Drums of the Makai
A Youth Adventure Novelette
by Linda Rigsbee
At fifteen summers, Taye has one more opportunity to become a Senior Pyean Warrior. He must go into the desert alone, capture a matiki and bring it back to his village in only ten sleeps.
His father is the best Pyean hunter in their village, but when Taye finds his prey, he cannot kill it. He must find a way to be useful to his village, so when he fails to capture the matiki in the desert, he stalks it into the territory of the Zackets.
Only when Taye is captured, does he begin to understand that life may have another use for him. Can he escape to fill his newest quest?
A story that could be anywhere in any time, Drums of the Makai focuses on a common youth problem – fitting in. Taye’s father is the greatest hunter in the village. Taye is a good hunter. He can find his prey, but he cannot bring himself to kill it. As a junior warrior of only fifteen summers, he takes on a challenge that he hopes will earn him the title of Senior Warrior. He must go into the desert on his own and bring back a matiki.
When Taye fails to capture the matiki, he decides to track it into the territory of the hostile Zackets. Throughout his ordeal, Taye stays true to the customs of his people. Instinct directs him to rescue a young girl from the Zackets, but honor insists that he escort her safely home to a place he probably won’t be welcome.
This coming-of-age story reminds us that we each have a place where we can shine. We can each make a difference if we are willing to consider the welfare of others as well as our own.
This book encourages the reader to visualize. The names of animals are strange, but their actions reveal recognizable animals. Descriptions provide a clue to the identity of objects, but at the end of the book a list provides the answers.
Taye is a young man of fifteen summers who struggles to attain the status of a Senior Pyean Warrior. His father is the best hunter in the village but Taye feels he is a disappointment to everyone. Taye is an excellent tracker. He can find his prey, but killing it is another story.
Taye takes on the challenge of entering the desert alone for a hunt that can last no more than ten sleeps. If he returns unsuccessful, he will never be able to become a Senior Warrior. He must capture and bring back a matiki. Dressed in only a wetzel fur on his lower torso and carrying only a tri-pointed spear as a weapon, he enters the desert.
Taye finds a matiki, but fails to capture it. He has seven more sleeps left in his quest, so he decides to track the matiki into the plains where the hostile Zackets live. Alone in territory he has never seen, he faces thunderstorms, flash floods and even rescues a Makai girl. He feels honor bound to escort her safely to her people in the mountains, even though he has never been there either. His only knowledge of the Zacket and Makai people and their territory came from talk around campfires with Pyean warriors.
Slowly his mission drifts from a position of glory for himself to a quest that will bring peace. As he begins to question everything he has heard about the Makai people he is challenged to rethink his evaluation of the Zackets as well. Before he can help anyone, he must first escape. He can’t fight his way out of this one. He only has one weapon left; the voice of reason.
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