(As told to me by Victor and Simeon.)
A very long time ago, who knows how long? "The people" ( Ye'kwanas) did not keep track of days and things back then! We did not know a Sunday from a Monday, a January from a February, days were just days! All we knew, was the changing of the moon, and the times of rain and dryness.
But... a very long time ago, when we were very small boys, we would play every day! All day, for we had no schools yet. We only ate and played or helped our Fathers. On this day, we were playing together, running, jumping, chasing and hiding from each other.
We knew better than to wander off into the jungle alone. From the time we could walk, our grandmothers would tells us that if we went into the jungle alone, we would get lost! We would be eaten by jaguars, or gored by wild pigs, bitten by snakes, or worse yet, we would be attacked by Canaima, and die for sure!
On this day, we forgot how far we had wandered. Little boys do this! If you turn your eye away for even one moment, they will "poof!" disappear! Our sons are like this today, you now! So we ran and we hid and we chased each other, until we realized, we were far from home!
We did not know what might happen to us! Were the old grand mothers right? Would Canaima come and get us? We began to run as fast as little ones can! These were the days before store bought clothes. We only wore our red loin clothes, the flaps were slapping along behind us as we ran, when ,suddenly...
On the path right before us... we saw a dark body, crouching along side the path. We stopped in our tracks! It was not Canaima, but it was... a jaguar! And a big one!
What should two little boys do? We had nothing like a weapon, not even a small knife like we normally would carry if walking with our fathers in the jungle! The jaguar slowly came closer. It was beautiful! We stared into its eyes. Our skin became like the skin of a jungle chicken! All bumpy with fear!
We stood our ground and the jaguar slowly came and even sniffed us! It was making funny, rumbling sounds in its throat! All of sudden, little Simeon, pulled out a small plastic comb from the waist of his loin cloth. The missionaries had given us these and we used them as toys more than to comb our hair. We would chase one another and flick each other with the combs as hard as we could. It would really sting and leave a red mark on the skin! You know, that's how little boys play! Our sons, today are the same way!
Simeon quickly, flicked the comb right on the jaguar's nose!
The jaguar jumped back, and screamed just like a woman, but even louder! And, you know, woman can scream very loudly when frightened, but this was even louder than that! It was so loud, that we screamed as well. Both of us began to run down the path as quickly as possible for two little ones! Still screaming, for we were but little boys and not very brave yet!
As we got closer to the village, we slowed down. We had a big problem ,you see, for how could we tell the men we had seen a jaguar? And how could we recount the bravery of Simeon? For we were not to have ventured so far off alone! The old women would spank us for sure! What should two little boys do?
We decided to tell no one. For many years we kept this secret. Only when we were men ourselves did we tell others of our adventure, for now the old women could not spank us!
But... you should have seen that jaguar and heard it scream!!!