Chapter 37:     Squatch Land

Transcribed from dictation, ADAM speaking--

I had no idea how far or to where they were taking me, I was out 
cold for most of the trip and couldn't tell right-side-up the few 
times my eyes were open anyway.  We finally arrived at a cave 
somewhere up in the mountains, just below the snow line. I'm not 
supposed to tell any human-people where it was, by the way, so I 

But it hardly matters where it was physically, culturally we were 
in another dimension. I'm going to try to be a good anthropologist 
about this and document it for you as well as I can.

The females had taken me to their home, where their Master, a huge
shaggy old sasquatch male named Dannat was waiting for me to arrive 
so that he could save my life. Somehow they all knew I'd be showing 
up at that time.  

So there I was, surrounded by Bigfoots.  Well, actually only three, 
who seemed to be the only ones around, besides me.

The two women were a lot like my own squatch mother had been, a bit 
smaller than me, but just as big around, with really big boobs. At
first I thought they were pretty ugly, but when I looked closer I 
saw that they weren't so bad and by the time I got to know them 
they seemed to have a sort of regal beauty.  Just like me, huh?

Their master, Dannat, was something else.  He was a Sha-haka, which 
is Nokhontli for shaman or medicine man.  He fixed me up with his 
magical herbs and khos, a drug or medicine, magic potion--I don't
have any English words for a lot of this stuff. Anyway, he's the 
guy you can thank for rescuing your kid.

And if you think I'm big, you ought to see old Dannat! I really 
hope I don't ever grow that tall because--well, then I couldn't 
even come into this house.  He's...oh, at least 9 feet tall, more 
or less. At first I thought he had problems walking because he was 
so big, but it was just that he always had to find footing that 
could bear his weight.  Some Sha-hakas get that big, although most 
normal squatches are around my size, 8 feet, some taller some 

Dannat was obviously an older guy, whatever age I haven't a clue.
His face was well wrinkled and his fur was patchy with white, but 
otherwise he seemed to be in perfect health, nothing frail about 
him at all. Actually, that old fart was a mountain of big bulging 
muscles, nobody you wanted to mess with.

Intimidating?  You bet.  Especially since old Dannat never smiled 
at me, nor did he try to talk with me.  Okay, he knew I didn't 
speak Nokhontli. He just treated me with his khos twice a day, 
and otherwise ignored me.  But he never bullied me or anyone else 
with his size or strength; he was a doctor, after all.

The two women were friendlier.  The oldest was Malla, First Woman in 
the pecking order of "wives" and she treated me like a stern nanny 
treats a baby--she was NOT shy about slapping me if I didn't do 
something right, or cursing me for being stupid. But she was actually 
gentle too, considering her strength, she never really hurt me.  She 
was just trying to teach me to behave like a proper Nokhon, but 
couldn't speak my language.

The younger one, Mawa, seemed quite interested in me. Affectionate
even, she liked to touch me, smiled whenever our eyes met, as if 
there was something between us.  It wasn't quite flirtatious, more 
like she loved me on a very innocent level--which she did, but I 
only found out why much later.  I guessed that she was a bit older 
than me, but it was hard to tell anyone's age.  Mawa was really 
pretty cute, with a healthy-looking freckly face, big perfect teeth 
like Julia Roberts, nice eyes.  Felt comfortable with her right 
away, even though we couldn't talk.

It was Mawa who fed me while I was helpless. Every day she went 
out and rounded up mushrooms and certain roots and some not-so-bad 
wild vegetables that I don't know the English for, or if English 
even HAS a name for what they are.  There was a lot of stuff I was 
eating which I would have passed on before, but starvation gets to 
you.  The ota root, which I finally got used to, was like chewing 
old rope except that there was a little bit of bitter taste.

But I wasn't eating anything so well when they first got me there.
I was too weak to chew anything like ota.  There was this pulpy 
cold mush they fed me, Mawa would bring it in her hands and put it
into my mouth with her fingers, since they had no plates or spoons
of any kind.  I later found out that the "mush" was squashed up 
earthworms.  Sounds gross, but I was lucky to get it because only a 
Sha-haka is allowed to prepare anything resembling "meat" and will 
only do it in an emergency situation when someone has to have a lot 
of protein fast.  But I'm glad I didn't know at the time, yuk.

Mawa also brought me water--in her mouth.  I would lay there 
dreaming--the old man made this really wow-potent pain-killer-and
she would come and give me the water-kiss.  I found myself 
remembering  a similar scene from that Tarzan book Art had read to
me when I was a little kid, when Tarzan's ape-mother brings him 
water the same way.  Also remembered how Art had said that my own 
story was the opposite of Tarzan's, me being sort of an ape raised
by humans.  But I've never really accepted the part about me being
an APE, so I lay there dreaming I was Tarzan and saw myself as a 
White Man being cared for by three apes. 

Couldn't help it, even I thought of them as half-apes, primitive 
savages and assumed they were totally ignorant.  At least until I 
learned their language, Nokhontli.  Whereupon I discovered
how ignorant and uncouth they found me.

One interesting cultural conflict between us was our concepts of 
nakedness.  You'd figure I'd be socially acceptable once my 
clothes were gone, since no one else had any, but it was more 
complex than that.  When the women found me they had clearly been
upset about my clothes, especially the belt, later I learned that 
leather is forbidden and repulsive to them. But even after they'd 
stripped me they were still upset.

Of course, I got upset too, when the two women pissed and shit on 
me and rubbed it all into my fur.  My culturally ingrained White-
Man's first reaction was to see that as an insult, but then I 
remembered that my mother had done that too. The stink was evidently
part of their culture and I'd studied enough anthropology to know 
about going along for the ride.  So I let them do it, as if I could 
stop them.  Later I learned that their culture's version of "nakedness" 
is an indecent display of your natural odors, revealing to any stranger 
all your disgusting emotions.  As in my case at that time, pain and 
fear, which was not nice for them to be tuning in on.  But afterwards 
they mellowed out once I smelled just like them. Then I was cool, 
apart from being a helpless burden, that is. 

They called me Dadameh.  That same word from my dream.  After 
I had been there a while, a couple of weeks maybe and my mind 
wasn't all messed up by all the khos, it came to me that "Dadameh" 
was really just my own name: "!"

Well, you can imagine how surprised I was.  How the hell did they 
know my name?  I noticed that Dannat's name also began with a D,
and later found that all male names do, just as all female names 
begin with an M.  So "DA" is sort of like "Mister".  Which meant that 
they knew I was "Adam" and the more I thought about it, the more
sure I was that they knew exactly who I was and where to find me 
when they did.  None of it was by coincidence.  See Art? just like
you've been saying all along.

I tried to learn the language as soon as I could think again.  You
know how I pick up words fast, but no one would sit down and teach
me.  I tried to get Mawa to talk by flirting with her in English 
and Spanish.  She was willing, but whenever she would say more 
than a few words, Malla would chase her off.  And Malla rattled 
off curses at me rapid-fire, but wouldn't talk at all when I tried
to get her to name some objects.  Then I noticed that neither one 
of them ever spoke to me when Dannat was in sight.  I figured he 
was jealous, but he wasn't.  He was waiting.

I've found that squatches have almost no sympathy for the effort 
of learning a new language from scratch, probably because never in 
their lives have they ever met another adult who was not fluent in 
Nokhontli.  I don't yet understand how, but it seems they all speak 
the same language--and the same dialect!--even those from other 
parts of the world, which makes no sense to anyone who has ever 
studied linguistic anthropology. Unless you accept the telepathy 
theory, of course.

Anyway, I started learning Nokhontli despite them.  I didn't 
consciously remember anything from when I was a baby, other than 
some few words I'd reviewed from those language recordings we'd 
made when I was about 3 years old. But I must have retained some 
latent vocabulary because I'd find myself suddenly understanding 
occasional words and phrases.  Although most of what they said 
to each other went well over my head.  Probably because I could 
only have had the vocabulary of a child younger than two, which 
wasn't much to work with.

If I seem to be glossing over how badly I was hurt, that's because it's been a while ago now and you tend to forget pain once it's over with and nobody really wants to hear about it anyway. The truth is I was pretty close to dead. One would think that I should have been in the intensive ward of a modern hospital, but I'm wondering if I wouldn't have just died there anyway. I mean, what do American doctors really know about a sasquatch's medical needs? Instead, I survived by lying on a rough mat of bushy branches just inside a cave up on a mountainside in the cold and the drizzling rain and being treated by a Bigfoot medicine man under the most absolutely primitive, dirty, disgusting conditions. Maybe because a squatch like me is naturally one TOUGH patient, but more likely because I just got lucky. The medicine old Dannat practiced was the kind you hear about to the beat of tom-toms in the jungle, or on tropical islands where they believe in Voodoo. It was classic primitive shamanism, witch- doctoring, occult healing, but it worked for me: I'm alive. Dannat used all these homeopathic herbs, yucky goos, mysterious powders, just like you'd expect a shaman to do. But I had a large- caliber bullet hole poked all the way through my chest and I never SAW the exit wound but I felt pretty torn apart back there. Granted, we squatches really ARE tougher than humans, but I should have died from THAT. Or the infection that should have followed, but it never came. I may well have had a punctured lung, although how I could have run as far as I did before I collapsed I don't understand. Sure, I was incredibly lucky that the bullet hadn't hit either my heart or my spine on the way through, but it was bad enough. I don't think herbs and powders could have been the most important part of the healing trick--it was that other technique he used. Three times a day, every day, Dannat would have one of the girls kneel straddling my chest, just barely sitting on me with--well, I'm just going to tell it like it is--with her opened vagina pressed lightly upon my wound and seemingly...uh...sucking me. I'm not kidding. Then Dannat would hold her hands and together they would chant something and I'd feel a warmish-tingly energy coming up from the ground, flow through my chest and disappear on up into her...vagina. When they did that I could actually FEEL my wound healing--and fast. In less than a week the wound was closed, a few days later it was only a scar. Now I have a patch of gray hair there. I was still hurt inside though, but the old wizard had a variety of strange and select magical cures to fix everything in me that was broken. It just took a while.
Wait, I keep springing ahead of my story. So much to tell, I should have taken notes, huh? Anyway, I need to mention that my first week or so with the Nokhontli was pretty fuzzy, one long khos buzz. Lucky for me, otherwise constant agony. The only time reference I had were the phases of the moon, which were easy to follow since I was lying outside on my back, able only to look up at the sky. I seem to remember the weather being cold but mostly dry and clear those nights. It had to be full moon's day itself when I became vaguely aware that there was suddenly a lot of traffic passing through Dannat's camp. Seemed like hundreds of people. Later I learned that it was only about 25, but that was so much more than the NOBODY up to then. I could hardly see at the time, vision all blurry, but somehow I recognized those fuzzy people as the famous "misty sasquatches" from my dreams. I think some of them stopped up to look at me, I could hear them talking softly, probably commenting about what a wreck I was. I did manage to register one actual fact: there really are more sasquatches out there. There was also a new smell, a change from that constant squatch stink I'd finally been able to halfway ignore. This new odor was even more....uh...potent: it confused me, stirred me up and made me nauseous. I mean, I'm lying there half-dead and get this ERECTION so hard that it hurt. That was my first whiff of the shyøma, more about that later. Anyway, I was glad to pass out just then. I awoke to a moment of clarity in the middle of the night. Found that I was alone for the first time since I'd been brought there, the others were gone. I doubted that they had just left me there to die, but couldn't help fretting anyway. I listened for them. What I did hear was a not-too distant chanting of many voices. Over in the woods, a soft sound, so I knew it was sasquatches. They're generally pretty quiet, even in groups. Except for their emergency howls, that is. I couldn't sit up and look around, but just happened to be looking directly up at an especially bright Full Moon. Big flash of recognition: I'd always felt some kind of magical connection with full moons, probably some childhood memory and just KNEW they had something to do with squatch-ness. Of course, what I imagined going on over there was that the Natives of the Jungle were gathered for some kind of pagan ceremony and wild dance to the Moon-Goddess. That was a scene I knew well from my own childhood fantasies and those good old Tarzan books: it could be nothing less than the orgiastic Dum-Dum of the Anthropoid Apes! That wasn't far off, actually. But it took a while before I saw for myself.
The first day I could stand up on my feet must have been about 2-3 weeks after I'd been shot, according to the moon. My own sense of time was pretty messed up from all that khos, but then they stopped giving it to me. Kind of cold turkey, but not so bad: the worst pain was done with and I preferred being able to think again. My status as a pampered baby also ended. For one thing, that meant Mawa stopped bringing me food. I got pretty hungry waiting and when I got a chance to ask her one of the few words I had made sure to learn, "O'o": Food, she pointed out to the words. I understood that: go get it yourself. Of course I knew what there was to eat out in the woods, I'd learned to live off the land years ago, knew some standard greens that were always easy to find, nettles, thistles. Plus Mawa had introduced me to ota and although I had no idea where to find it, at least I knew there was even more food out there. So I limped off to make my fortune. Outside the cave was heavy forest, but there were deer trails all through the woods. I tried to find some of the things Mawa had brought me, but anywhere near the cave was pretty well picked over. When I get better, I thought and learn the language, I'll teach them how to farm--you know, because I knew so much more about everything than they did. Which still left me hungry. I found some weeds I knew NOT to eat, but ran out of energy before I found anything better. I was too weak to go very far, so I went back and just sat around hungry. There was water near the cave, so I drank a lot. I was weak with hunger that night. The others ate but wouldn't give me any of their food. It was clear that they thought they were doing something for my own good, like training a dog. So the next morning when Mawa went out to get food for the other two, I just slipped in behind her and watched everything she did. What she dug up, I dug up. What she avoided, I did too. I was so hungry that I ate most of everything I found right away, but made sure to bring some back just so that I could give the others some. They seemed to need a lot less food than I did. At first I figured it was because I was healing, but even so I was still eating a lot less than I was used to at home. They just didn't eat much. Remember that old question about the squatch food supply, how much do they need? Well, I'll tell you: they eat very little, but get their energy from sitting in a trance--call it meditation--most of the day and absorbing the Earth-energy they call haka. But I didn't know that at the time, or understand how to do it and it may be something I'll never get quite right. Dannat was huge, like a mountain, but he seemed to be satisfied by a few dried seeds and a little ota to chew. Then he'd meditate. He frowned at me if I fidgeted and would grunt at me to sit still. My stomach would rumble back an answer.
The living conditions of these people didn't even measure up to Stone Age standards. There was not one man-made artifact in the cave, no tools, no cooking gear, no fire, no furniture. The only modification for comfort were some leafy fir branches that the women slept on, Dannat didn't even have that. Purist, that guy. It was very mysterious: I'm reasonably intelligent by human standards and they were of the same race as me, so they weren't imbecilic apes. And really, I could tell that Dannat was far above being a simpleton, he was a shaman--hey, he was a genuine doctor who had patched me up really well, an amazing herbalist, how could I consider him a savage? So I had to wonder: why did they live this way? It didn't take many days of drug-free coherence for me to start going nuts. I was made aware that SILENCE was a Nokhon virtue and I kind of got that: all part of their keeping under the radar from the evil Nokhso civilization. But Man, SILENT AND BORING! What do these people DO? I wondered. There was NO entertainment of any kind. At home I’d play the guitar, or at least listen to some other music, watch a video, "read" comic books— I'd even do some WORK around the ranch. I never could just do NOTHING. And except for gathering food there was only meditating, which to me seemed like--well, doing nothing. And as for meeting any other more interesting squatches--one day another female Nokhon did come up the hill carrying a baby, bringing it to the doctor. I was curious, but as Dannat started to look the kid over, he spoke to Malla and she drove me into the back of the cave to wait until the woman and the baby were gone. I was obviously not allowed to mix with others.
I began to wonder what plans these people had for me. The women only obeyed Dannat, so I needed to talk with the old man. Naturally, my language skills weren't up to actual conversation, it was frustrating both for me and anyone I tried to talk to. And old Dannat couldn't be bothered to even try. He'd just ignore me, not answer, scowl and turn his back. I decided to pester him until I got something out of him. He went up the mountain into the snow every day, so I tried to tag along. He ignored me and went ahead. I figured he couldn't move very fast because he was so big, but he left me behind because I was even slower than him. I tried to follow his trail, which should be easy enough once he was in the snow, but I didn't have the strength. He had gone up a steep hill like a bulldozer. So I just waited for him to come back down. Hours later he did and as I saw him in the snow he reminded me of a Yeti from the Himalayas, a real Abominable Snowman. I guess that makes me one of them too. I decided as I watched him that he didn't have trouble moving at all, he just did it really slow. It wasn't that he was too careful, he was just precise. He moved like in a slow-motion ceremonial dance. Made me think of T'ai Chi, Kung Fu, some sort of oriental discipline. When he came down and seemed about to go on past, he looked down on me like I was a foolish puppy. I guess I was. So I did the only thing I could, smiled up at him and wagged my tail to let him know he was right. His eyes changed then, got just a little bit human and he even smiled slow-ly and helped me stand up in the snow. His hand was harder than mine and bigger. It felt strange to be the little guy; I've always been bigger than everyone else. I tried to talk to him on the way back down the hill, but he said, "Skog," touching his lips and then mine. I had learned that word for "No" right away from Malla. But he'd finally said at least that to me, which I considered progress--unless I was only irritating him.
I needed a bag for foraging, like the one Dannat carried with him, weaved out of grasses. So I decided that would be easy enough to make, took some thin branches and weaved a simple basket with shoulder strap. I was trying to fill in the gaps with some ferns when Malla just happened to walk by. Malla went nuclear, absolutely shocked, offended, outraged--then looked around in panic to see if Dannat was nearby, which he wasn't. Started shouting at me, "Skog, skog! Skosk e'e!" Which pretty much means, "No, no! That's bad!" Then she tore the basket out of my hands and ripped it in half. Before I could even complain she had also slapped me across the face really hard three times--and we're talking big lady squatch, you know. Rocked my boat. I was almost tempted to slap her back, getting tired of her abuse-- but simply wasn't up to a big conflict. I was still too weak, knew that she'd have creamed me in a fight. And even if not, well, then I'd probably have to take on Dannat next--so forget that. I figured I'd done something wrong, but what? She tore the basket all the way into nothing, then cursed me some more, shouting "Ø'SKOGOME E'E!" again and again, a phrase which I didn't understand then, but became rather familiar with: "That is FORBIDDEN!" Guess I looked pretty pitiful then, because she finally stopped and stared at me like she was more concerned than angry. Then went off on her food hunt mumbling "NokhSo" under her breath, which seemed kind of derogatory. "NokhSo", I later learned, is their word for humans, themselves being the Nokhontli, the True People. As time went on and I got enough of my strength back to take care of myself, I wondered if I really wanted to hang out with these people much longer. It was such a boring life: you spent all day grubbing for food and meditating in a dark cave all night. Dannat knew how to make fire, he had even brewed portions of khos in the hollow of a rock, but he never made a fire at night. Not even when the blizzard hit us. It had been cold and rainy for at least a week and then a killer storm dumped a whole lot of snow down on us. Besides being really cold, that made it even harder to find food. I started to get bummed out by it all: there I was, I'd found my people and they wouldn't even let me talk to them. But when I thought about coming back home--here to the farm-I remembered that I'd left with the Police shooting at me. I worried about having probably killed Peter Sinsley. I hoped I hadn't, even though the bastard deserved it. I just didn't want to go to jail because of him. And yeah, I really missed Melly. Like I do even right now. I know what happened wasn't her fault. Peter probably told her he loved her and gave her what she wanted, which I never could. She probably just trusted him and he took advantage of her. But the way she fought him that night he'd shot me, the way she tried to save me-- in fact, she DID save my life--I have to thank her for that. I'd be dead if he'd gotten another shot like the first one into me, which magically hadn't hit a vital organ, but I'll bet the next one would have.
Jeez, I've been away from civilization and technology so long that I'd forgotten I could just call her on that telephone I'm looking at. Right now, it's that easy. But I'd better not. She'd only come here and I can't risk that right now. Not until I finish this "Ordeal of Adversity" I'm involved with just now. Thing is, I'm not exactly sure just how dangerous it is for anyone else to be near me right now. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll get through this with flying colors and all that, then I'll come home again. For sure. I've got a lot more to tell, but I need to take a break. Think I'll eat some more, that always makes me feel better.

Chapter 38

Adam out of Eden