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Nanabozho and the Patagonians
I woke up to the sound of groaning. At first, I stared at the rafters of a big wooden house, thinking, Where am I?
Then I remembered. Matan and I collapsed in the snow up somewhere in North America.
Then I turned to the bed next to me and saw Matan in it. A white rabbit-man in a sugar cookie colored coat was holding her hand. My stomach began to cramp once I took notice of the rich smell of cooking meat.
Another rabbit-man came running up to my bed from the far end of the longhouse. He wore deerskins and a feathered headdress.
He said, squinting, “Are you okay… whatever you are?”
I grabbed my stomach and groaned. I took off my mask and pointed at my face, “Earth elemental. Starving, but fine.” Then I realized that he was one of the few sentients that welcomed us, “Wait a second, why would you help two emaciated Patagonians like us?”
He looked at me like I was stupid. “Because it's what godly folks do.”
I grew embarrassed and gazed at one of my hands.
Then it dawned on him. “Oh, so you guys have been through a lot. Not to worry, you can explain after dinner.”
“What about during dinner?” I asked.
He stared at me for a moment. “Well, sure, unless your hostess, Nokomis, doesn't allow it.”
Thanks to the rabbit in the coat (Whom I learned was called Dr. Wabasso), I was the only Patagonian sitting near the fire with this rabbit-chief and his friends. The second the little guy set a plate right in front of me, I started eating.
I didn't realize everyone was watching me until some guy said, “Nanabozho, are you sure that's not a wolf? It eats like one!”
I stopped and I was blushing from head to feet. “Mind your business, you clown!”
The rabbit-chief, whom I guess is Nanabozho, nudged his colorfully dressed brother. “Don't mind this one, he's always making stupid remarks like that. But where did you come from?”
My palms began to sweat. “We are Patagonians, and my country is looking for-”
“Yes, we know what you call yourselves, but where did you come from?”
My face felt a little more hot. “The southern tip of South America. I'm an ambassador sent to find a trading partner.”
Nanabozho looked at my tattered robe. “If you are an ambassador, why did you come here as a starving rag? Where are your servants?”
“My queen sent just me and my companion. We tried to get someone to trade with us, but we keep on getting turned down.”
Nanabozho squinted. “Why is that?”
I stayed silent before I told the story about my sister.