On the longest day of the summer, it was their custom to stay awake around the central fire and dialogue. This particular year, they found themselves arguing about which animal was the most dangerous to the tribe.
One spoke: “Crocodile has many teeth and strong jaws. Besides, he can creep silently along, looking much like a floating log until it is too late.”
Another spoke: “True enough. Yet, what of Panther who lies still and unseen upon a tree branch in the night? Then, he pounces with teeth and claws?”
Yet another spoke: “Terrible indeed. But what of Rattlesnake? He can lie unseen in deep grass and though he is small, he injects a poison that can kill? And, there are many more of them than there are Crocodiles or Panthers.”
On through the night, one by one, they would bring up dangers to the tribe. At first, they spoke only of animals, but one pointed out the danger of lightening and another of flood. Another spoke of the year without summer and others pointed out the red pox had killed many.
At last, a short time before the sun began to re-emerge over the horizon, and the sky paused on the brink of deciding to stick with the mild pink color or paint a different scene, they began to speak no more, awed into silence by entire sky aflame in a sea of crimson.
And, they all knew.
They all saw it.
They all realized it was more deadly than anything they had discussed before.
And they all realized it was up to them to tame this monster.