Monday, 19 November 2007

Chinchorro teaching


He’s growing strong and clever now
our little one
This morning he played hidey
on the shore

Between the bushes stalking me
collecting pool meat
Jumping out to startle silently retreating
to re-start
the game which once he learns it well
will keep him fed

Yesterday he caught a little cui
and brought it back
I showed him how to kill and skin and now he wears it
as a trophy
on the belt his father fashioned

All day he’s finding crabs for me to catch
and screeching me
He has his father’s ways and will not let them nip
his little fingers

I’m showing him the way to carve a stone
to make it sharp
but he’s impatient to be running
round and round
disturbing sea birds in their nesting

I tell him to be silent and to wait
to take their eggs
I say how good they are to suck still warm
He can’t remember

I say If you disturb them they won’t nest
We’ll lose their food
I tell him You can have a baby bird
to keep as yours
once its feathers have all grown

Tied by one leg it will look to you for food
and let you stroke it
as you stroked the little cui along the river

until we needed it to eat

copyright 1997 Charlotte Peters Rock

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