In the time that follows he eats what he finds: water from where it runs, berries from the bushes, meat he and Dogo kill together in the forest. . .


Dogo chases prey toward him and he stabs them; or Dogo catches the animals alone and brings them back. This works well with ground birds, but there are not so many now since Dogo kills them so easily. He thrashes them by their necks in a plume of feathers until they no longer flutter.

Pyramie often goes to the tall grass and sits watching the trail where no one goes. The Follower remains there, rotting. He is used to the stink now. Most of the skin is gone, and the pulp beneath remains, along with the organs that rot and bloat and burst in the trail, and the flies.

One day Pyramie cut into a pink sac in the stomach and found green paste from the village. The sac connected to the intestine. He then peeled back the skin on the arms and pulled the cords beneath and the fingers moved. But that meat has since disappeared and he no longer bothers to inspect the corpse. He still uses it to attract prey. 

He sits trailside now, waiting and watching. There is a noise. Dogo growls. He motions and Dogo walks back to the moss opening. Then a large bush demons runs down trail. He whistles, and Dogo rushes in and mauls the animal from the side, avoiding the large tusks, pinning it to the dirt.

Pyramie quickly impales the squealing beast before it can hurt his dog. He carries it back to a tree by the opening and slaughters it. When he finishes, he throws hunks of meat to the dog. Then he removes the tusks and throws them in a pile with others and goes and stands on an overturned tree to finish eating the filet he cut from inside the back.

He is good at cutting the meat and knows which pieces he likes and which he doesn’t, and he knows which sections last longer and those that spoil quickly. It is those that spoil quickest that are most dear to him. They taste best.

While standing on the fallen tree, a flock of birds flies overhead as though fleeing from something. Some are only as big as the boy’s fist. Their chirping taunts him. He hoists the spear and follows.

Dogo sees how Pyramie poses and yelps in anticipation of another hunt. Then the boy throws the spear and misses. Dogo returns it, excited about killing. Pyramie misses again and waits for more birds to fly by. Sometimes he misses by very little, but no matter how many throws he makes, he cannot hit them and eventually gives up and Dogo lies down beside him.

After a time, Pyramie walks to his blind by the trail to learn if anything passes. He remains still, tapping the spear handle as he stares at the spot on the ground marked by blood and nothing else. Dogo is with him. They are quiet. They watch.

Suddenly, Pyramie jumps up. Dogo whines and runs in a circle. Pyramie walks into the trail by the blood. The spot stinks, but the body is gone. He searches for marks where it may have been dragged by an animal, but the marks begin and end and are gone – footprints. Dogo puts his nose to the trail and sniffs in the downslope direction. The tracks lead toward the village.

“They took him,” he says to the dog. Dogo runs off and returns. “We go to the village.”