacques was very irritated. He started his ‘ohm’ to settle down as he’d been taught.   Inside civilization Spotted Eagle would be severely punished.  All he did was make fun of Jacques and was downright mean. Bullies were not tolerated inside.

“It’s okay, the rivers are flat.”  Spotted Eagle lowered his voice, sounding almost soothing.

“Until we gotta cross the waterfalls poppa,”  Little Bob piped up.  He was smiling but at least he wasn’t laughing.

“Waterfalls?  How do we do that?”  Jacques had visions of plunging down cliffs in raging waters. Or did water climb the mountains?

“Some of our more brave attempt the water-slides provided inside. Like that?” He had never had any desire to do that, yet some claimed it was fun.

“Yeah, something like that.”  But Jacques knew Spotted Eagle was making fun of him again.

Then he spotted an Eagle, soaring up and swooping down and everything was forgotten.  It was an amazing sight.


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