'Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.'
- Native American Indian saying -
Extract from Chapter 5: Return to camp
Carrying both Mañana and the wounded eaglet back to the camp, Habby realises that despite the late hour he must call a meeting of the elders to discuss this new situation.
Mañana had lost all track of time, since she had begun her healing of the eagle. She surmised it must be easily four hours since she had fallen into the ravine and at least three since complete darkness had fallen. One thing of which she was certain though, was that it was getting colder by the minute. She had lain down, cuddled up to the bird to share their body warmth, and although it helped a little, she knew it would not be enough to keep them both warm through the night. She knew her father would now be looking for her, she just hoped help would arrive before the cold killed both of them.
She had thought about climbing out of the ravine and making her own way back to the camp but she immediately rejected that idea, as she could easily get lost in the dark, or lose her footing once more and end up worse than she was now. There was also the question of her patient. If she left the eaglet alone, the cold would undoubtedly kill him in a few hours.
To keep the cold at bay, she had taken to doing some exercises. Every 10 minutes or so, she would get up and jump up and down, waving her arms and stamping her feet. Whenever she felt warmer, she immediately cuddled up to the bird again to share her warmth. As the hours went by, her anxiety grew and she began to think more about the options available to her.
She regretted she had nothing with which to light a fire (and also berated herself for not venturing out more equipped), but it seemed her only option was to stay with the bird and hope help would come.
After her latest round of exercises, she returned to the eaglet and once more placed her hand over his head, hoping to find out how the eagle was bearing up. She may have started the healing process, but she knew there was still a long way to go before the danger was over.
There were many other factors, which had to be considered. There was a chance the bird may go into shock, or slip into fever, her experience may not have been great, but she knew both of these possibilities could follow an accident such as he had sustained. Mostly she was worried by the cold. If the eagle went into a too deep a sleep, it would possibly succumb to hypothermia, then all her work would have defiantly been in vain. Mañana once more attempted to enter into the thoughts of her patient but it seemed as if she was going nowhere. No matter how hard she tried, she could no longer summon those magic words, or even the concentration required that had come so effortlessly earlier. After twenty minutes without success, tears of frustration ran down her cheeks. Despite the bitter cold, sweat had formed on her brow from the effort she had exerted. A sudden noise made her stop. Was it her imagination, or had she heard something? She tried to focus on the direction she thought the noise had come from.
This time she knew she was not mistaken. It’s a Dog barking, she told herself. A few seconds later she realised it was not just one, but many. Then the unmistakable sound of human voices echoing across the still night air. She heard her name shouted and a feeling of relief and gratitude swept over her. The tears of frustration that had manifested themselves at her inability to reach into the eaglets mind, now turned into tears of relief. Help was coming things would be ok. Sobbing with relief, she scrambled up the side of the ravine.