(Day 109 on Tashoo)
I wasn’t certain how much the Aka’ knew about Rora’s pay as a garden guard, but I decided to assume they didn’t. “Great One, my master is paid only 50 akandoo a day to perform his duties as a guard at the gardens.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that several of the Aka’ looked suspiciously at the Ka’yno, especially Mu-Naka. However, he acted as if what I had revealed was common knowledge. “Yes, so?”
“I would ask that, because his duties will be increased since he will be guarding me and assisting on digging the ditch, you would give my master an increase in pay.”
“WHAT!? What makes you think that he should be paid more just because of increased duties?”
“Because, Great One, you are known for being magnanimous and caring toward your people.” It was with great difficulty I kept a straight face as I told such an obvious lie. But, the Ka’yno didn’t notice the sarcasm in my praise and puffed up a bit. I continued, “Plus since my master will actually be performing three duties, garden guard, ditch digger, and my guard, he will be much more willing to perform the extra duties if he is receiving extra pay.”
“How much of an increase are you asking for?”
“I would request a minimum payment of two ashurtan a day.”
“Two ashurtan a day? Have you lost your mind? What makes you think that he deserves that much pay?”
“I have already given my reasons. Perhaps we should ask the Aka’ if they think he deserves the increase in pay.”
After looking quickly at the glaring Aka’, he said, “No! After careful consideration, I believe what you are requesting for My-Rora is a fair amount of pay.” Turning to Rora, he said, “Effective immediately, you will start receiving an extra two ashurtan a day for your duties. Is there anything else you wish to discuss, Uany?”
“Actually, Great One, there are a couple of things. I noticed when I mentioned how much my master was paid to be a guard, all of the Aka’ looked at you in surprised shock. I assume that they thought he was being paid more than 50 akandoo a day. May I ask the Aka’ how much the normal pay is for that job?”
Sy-Ludy, the Ka’ of the Treasury, said, “The normal pay to be a guard is one Shurtan a day to start with increases of 50 akandoo a day every four months.”
I turned to Rora and asked him, “How long have you been a guard, Master?”
“I started guard duty on the eleventh anniversary of my birth.”
“So, you have been a guard for over two years? You should be making,” I thought for several athata before I continued with, “4 ashurtan, 50 akandoo a day, even my request of two ashurtan a day is less than you should be paid.”
Once again, the Aka’ glared at the Ka’yno. He said, “It must have been a clerical error. I must have failed to send the request for the increase to Ka’ Ludy. I will rectify it immediately.”
“And pay him his back pay?”
The Ka’yno looked quickly to his left and right before saying, “Yes. I will see to it that he gets his back pay; however, that would be a lot of money to pay him all at once.”
“Then, perhaps he would be willing to compromise. Perhaps the Aka’ would agree to pay him one-quarter of his back pay now and pay him one and a half times what he should be paid until the back pay is caught up. That would be 6 ashurtan, 75 akandoo a day, plus the extra two ashurtan that I had already suggested for his extra duties, making a total of 8 ashurtan, 75 akandoo a day. Is that agreeable?”
As he looked sideways at the Ka’yno, Sy-Ludy said, “It is the least we can do for the slight that My-Rora has had to endure for two years.”
I looked at Rora and saw the look of utter shock on his face as he contemplated how much money he would be receiving soon. Out of the side of my mouth, I whispered, “Thank them.”
Rora stammered, “I—I thank you, Ishoo’se Aka’ny, for—for your, for your ma—mag—magnanimous generosity.”
Mu-Naka said, “Sy-Ludy will calculate what is owed to you and you will receive the agreed-upon amount this evening, My-Rora. I believe you should consider thanking your slave for his concern over your financial well-being.”
“Yes, my Ka’. I will thank him appropriately after we return home today.”
Now completely irritated with me, the Ka’yno said, “What else do you wish to discuss, slave?”
“I realize I am just a Uany slave, but I would like the Ishoo’se Aka’ny to consider granting me a small stipend.”
“WHAT! Surely you are joking! Pay a slave to do a slave’s work? Are you out of your Uany mind?”
“No, Great One. I would not consider that as a possibility, simply because I will not be doing a slave’s work. I will be protecting Mory anohachy. Other than his mistress, a slave is not obligated to protect any other Mory anohachy, is he?”
There was a consensus of shaking heads as Mu-Naka said, “No. There is no Mory law requiring a slave to protect Mory anohachy other than his mistress.”
Re-Sheshoo turned to the Ka’yno and said, “Great One, I see no reason that we should not pay him. As he said, he will be protecting all of our anohachy.”
Sy-Ludy said, “What would you consider a fair payment?”
I said, “How about two ashurtan a day?”
The Ka’yno yelled, “NO! Two ashurtan a day is twice what a slave is worth.”
“Then, I accept your generous offer of one Shurtan a day.”
When he realized he had, once again, been tricked, the Ka’yno went livid. But, there was nothing he could say. He made the offer; I accepted it and the entire Ishoo’se Aka’ny were witnesses. “I will not agree to pay you for days you do not work, Uany. Therefore, your work schedule will determine how much you will be paid. Is there anything else you wish to discuss?”
“No, Great One. You have been more than fair with me and my master. You truly live up to the alternate title of ‘Great One’. You are truly a—great one.”
Seemingly immune to my platitudes this time, he glared at me and said, “Then be gone and take your master with you.”
Too-Thaty stood and said, “Great One, I wish to call for another vote. Since the Uany will need to spend time measuring the village, he should not be encumbered by having to have an escort follow him around. Therefore, I wish to confer upon him the rarely given right of unrestricted movement throughout the village without an escort.”
When Too-Thaty said this, every Aka’ on the Ishoo’se shouted their approval. The reaction made the Ka’yno nervous. He knew what the official vote would show, but he fell back on tradition and law. He had to make an official statement and call for the vote.
The Ka’yno said, “The Ishoo’se Aka’ny has heard Too-Thatyny request for a vote to give to the Uany slave the privilege of unrestricted unescorted movement throughout Talo-Vy. When I call for the vote, you will simply say yes or no. There will be no need for an explanation as to why you vote the way you vote. Understand that if you vote yes, you will be voting to give this privilege to the slave and if you vote no, you will be voting to deny this privilege to the slave. Do you understand the vote?”
All of the Aka’ nodded that they understood.
“I will now call your names. Vote yes or no.” The Ka’yno called each of the Aka’ by name and they made their vote known. I didn’t know how many yes votes I would need to be granted this privilege, but after the first four Aka’ voted yes, the Ka’yno paused for a couple of athata. The vote was four to zero in favor. The Ka’ Mu-Naka was next. During the Trial of Life or Death yesterday, he had been a strong proponent of mine.
“Mu-Naka, what is your vote?”
“Between the reaction of the Aka’ to Too-Thatyny suggestion and the fact that none of the Aka’ has so far voted against the suggestion, the vote shall be considered unanimous. The slave is granted the privilege to traverse the village without an escort. Ky-Kikoo, prepare the necessary documentation for the slave to carry with him.”
Turning to me, the Ka’yno said, “Slave, you have been granted a rare honor. This honor is so rare that I cannot remember it having ever been granted during my lifetime. Do not take advantage of this honor and attempt to leave the village without escort from a Mory chohachy without permission, my permission, or you will be killed upon your return. This is the only stipulation I am allowed to put upon your privilege. Do you understand what I have said?”
“Yes, Great One. I understand completely. However, may I ask a question?”
He looked at me as if to ask, “What is your question?”
“When I start measuring for the ditch, I will be at the edge of the village and gardens proper. Will that be considered leaving the village?”
Mu-Naka stood up and answered for the Ka’yno. “I am afraid that it would be considered leaving the village, especially since you will no doubt wish to start the measuring at the Katoorovodo Kachunoo and return there. Therefore, you will need an escort when you do these measurements.”
“I thank you, my Lord. Then, I will ask one more question of the Ishoo’se. Will my master be sufficient as an escort?”
Once again, Mu-Naka answered, “Yes. Any Mory chohachy of Talo-Vy can be considered a proper escort.”
“I thank you again, my Lord. Is there anything else that will be required of me today?”
The Ka’yno looked at the Aka’, turned to me, and said, “That will be all. When we are ready for you to start work on the mota, you will be summoned and Mu-Naka and five hundred Mory achohachy will be at your disposal. Use them wisely, slave, as Mory achohachy do not approve of having a Uany as their Ka’. Oh, there is one more thing you need to know. Should an enemy decide to attack during the construction of this mota; the achohachy under your guidance will be required to stop what they are doing and defend the village. Now leave.” This turned out to be a very strangely prophetic statement.
“Once again, I thank you for your kind generosity and I understand and accept the final stipulation, Great One. I will prepare for the work that will soon begin.”
With these last two statements, Rora, who had been almost perfectly silent during the meeting, and I left as is required of us.
When we returned to the anteroom, Rora turned to me and said, “Mvilu, do you really believe you can accomplish what you have suggested?”
“As long as there are sufficient shovels and a willingness to protect the village and anohachy, I can accomplish this and a whole lot more. I am counting on the Mory desire to protect anohachy at all costs to encourage the achohachy to listen to me, even if it is through Ka’ Mu-Naka.”
As we exited, Vamoo looked at us and smiled. He turned directly to me and nodded slightly. While I wasn't absolutely certain what that little nod meant, I had a feeling it was a very important signal that was reserved to only a very few in the village. As we headed out the front door, Vamoo stopped me and, while looking over his shoulder, said, “Mvilu, you impress me, and almost everyone else you have come in contact with, to be a very intelligent Uany. Perhaps you are too intelligent. The Ka’yno hates you with a hatred that is only reserved for the most feared and hated of enemies. So, his hatred is also fueled by fear. He fears you. The fact that you convinced the entire Ishoo'se Aka’ny to give you the privilege of unrestricted unescorted movement through the village has only fueled this fear and hatred. Take care. He will do anything he can to entrap and kill you. You are slowly starting to convince everyone on the Ishoo'se that you are ‘The One Who Will Unify’ and he fears that more than anything else about you.”
What Vamoo just said shocked and surprised me. How could he know what had just happened in the Ishoo'se Choko Aka'ny? I know that we hadn't spoken very loudly. Perhaps one day, I'll find out. However, I replied, “I thank you, my Lord, Cha-Vamoo. I will be careful.”
Rora and I left. As we walked home, he turned to me and said, “Mvilu, as Vamoo noted, you have impressed a great number of the residents of Talo-Vy, including the entire Ishoo'se Aka’ny. Your lack of fear impresses them more than your intelligence. While I agree with Vamoo, I also believe that your intelligence is what will be your saving grace. Use it to your advantage. Also, continue to assist everyone at every opportunity, especially the elderly and the anohachy. This is something else that the Mory respect, even in an enemy. The fact that the mota you are going to dig will protect the anohachy only proves how far you are willing to go to protect the anohachy of Talo-Vy. Since you, a Uany, are willing to protect Mory anohachy, the Mory-Talo-Vy will revere you as ‘The One Who Will Unify’. If you continue to do this, you will win more friends and allies than the Ka’yno can control.”
“Thank you for the information, Master Rora.”
“Vamoo is very impressed with you. He comes from a very powerful family. The Cha family has been living in this village almost as long as my family has.”
“But, your family is poor. Why are you not more powerful?”
“I am not certain. Perhaps it is because my norotha will not mate and bring forth more achohachy. Perhaps it is because she refuses the Ka’yno’s advances.” (The fact that Rora knew this still surprises me.) “It could be any number of reasons.”
“I am going to do whatever I can to help you and your norotha, Rora. As a matter of fact, I am going to start on it later today, after the nakyvo.”
Shortly after the nakyvo, a visitor arrived at Ara’s home and handed her a small package to give to me. I opened it and there was the paperwork I needed that would allow me unrestricted unescorted movement throughout the village. Ara was shocked to see this. Because she, too, couldn’t remember a slave ever being given such a privilege. When I told her the stipulation that the Ka’yno had put upon this privilege, she warned me about it being a trap, just as Rora had done. I assured her that I would not even approach the village perimeter without an escort and she seemed satisfied with my caution. I put the paperwork in the Etyma Jivekoo that Ara had had made for me shortly after I became an honored member of her household.
Right after I received the paperwork, Rora and I decided to go for a walk. I had some plans that I wanted to put into motion and I couldn’t do it from the confines of the house. As we walked, I looked on the ground for sticks and branches. I had decided right after Kyna had told me about the hunting tactics of the Mory that I was going to figure out how to manufacture a bow and quiver, some arrows, a spear, an atlatl, and a quiver for the spear. Then, I was going to convince Rora to take me hunting. If my idea worked, I knew I could provide our home, and possibly the homes of our neighbors, with enough meat to satisfy their need for protein that a strict vegetarian diet could not provide, even if the vegetables were high in protein content.
I had used my chronoputer to determine the best way of preparing the wood for everything I intend to make. One of the things suggested was to heat the wood in a smoker to remove most of the water in the wood and strengthen it. I even found plans to build a smoker that fit my needs. I had hand-drawn the plans and on one of my walks with Rora took them to the swordsmith and explained what I needed for him to do. He seemed a bit skeptical at what I told him I wanted, but after studying the plans for several athalloo, he told me that he could build it. After telling me he could build the smoker, he asked what I intended to use it for. I told him a half-truth and said that I would use it to cook meat in a manner that had probably never been used in Talo-Vy before. After I promised to give him some smoked meat, he started building the smoker. When I asked how much he would charge me to build the smoker, he said that, since I lived with Ara and he knew her situation, all he would ask is that I show him how to smoke the meat and allow him to manufacture and sell the smokers, if it worked. Since it meant that I would have absolutely no “out of pocket” expenses, I readily agreed to his payment requirement.
Ten days after I left the plans with the swordsmith, he sent word that the smoker was finished. When Rora and I picked up the smoker, the swordsmith offered me a large piece of Taojoo meat. He asked me to smoke the meat and allow him to try it. I took the meat and, after gathering the proper type of wood as determined by my chronoputer, smoked the meat. After I finished the meat, I took it back to the swordsmith. He cut off a piece of the Taojoo and put it into his mouth. Several athata later, he was overflowing with his praise of the flavor of the meat.
Today, I was ready to find the sticks and limbs that I would need soon to manufacture my hunting weapons. I was also collecting sticks to layout where I wanted the ditch to run.
As Rora and I walked, we happened to near the market area. This time it wasn't because he was trying to hide his intentions. We found Joola’s booth and approached. She was sincerely happy to see us. When we told her of my good fortune, she smiled happily and said, “Now you can visit Tyarza any time you want.”
I said, “She may not want me to visit. She seemed a little upset as all of you were leaving yesterday.”
“Believe me, Mvilu, she was happy for you. By the way, what did you say to her when you and Rora visited the day the Ka’yno tried to expel Rora from the village?”
“What do you mean, TaJoola?”
“Before that day, Tyarza was difficult. She was surly and angry all the time. She would do what she was required to do, but little more. Since that day, she has become a model slave. She asks what she can do to make things easier for us. She does more than is required of her. She prepares dishes that she remembers from her home for us to eat. But, most importantly, she sits and stares at the front door as if she is waiting for someone to come and visit. The only Uany visitor she has ever had was you, Mvilu, although I must admit that several neighbors have asked if she would be interested in mating with their male slaves. Every time this has been suggested, she has vehemently refused and in no uncertain terms. So, what did you say and do on that day?”
“I simply told her that her life, while not perfect, was not that bad. I asked her if your family had ever offered to do her physical harm in any way. I also told her that, during bad times, it is better to bend like grass in the wind than to be blown over like a tree. Oh, yes. I also asked her how she would feel if—uh, never mind.”
Joola thought for a couple of athata and then said, “The wind, grass, and tree is a good analogy. She seems to have taken it to heart. I hope so. She can be a very sweet nohachy.”
Putting some fruit into a bag, Joola added, “Here take some of these Nakooja fruits to Ara. I know she loves them and they are very good this time of year.” I call what Joola put the fruit into a bag, but it was more like a finely woven net with a drawstring than an actual bag.
Rora said, “Thank you, TaJoola. Norotha will appreciate them very much. How much do we owe you?”
“You do not owe me anything, Rora. You know that.”
He looked at her in a somewhat conspiratorial manner and, in an equally conspiratorial tone, whispered, “I can afford to pay now. Mvilu convinced the Ishoo'se Aka'ny to force the Ka'yno to increase my pay to six ashurtan a day.”
“Really! Well, congratulations, Rora. I guess I will have to start charging you the normal price for everything now.” A look of utter shock crossed Rora's face before Joola said, “I was just kidding, Rora. I know that six ashurtan still will not purchase much. So, please accept the fruit as my way of congratulating you on your good fortune.” She leaned close to Rora's ear and whispered, “Will half price for your purchases be acceptable?” Rora nodded. Joola added, “Good. I know how much pride you have, Rora. That is why I always offered you a chance to work off what you owe me.”
“I thank you, TaJoola.” He said.
During their conversation, I was looking around. Finally, I asked, “By the way, TaJoola, where is Tyarza today? She said she normally helps you at your booth, so I thought she would be here today.”
“She is at home. Kyta needed some help in preparing a new recipe. So, I told Tyarza to stay and assist her. I am sure if she knew you and Rora were going to be coming here she would have insisted on accompanying me.”
“I do not know, TaJoola. I want to believe you, but, as I said, I am afraid I may have upset her too much. She did not even say goodbye when you left TaArany home yesterday. Did she say anything to you last night about what I may have done to upset her?”
“The only thing she said about you was, 'Do you think Mvilu finds me attractive?' When I replied that I thought you did, she said, 'Then, why does he avoid touching me?' That, I had no answer for. I did not know you were avoiding touching her. Are you?”
“Well, I am not certain of the customs of—this area of Tashoo. I was not certain that it would be acceptable for me to touch her since she is promised to someone else.”
“I am not Uany, Mvilu. So, I do not know the customs of the Uany. I will ask her to understand that you meant no offense to her.” Leaning closer, Joola whispered into my ear, “I believe she is in love with you, Mvilu. But, she keeps her emotional attachments hidden. When we ask about her home, she changes the subject and will not say anything about her home other than to say she is from Zasho-Thoo.”
“Did she mention the chohachy to whom she is promised?”
“She has not said anything to Kyta or me about it.”
“On the day she and I met, she told me, in no uncertain terms, that she is promised to a chohachy who is a better chohachy by accident that I will ever be on purpose. That is all I know about her past myself.
“Thank you for any assistance, TaJoola. Rora and I must be going. I look forward to our next meeting.” I looked at Rora for assistance.
He nodded and said, “TaJoola, may your future bear you many arothoo and may your arothoo always honor you by providing for your old age.”
Joola replied, “And may you always be successful in your every endeavor.” (1)
Joola looked at me and smiled slightly after she replied to Rora's blessing and said, “I wish that you also are successful in your every endeavor, Mvilu.”
Although I wasn't certain why Joola had smiled, I had my suspicions. Rora, on the other hand, was completely unaware of the smile. After the exchange of blessings, Rora and I left.
As we walked back home, Rora asked me, “Mvilu, why are you collecting those sticks?”
I said, “I am hoping to do something that will help you and your norotha and, perhaps, our neighbors as well. I will tell you what it is when I know it will work. I am also collecting them to mark where I believe the mota should be dug.”
When we returned home, I went outside while Ara finished preparing the nakymoty. I took one of the strongest sticks and pushed it into the ground at an angle so that it showed no shadow. I had decided it was time to start learning about Tashoo. I had been playing with my chronoputer and relearned a few of its functions and one of them, naturally, is a timer. Because my body clock seems slightly out of sync with everyone around me, one thing I wanted to know is why. It's close, mind you, but it's still off. I knew the day on Tashoo had to be longer than on Terra, but it isn't much longer.
When I got the stick lined up correctly, I started the timer on my chronoputer. When I returned to the stick the next day, I was going to get as close as I could to the exact amount of shadow and stop the timer. I was guessing the day would be about twenty-five hours long. I was calculating this by the fact that my body's day seemed to be about one hour shorter than everybody else’s day here. After I started my timer, I got up and went back inside.
Shortly after we finished eating the nakymoty, we had a visitor. Ara answered the door and said, “Chitekuro, Ka' Mu-Naka. Please enter our humble home and grace us with your presence.”
“I wish my home was as luxurious as yours.” Came the reply in Ka' Mu-Naka’s voice. “Are Rora and Mvilu available?” He said as he entered our home.
“Yes, they are, my Ka'.” Turning she called over her shoulder, “Mvilu, Rora, Ka' Mu-Naka is here. He wishes to speak with you.”
Rora and I entered from the living room. “Chitekuro, my Ka'.” We said.
Mu-Naka led us to the dining table and we sat. He looked at Rora, then me. He had a slight smile on his face as he said, “Mvilu, did you have any idea what you were doing when you convinced the Ishoo'se Aka'ny to give Rora his back pay?”
“Only that I felt an injustice was being done to my master and I thought it should be corrected. Why do you ask?”
“Hoo-Kavy calculated the amount of back pay that Rora should receive. It totaled up to ^1904. One-quarter of that amount is ^476. Here is the amount that was agreed to be brought to Rora this evening.”
Ka' Mu-Naka produced one ^100 coin, four ^50 coins, seventeen ^10 coins, one ^5 coin and one ^1 coin from a small bag he had in his Etyma Jivekoo. When Ara and Rora saw the coins, they were dumbstruck.
Mu-Naka continued, “When he learned how much back pay the village owed Rora and how long it would take to pay it to him, the Ka'yno started cursing you to the eight winds, Mvilu. It will take the village 476 days to repay Rora because we are only repaying him at a rate of 3 ashurtan a day.”
“I am sorry the village has to suffer for what the Ka'yno did to my master, my Ka'. But, I am glad that the circumstances are being rectified.”
Mu-Naka stood and said, “I agree. The Ishoo'se Aka'ny was completely unaware of what the Ka'yno was doing to your master, Mvilu. But, there is little the Ka'yno can do. He refused to pay Rora properly and agreed to the repayment method, even though I believe he was tricked into the agreement.” Mu-Naka laughed quietly before continuing. “You are a very tricky Uany, Mvilu. I will have to be on my guard with you.”
“You do not have to worry about me tricking you, my Ka'. I treat those who earn my respect the way I would want them to treat me. It is only those who earn my scorn that I pull that type of trick on.”
Mu-Naka smiled and said, “I must be leaving. I will barely make it to the Suala Ka'ny before sunset. May the blessings of the Great Being be upon this house and all who reside here.”
We said, “We wish the same to you.”
After Mu-Naka left, Ara went to the kitchen to prepare our humble nakymoty. Despite her protestations, I followed her and, as best as she would allow, assisted her. Earlier in the day, while Rora and I were at the Suala Ka'ynony explaining how to protect the anohachy of Talo-Vy, Ara had received a relatively small allotment of two kilograms of Nakanaka meat. (2) Due to the fact that I had recently refused to eat a portion of broiled A'koony, (3) Ara had started cutting her meat allotment into cubes and making a stew so each of us could have at least a little meat protein. As a matter of fact, when I would dip out just vegetables and broth, she would give me an overtly dirty look and force several pieces of the meat on me by dipping them out and putting them into my bowl.
After the nakymoty, I assisted Ara in cleaning our few dishes and putting the left-over stew, our nakyvy, into the refrigeration unit. Despite the length of time I lived on Tashoo, I never did figure out how this, the freezing unit, and the lighting worked since they seemed to be built as part of the house and I saw absolutely no switches of any kind on the walls.
When we had finished cleaning up, Ara and I joined Rora in the family room where we chatted about our day for a short time. Ara even produced the first printed book I had seen since my arrival in Talo-Vy. Ara sat in her chair, tucked her feet under her, and read her book while Rora and I discussed the location and potential distance of the ditch. Seeing Ara tuck her feet underneath her as she sat caused me to smile slightly as I thought how much like a human she looked as she sat there despite her leonine face.
After about half a hi’nu of discussion, I excused myself and went to my room. I undressed, crawled under my furs, and, by the time the lights extinguished themselves, fell sound asleep.
1-In my time with the Mory, I learned they have a blessing for almost any situation. The most common and best known is the blessing to invite someone into your home.
2-The Nakanaka is a medium-sized animal about two and a half meters tall at the shoulder, about four meters long from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, and weighs about two hundred kilograms on the foot. Unlike most animals on Tashoo, it holds its head and neck almost parallel to the ground. It has a shaggy coat of dark blood red hair with light orange spots and dark gray-green stripes placed indiscriminately over the body. In fact, sometimes the stripes are vertical and sometimes they are horizontal. It has a squarish head with a wide mouth reminiscent of a hippopotamus’s mouth and long floppy ears reminiscent of a basset hound’s ears where the head starts to curve downward. It has blue-gray eyes with round pupils. On top of its head are three sets of antlers, one pair between the ears, one pair below the eyes which are located just in front of the ears, and one pair facing backward at the curve of the jaw. It has four legs that end in four-toed feet. From the knee down the legs are as dark gray as the bottom of the overhead trees. The dark gray runs along the bottom of the animal from the bottom jaw all the way to the tail and it is the same width as the distance between the legs. The tail, which is a lighter shade of red, is about one meter long and ends in a hard, bony tip with extremely sharp edges. It is believed that the tail, which seems almost prehensile, is used to protect the animal from attack by predators.
3-The A'koony is a relatively small herbivorous animal similar in many respects to a rabbit. The ears are long and conical. It has relatively long hind legs and shorter front legs, perhaps half the length of the rear legs. It has a short tail, perhaps one-tenth the length of the body which is approximately thirty-five centimeters long. The eyes are blue-gray in color with egg-shaped pupils, the rounded point of which is to the top of the head. The pelt is burgundy in color with light gray spots randomly placed about the body and a dark gray stripe down the back from the middle of the ears to the base of the tail. They weigh around one-and-a-quarter kilograms.