30 Days of Souvenirs: Day 11
And Samson said, "With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men." He shut the book and looked around. There was nothing. The carcass lay at his feet, a dried up, wrinkled and sinewy exclamation point at the end of a sentence woven of sand. He'd been in the desert for six months. He was learning the language out here, but he felt as if he was still a child, making egregious gramattical errors that could, in this place, cost him his life. The learning curve was sharp. No soft edges. Fortunately when he was unceremoniously stuffing his backpack for the skydiving trip he had decided to put in his knife, a change of clothes, his bible (the pages made great firestarter) and had thrown in two dozen cliff bars. He was what his wife deemed an "overpacker". However, it was that accidental foresight that had saved his life in the first few weeks, after his parachute had been lifted in some strange updraft and carried him 200 miles east of his destination. Search parties were miles away, searching the wrong creekbeds and the wrong sand dunes. He stared down at the dead beast in the sand, grabbed its hollow skull, and wrenched the jawbone apart. It looked like it would make a good axe, or digging implement, so he tied it to his waist with an aboriginal sling. As the sun began to set, draping the landscape in a violet nightgown, he squatted in the sand, piled rocks in a circle, and plucking a few more pages from his bible, started his nightly fire.
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