Con Verse Lea; Chapter 78, Takano 81

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 78:  Takano 81
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 154

The next few weeks were flowing smoothly.  Periodically Lauren would introduce Tommy to some new food.  There were raspberries and blueberries growing wild in the woods, and freshwater mussels from the shallows of the lakeshore.  They were forced to widen their hunting grounds, simply because the number of hunters was greater than the amount of game.  But they had duck, and goose, and several other varieties of waterfowl, and one day Lauren managed to catch and kill a large snapper turtle, something she said she had never cooked or eaten but knew that people did because one of the restaurants back home served snapper soup.  They made some guesses about how to clean this, setting aside some scraps for chum, and made soup with some scallions for greens and flavor.  Also, they cleaned the shell and dried it in the sun in the hope that it would be a useful utensil in the future.

Lauren also continued working their way slowly through John’s Gospel, week by week.  Tommy continued reading, both focusing on the passages from which Lauren was teaching and pushing her way through the Old Testament.

Their expanded foraging area revealed a few abandoned fruit trees, mostly apples but also crab apples, pears, and a peach tree and a plum tree.  The fruit was not yet ripe, but Lauren said they should keep an eye on these, because when the fruit ripened it would be a feast for a very short season, and a harbinger of food shortages to come.  There would also be nuts, but be careful and don’t eat the acorns.  Lauren was less certain about nuts, but said she was pretty sure that chestnuts and walnuts grew wild.

Lauren also built a large pottery shell.  “We had one of these back in the parakeet valley,” she said.  “Joe made it, and it did an excellent job of reflecting heat from our fire at our nest.”  She also decided that once she had succeeded she should teach the same skills to their leaders, because she was fairly certain there would be a cold enough winter that they were going to want everything they could get to keep warm.  Having once died of exposure, Tommy agreed.

She also started teaching Tommy and the others how she made the rather primitive leather she had been using to thicken the roof and sides of their nests.  It wasn’t very good leather, which Lauren herself admitted, but she said it was the best she had been able to do so far, and the others would find these primitive leathers useful and might even be able to improve on them.

Tommy made the point that they were wasting a lot of feathers, and Lauren agreed.  “But,” she said, “I’m not at all sure how to use them, since we don’t really have any way to sew pillows or mattresses or quilted coats.  I don’t even have a bag in which to store them.  We might cut leather strips and stitch together sheets of leather, but that’s tricky work with a knife, and we don’t have scissors or big needles.  But it is something to consider--particularly since birds are probably going to be a significant part of our winter diet.  But I don’t know whether we can do more with feathers than line our nests at this point.”

“Still,” Tommy said, “lining the nests with feathers might be a good idea.”

Lauren agreed, so Tommy started collecting feathers and using them to thicken the floor and walls of the interior of the nest.  She was glad she wasn’t allergic to them.

Next chapter:  Chapter 79:  Hastings 252
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 #472:  Versers Vanish.  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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