How we struggled to slay the huge beast,
digging a deep pit, covering it with twigs,
waiting for the mastodon to be lured inside--
then the sudden crash and panic of the mammoth,
and the frantic, exhausting, messy business
of slaughter. Days of toil--hacking away
with crude, blunt tools; sweat dripping
into the eyes, masses of blood and maw,
drenching the ground, soaking the soil--
but above all the heady smell of gore.
The shouts, the grunts, the backbreaking effort,
the pounding, clubbing, stabbing, cleaving,
finally ending with the leaning, heaving,
panting beast collapsed, drained of life.
What a long, painful ordeal it was.
Later, how we would sit around the fire,
sharing our kill, gorging for days until sick.
Then drying the meat into thin, long strips,
we would move on. The skin, tusks, hair,
vaunted by the braves, all coming handy.
After many a winter of untold hardships,
our hearts heavy with age, famine, sickness,
and death, we would recall our great acts
and celebrate the glory of the human race.
|Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape|