The boy laid down to rest near the very back of the lean-to, gathering some leaves the two adult women had somehow strung together to act as a covering for sleep. There was no warmth in laying under the leaves, however, certainly nothing like luxuriating under a bearskin or a cover made from other furred animals. The boy thought about how trading worked in his old tribe. Hunters from other tribes located much further upriver from the tribe would visit during the late morning or early afternoon hours. They’d lay down some animal skin and then put what they wanted to trade on its clean surface. Then they would sit and wait for any interested tribal member to come by, bringing something to trade. There was little talk, as the dialects of differing languages spoken among the many tribes were distinctly different and there was no one to translate.

The wind was picking up as the late afternoon was turning into night. Aurora and Night Moon had both fires burning, although one would be extinguished before the full darkness of night came on. The boy breathed deeply in and out, finally realizing that the blanket he’d covered himself wasn’t made from leaves at all. It had to be beaten Yucca, as the aroma emanating out of it was a sweet carroty smell. The Yucca plants had been those most used by his tribe for making everything from rope to clothing and even substituting for soap when none of that rare product was available through trading.