Lucien y¤NG Grosvenor
Lucien the Hunter
Some Moons Ago
It had been a busy spring. Lucien and Mirit had been wed in solemn vows ten springs ago.
The wedding feast had lasted for a week in the village and neighbors and friends and relatives that Lucien hadn’t seen since he was a child had attended the festivities.
The church had blessed the proceedings and Lucien had emptied his resources in an attempt to impress his new in-laws. He had known Mirit when she was young, before she had undergone the separation, just a little over 18 months.
She was a beautiful bride. And god had blessed their union.
The first was the girl called Canio. That was followed by a second girl, Aimi, then, two winters ago the twins R’ndan and M’gan. Mirit was tired from child bearing and the couple were enforcing a lack of intimacy, made easier by Lucien being away for much of the year in the high pasture.
Mirit’s uncle, Timothy Severinus, had granted Lucien a new flock of horses to summer pasture in the high meadows under the shadows of the mountains. With his trusty dog, Lucien had spent the years guarding the horses of Timothy. Learning the ways of the horses, helping with the birth of colts and putting down the occasional animal in suffering.
It was a bright and brilliant morning early in September. Lucien had been preparing for the move to the lower pastures which would take place in a few weeks.
Across the high valleys the herders of sheep and cattle too would be preparing their herds for the move.
Soon there would be great happiness in the valley below as the men and the women united again in joy.
Lucien was preparing to welcome another herder, his friend and cousin Karl. Karl was just 12 and had done well this summer. Lucien had some of the strong ale ready to serve the boy-man. And he wondered how Karl would react.
Lucien laughed, thinking of his first summer. Of how the older herders had celebrated the end of the season and welcomed and celebrated the young boy-men into the community. He had not realized what he had been served and stumbled away from the celebration, falling into a ravine in the dark.
Lucien rubbed the scar on his scalp.
The old men had used sheep gut and other materials to heal Lucien, laughing at him.
The memory was happy and painful. What would come of his cousin’s celebration tonight? Lucien hoped that whatever souvenir Karl took away, it would not be as painful as Lucien’s.
Now Lucien was among the ‘older’ herders. Yet, he was still young in spirit.
I want to start with a photo.
The idea is that Lucien is a herder. As such Lucien is often several days away from home, alone, and tending to animals.
Many of these people have animal helpers, especially dogs.
They are probably in the wild uplands pastoring the animals for the summer, then as the weather gets worse in the late fall, they move to the lowlands with the animals.
And although they are armed, the weapons they carry are often very light. We are talking stones, slings and perhaps arrows. But the chief weapon is a pole.
It is used to direct the animals.
So, here are the photos I found of herders. I notice they are all weathered men and lots of boys. You can see they are travelling light.