Con Verse Lea; Chapter 7, Takano 61

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 7:  Takano 61
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 120

Realizing that she was going to have to learn a great deal about living outside, Tommy followed Lauren.  The inveterate teacher showed the three leaders how to identify and harvest the edible portions of their three crops, and suggested they have their people work outward from the road so that the reaping would produce satisfactory space for everyone to camp.

The crops, Lauren said, would mostly grow back were they picked such that the roots and inedible portions were left behind.

Then, as Varlax, Gram, and Torin were teaching others to teach others, she said, “You and I should eat while there’s still food close to the road.  Help yourself?”

Tommy wasn’t certain that a breakfast of rabbit food would be adequate, and particularly as it occurred to her that this would be lunch and dinner today as well.  She commented on it.  “How long are we going to be eating salads for every meal?”

Lauren looked at her, and sang some song Tommy did not recognize.  The words began, “Then the quail came,” and continued to suggest that they should be grateful they had food at all.

“What’s that mean?”  Tommy asked.

Lauren sighed and sat on the ground in the midst of the spinach.

“When God delivered Israel from Egypt, and they had crossed the Red Sea, they spent a generation wandering in the relatively barren wilderness.  The word for wilderness meant, if I remember correctly, a place where nobody lives, a lonesome place.  They complained that they had no food, and God answered by giving them the mana from heaven--and the word mana means something like ‘what is it?’, that they were never quite certain what it was that they were gathering and eating, but it kept them fed.  Still, it was mana for breakfast, mana for lunch, mana for dinner, and the next morning they were out in the open spaces gathering enough mana to feed their families for another day, God providing food for them one day at a time.  Then they complained that they were sick of mana, that they wanted something else.  God was unhappy with their complaining, but apparently He understood the complaint, and the next day the wind shifted, blew strongly, and brought thousands upon thousands of quail down upon the Israelites, pelting them with fresh poultry.  They cooked and ate these, but they did not complain again about wanting something else to eat for many years.”

She plucked a bit of spinach and held it in front of her face, staring at it.

“You are complaining because this morning you have to eat salad, and you foresee eating it again tonight and tomorrow, and you don’t know what else you might get to eat or when.  God has given us food for a hundred people, and we should be grateful that we can eat anything at all, and trust that He will continue to provide food.  Maybe it will be spinach, broccoli, and peapods for a while, but we don’t know that.  Berries should be coming soon, and tomatoes and green beans and corn.  Before we eat meat again we’re going to have to teach these people to build fires and cook food, and that without pots and pans--unless you like sushi.”

Lauren smiled at the joke; despite her Japanese heritage, Tommy did not eat sushi.  She joked back, “Or steak tartar.”

“Or steak tartar,” Lauren agreed with a teasing smile.

They smiled at each other for a moment, then Lauren said, “Let’s finish eating and mark out our own camp here.  I’d like to have the corner of the spinach patch by the crossroad.  I think that the plucked spinach will be the least uncomfortable ground, and it will put us in the center where we’ll be most accessible and easiest to find.  Then once we’re set up here, we should use the open road space for some martial arts training.”

Yes, there was that.  It had been a few days, and Tommy needed the workout.

“Also, you might want to put one of your graffiti symbols next to the door.  We don’t know how many warehouses look like this, and we might sometime want to find our way back.”

Next chapter:  Chapter 8:  Beam 121
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #460:  Versers Reorganize.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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