Lesson 2 - The Piraruma - Arapaima/Black Caiman
There was an optional, "write a short description of your creature" portion of this assignment, and I needed to do it. When you guys have read Seen and Unseen, you'll know why. 


 The Tale of the Piraruma

Come, children. Come. Sit, and I will tell you a story of the first rain.

Many years ago, when the land was lush but never changed much, there was a great ape warrior, long of limb and strong of body. He lived in the forest and knew no fear. One day, while making his offering at the wooden altar, he stopped and stared at the delicious fruits and meats that he had laid upon it, and he wondered.

I have bested the great cat and long snake. I have slain the brave boar and outrun the fleet deer. Why do I give the best of my earnings to the Gods?

The warrior climbed to the tallest tree in the forest. His eyes came to rest upon the distant, cloud-covered mountains. The warrior shouted to the Gods and demanded a fight, a fair fight where he could prove that he could defeat all challengers, even the Gods. If he won, he would keep his offerings for himself.

But the Gods, my children, the Gods never play fair.

They stirred their arms and dark clouds gathered in the sky. It began to rain, a rain the land had never seen before, a rain that didn’t stop. The warrior was undisturbed. He remained on the tree, and he shouted his challenge for three moons.

But the Gods, my children, the Gods never play fair.

They gathered sinuous vines and wove a strong frame. Sharp thorns and hard stones did they then attach to the frame. The warrior knew nothing of the God's doing. He saw only the rain and never realized it’s intent. For one day more, he barked his challenge.

But the Gods, my children, the Gods never play fair.

They knelt by their creation and breathed life into its wooden lungs. Its body became flesh and as it drew its first breath of humid air. The Gods told it of its purpose. Without a sound, it slipped into the water.

And then the Gods, my children, the Gods spoke to the warrior.

“We have heard your challenge” they boomed as a gust of wind blew downwards, “and you have your answer.”

The warrior, tired and thirsty from shouting, looked down to what should have been a moist forest floor, covered in leaves, but instead saw a vast flood extending to the horizon. And in those murky waters was the creature – spines of thorn, scales of stone, a promise of death. For the first time, the warrior felt fear in his heart and looked to the Gods for he knew he had erred. But before he could speak, the Gods had vanished.

And that, my children, is why we must always stay in the trees and mind the water, especially after it rains. 


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