1. the Plough

the Plough, or How that Gamecock lost his spur


That Gamecock once had a spur that could cut anything, and in the end, it proved that it could. That spur cut itself right off of that Gamecock’s leg. That Gamecock’s realization that it was gone, and ensuing tantrum is for the writers of great epics to attempt.

Now by this point, people were doing their thing, with hunting and gathering and making villages and some bigger settlements around gathering spaces. On a foraging trip, a Villager found that spur and called for the Wise Woman, which was pretty smart, because she was.

The Wise Woman had the Villager take her back to the spur. It had cut into the Earth. The Wise Woman felt that this might be dangerous, and should be handled carefully. She would sit with the spur and figure out the best thing to do with it.

So she set up a shelter for herself nearby, and Villagers brought her soup and sandwiches with extra crusts, which she sat and meditated on that spur. It took some time, but she wanted to do it once and right instead of an alternative.

After a while though, the soup was thinner, and less frequent. The sandwiches had fewer crusts and less in them, and less bread. Times were lean, and she needed to help them figure something out.

In the middle of winter, Old Groundhog pokes her nose out of the ground, and the snow, and squints around. Some days she squints at the sun, sometimes away from it, when she notices her shadow. Either way, Old Groundhog decides that she’d better go back to bed for a while.

Finally, after a lean winter, and a late spring, the Wise Woman showed the Villagers something. That spur embedded in a wooden handle.

The Wise Woman brought it with her to the village’s Great Hall, where she met with villagers, the wise woman, and other people from the surrounding woodlands.

Inside the Great Hall, the conversation went on over the course of the rest of the winter.

At the very beginning of the sowing season, the Wise Woman and Villagers and others from the Great Hall used that spur to cut a furrow into the earth. The Villagers gasped. The Wise Woman dropped seeds along the furrow, the Villagers watched in silent fascination. The Wise Woman smoothed over the furrow with her foot. The Villagers applauded.

The spur was first attached to a crossbeam, such that two Villagers could walk either side of the blade and cut the furrow. Then one Villager rigged a harness to pull it with one person guiding it.

This was great, all the villagers agreed, but cutting the earth was hard work. The villagers took turns using the spur to cut the earth of the farms, and sure enough there were injuries and one fatality as a result of carelessness, misuse or such, but on the whole it sped up the planting process.

During the harvest, it was mounted on another wooden handle to cut down the rows of tall stalks.

The spur helped the Villagers work the land to produce a much larger amount of food than usual. There was plenty of food for people and animals alike, and they feasted, preserved and stored enough for even the longest of winters.

The land went to well deserved sleep after working so hard. When spring rolled around, and the land stirred as usual, the land was still a little tired.

So the rituals with the manure, aerating, irrigating, preparing the beds for the bigger yield.

Things were looking good.

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