10,000 Years Ago: The Ice Age has ended. The climate is warming. Large game animals are becoming rare. Wandering tribes battle for prime hunting territory on a narrowing peninsula between encroaching seas.
* * *
To a few of the Prairie People, the limping Old One is still a hero. They remember when they were children and captured in the Raid of the Strangers and how he charged through a rain of spears to rescue them. But time and injury have taken their toll. The aged hunter has reached the end of his usefulness – except, perhaps, for teaching the young how to snare rabbits and squirrels. The Strong One wants him gone. Even his own vision spirit advises him that it would be better to end his days as a lone roamer than to remain a burden to the Village.
But as he plans his silent departure, he sees that the Strong One means to take his only female apprentice as a mate – even though it is clear the brave girl is drawn to another and would never freely give herself to the cruel leader.
One morning, a trumpeting roar fills the Prairie, the cry of a vanished animal only the Old One can name. The Hunters are curious but skeptical . . . and then the Strangers return.
A moving tale of courage, connection, and the power of story set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing environment and the extinction of a species.