Another Full Moon came and went on Saturday the 12th of July, but the kids
did not hold another "Kha-rat" although they had enjoyed their previous
Ma-mløt-klys so much. The good summer weather had taken a summer
vacation and it had been raining steady for several days and finally
became a real storm that night with strong winds and heavy rains. We all
stayed indoors and put some logs in the fireplace. Hot chocolate, cookies
from the oven. Another kind of Kha-rat.
The band had played a second gig at Pelosa's restaurant the evening before,
after having been practicing nonstop for the entire week. It had gone even
better than their first performance and they were becoming quite confident
as a band. But they were still insecure about their up-and-coming big
concert in Seattle just two weeks away and spent all of Saturday working
on their routines. Until they burned out, of course.
So the kids took a break that evening. They had to. It was very nice, our
warm and cozy extended family filled the living room, all of us preferring
to "just hang out" together rather than watching TV or sitting at a computer.
And especially not touching a musical instrument. We all had had enough
of home-grown music for the day--even Elaine and I--because they had been
practicing in the house instead of out in the Mead Hall.
We got to discussing that Full Moon up there above us. The girls talking
about how cosmic it had seemed, how sublime that Adam had Orated for them,
enchanting them with stories of Nokhon Lore. It had evidently been a
highly erotic experience for them all and yet perfectly innocent (we'd all
read Lissandra's chapter--not many secrets have any chance of survival
Lissandra was curious: "Do the Nokhontli still hold a Kha-rat on rainy nights
like this, when they can't even SEE the full moon?"
"Oh yeah," Adam assured her, "they know it's there. Besides, they gotta get
their shyøma fix."
"You mean their yøramma fix, don't you?" Melly jested.
Elaine pretended to shiver, "In the cold wet rain?"
"Hey, but the meat is hot!" Pokey reminded us.
"Mmmmmeat, hot," Melly purred, "and the sex so wet. Sounds okay."
"Ooooo," Lissandra oozed, "so slippery! And yet, clean."
"You guys must have been there," Adam commented.
"My god," I intruded, "there must be some odorless shyøma floating
around this room if you are all as horny as you sound."
"It ain't odorless," Adam informed us, touching his sasquatch nose, "these
girls smell GOOD. That includes you too, Mom, by the way, mmmmrrh!"
"Oh, thank you, dear," Elaine said, unruffled.
"Well, smelling Freakfoot's musk," Lissandra announced, "has got to be just as
good! And it's most POTENT right now at Full Moon, you know." She began
chanting and Melly joined in, "Potent, Potent, POTENT..."
Adam was sitting on his special sofa with a goofy smile. Pokey just across
from him with a horny smile. The girls looked as if they were going to jump
Adam and bury their noses in his fur...again. That seems to be what passes
for sex around here. I'm not sure if Pokey gets any sniffing in, but he seemed
happy to be here anyway.
Just to mess with them Elaine said, "You know, Art and I might just try
our own Kha-rat some time, if Adam could just roll us some khos."
I joined the parade, "Great! Then we could all have an orgy together!" I
put on my Dirty Old Lecher face while breathing heavy.
"Ewww, just not with US!" the girls protested my disgustingness.
"No old perverts allowed?" I asked, pouting.
Adam spoke up: "Now at a REAL Kha-rat, everybody just does it with everybody
else; young with old, pretty with ugly, none of this petty Nokhon fussiness,
"I could live with that in this crowd," Pokey admitted, "So hey Bro, how 'bout
scarfing us some REAL shyøma? Can't you just call up a couple of really ripe
squatch chicks and invite them over? All it takes is a whiff and we'd all
get off, right?"
"Ooo, that might be fun:" Lissandra fantasized, "us all getting off on each
other and not even feeling guilty about it later!" She even winked at me.
"Hey, WHO'd feel guilty?" Pokey asked, winking at her.
"I would," Adam said, suddenly sounding serious, "I've worried about causing
something like that to happen some day. It could be a catastrophe if shyøma
ever got loose in the human world."
"Or it could be the thrill of a lifetime," I suggested, just to keep the game
"I know wild passionate indefatigable sex sounds great," Adam countered,
"but humans aren't built for it; because after you've all done each other--
it'd be the squatches' turn to do you all."
We all laughed at the horrified expressions on the girl's faces. "Gol, you're
no fun!" Melly complained.
Adam's smile was back. "At a Kha-rat I am."
The kids continued rehearsing early next morning and day after day, serious
about their band. They had been inspired by their last gig at Pelosa's,
having drawn a full house because word had gotten around that Squatch &
Friends was worth hearing. They no longer considered playing for the
Pelosa crowd intimidating, but a dress rehearsal.
It was the big concert at Paramount Northwest in Seattle that intimidated
them. They were to be warm-up band for Chrome Pie, currently one of the
most popular rock bands in the USA. That was up next and Adam was
still not satisfied with their repertoire: he said they needed 13 original
songs but had only four that were good enough. He was fretting about that
to the point of irritating the rest of the band.
When the others challenged him by asking "Why Thirteen?" he admitted that
it had been so stipulated in his Vision, about which he was still obsessively
secretive (because he had to be, rules of magic, etc.). But he finally
had to inform them that:
"You know that Magical Concert I mentioned, from my Vision, the one that's
going to go mega on us? Well, I'm pretty sure that THIS IS IT!"
The others were skeptical, arguing that it was too early for anything like
that to happen while they were so new a band. They believed in Adam's
Vision, but not that it could be THIS particular concert.
Melly had the best argument: "Look Addy, you say you're fated to have
13 original songs for that Magical Concert, but you don't. If it IS that
Vision Concert--then you WILL. Magically. Right?"
Adam pondered that one for a few seconds, then laughed heartily and said:
"Jeez, Mell, you're absolutely right!"
As far as simply getting up on stage to do a performance next Saturday night,
it should be easy for them: as a warm-up band they only needed about 12 to
15 songs and then the other band would take over. It was actually less
demanding than an evening at Pelosa's--except that instead of a hundred
spectators, there would be thousands and the material should be therefore
more significant. They all agreed about that.
Exactly while all this stress was going on, Adam had a visitor.
I was out in the grove cutting firewood with a chainsaw. I had felled a
big alder tree and was cutting it into sections, when I felt a "presence".
It was quite a powerful feeling, so I stopped cutting and looked around to
see if someone was there. I saw no one, shrugged it off and went back to
work. When I looked up from the cut I had finished, there was a Sasquatch
standing in front of me.
I was casual about that because I thought it was Adam, of course, even
though this one had no clothes on, as Adam usually did around the Hacienda.
But then I noticed that this one had body hair of a different color, darker
brown with an orange tint.
I looked harder, saw a face that was not Adam's, a stranger's eyes looking
directly into mine. Eyes that looked ferocious and angry, his face twisted
and twitching, as if ready to attack.
I froze, I tell you, as if I had just seen my first Bigfoot. So big, so
hairy, a wild and dangerous-looking buck monster. Still holding the
buzzing chainsaw in my hands, I automatically lifted it to defend myself
as best I might, revving it to top speed.
He stepped back, obviously frightened, but did not run away. Instead, he
stuck his fingers into his ears to deaden the noise, his eyes wincing and
flitting between the screaming chainsaw and my eyes in an unspoken plea.
Suddenly I understood the expression on his face--he was stressed, not
ferocious--afraid of my rattling, roaring chainsaw, the noise of it was
hurting and upsetting him. And yet he was patiently waiting for me to turn
it off, obviously trying to make contact with me.
I lowered the chainsaw, let it rev down to an idle. The Bigfoot made no
threatening moves, he simply stood there. I studied him a for moment and
finally noticed several significant details about this particular Nokhon:
naked, of course, yet with a small bag of woven weeds hanging over his
shoulder; he did not stink, as Bigfoot are supposed to; and his face looked
oddly familiar. Rather like the drawings Adam had made of his friend and
I turned off the chainsaw and put it down, somewhat torn between the
embarrassment of having offended Adam's friend and the fear that he would
eat me. But he also relaxed once that raucous two-cycle roar died away,
pulled his fingers from his ears, shook his head and grinned.
We both stood there, each studying the other. He was slightly shorter than
Adam but maybe even more muscular, had a different pattern of facial hair.
He was quite interested in me as well; I was probably the first little white
NokhSo he'd ever been that close to.
I tried to remember some words from the dictionary Adam and I had been
compiling, finally putting together a simple sentence: "Kha. E'e ha...
He frowned, puzzled, so I said it right, remembering to put the masculine
"D" in front of my name this time, "E'e ha D'art"--I am Art.
He smiled again, bobbed his head and rattled off a phrase of Nokhon that I
couldn't comprehend. But it was a great smile; simple, honest and quite
reassuring. I liked him automatically.
"Are you Dagrolyt?" I asked, resorting to English, so that he'd understand
that I had just used up my Nokhon vocabulary.
"Yesss," he said, in a fuzzy but reasonable facsimile of English, "I em
Dagrolyt. Good, yes?" I was astounded, then remembered that Adam
mentioned having taught him some words.
"Yes, very good. You want to find Adam?"
He looked confused, then I remembered that damned D again, "D'adam...
"Ra, Dadamet, ra'kha! Yes, good. Go?" Well, it was still better than
my Nokhontli. I led him to the house.
We’ve got two dogs these days, both of the Heinz 57 category, and they
reacted the way dogs are supposed to when a strange monster invades their
territory. They started barking and snarling, showing off their teeth,
ready to attack— but not quite daring to jump a monster that big. I was
shouting at them to stop, afraid they would try to bite Adam’s friend.
Which would be embarrassing and maybe end up with two dead dogs.
But Dagrolyt did not seem nervous about them; he uttered a percussive sound
and looked them in the eyes. A shaman trick, I suppose, because the dogs
stopped barking immediately and looked confused, as if wondering what they
had been barking about anyway. It was as if Dagrolyt had become invisible
to them. Normally they would want to go up and smell a stranger once they
knew he was accepted by me, but no, they simply wandered off.
Everyone just happened to be away at that moment, Adam and Elaine had gone
to Seattle for the day, Adam to the UW to confer with Professor Evanzine,
Elaine for several errands including shopping at the Pike Street Market.
The others had bolted for Naked Lake since the weather was good again. So
I had a guest to entertain until they got back, whose language I couldn't
speak, except for a few very badly mispronounced words.
I opened the door to our house and invited Dagrolyt inside. He was
cautious about entering a NokhSo bakhl, I could see his nostrils
quivering with the impact of so many foreign smells and his eyes were
darting around to take in everything as fast as he could. He was not
afraid, but intensely curious and interested.
I suddenly remembered leading little baby Adam on this same tour all those
years before. I knew how to do this. This could be fun, a game. I thought
maybe I should offer him an Oreo cookie, but I knew we didn't have any in
the house anymore--we'd stopped buying them years ago because Adam had been
getting fat on goodies.
But then I remembered how hard it had been to curb Adam's addiction to
sugar and thought that maybe I should be careful about what I offer this
sasquatch. Sugar is definitely not good for them, no use repeating the
At least they weren't susceptible to alcohol--imagine the scene: you sell
us White Men your City of Aket for this bottle of Fire Water, yes?
The first thing I tried to do was call Adam on his cell phone, but he
always turned it off when he was in conference. Then I called Elaine, but
it rang without being answered--as usual, because she always tucked her
cell phone deep into her purse where she couldn't hear it. So I couldn't
get in touch with either one of them just then.
Dagrolyt was watching me handle the telephone with polite curiosity,
probably wondering why I was holding a funny rock to my ear. If I'd been
intending to impress him with our magic technology, it turned out that I
had only demonstrated how frustrating it can be.
Tour of the house: I showed him Adam's open balcony room upstairs, said
"Bakhl of Dadamet." Dagrolyt looked confused, looking around and seeing
no Adam. Even though it was I who had physically transcribed our Nokhon
dictionary, I could not remember how to form a possessive case to explain
properly, feeling pretty inept as a communicator. But Dagrolyt sniffed
the air in the room and caught on; bobbed his head and said "Bakhl Dadamet,
ra." He was clearly quite intelligent.
One special scent evidently caught his attention. He moved closer to
Adam's bed and sniffed there, must have been an enjoyable smell, he sniffed
several times. Finally he looked up at me quizzically and asked, "Tyø
Ma-elli-a?" It took me a moment to translate that to "Melly": he'd smelled
I was amazed, laughed and nodded--then remembered that I was to bob my head
instead to indicate an affirmative. He gave me a grin and also laughed,
said something I couldn't catch but certainly meant "There's been another
girl sleeping with them too, what a rascal that Adam!"
I indicated the framed color photograph of Adam and Melly hanging on the
wall, she on a horse, him standing beside her, their heads at the same
level. Dagrolyt's eyes almost bugged out at seeing that, so I handed the
picture to him and he turned it over, looking at the blank backside, the
glossy image, the thinness of the paper. He said "Shtes!" which I later
learned signified "amazing/surprise/paradox", depending on expressions or
He was especially interested in Adam's guitar. I assumed that Adam had
told him about it, so demonstrated it as best I could with a few strums
since it was too oversized for me to play the few chords I knew. He
stepped back, startled by the sound.
The tour went on: I took him downstairs and put The Sound of Music CD
on the stereo, which I knew he was already familiar with from Adam's
narrations; he and his brother had a copy of it on their forbidden walkman,
but he could never have heard it in this quality before and indeed was
awed by the sound. I turned on the color TV and he was thunderstruck.
But his awe soon burned out--he was overloaded. By now he understood
that if it was impossible and unthinkable, then the NokhSo people had
one, so what. The Nokhontli knew about skesk. By the time I showed
him the computer he was almost bored, just another funny TV as far
as he was concerned.
But when I took him into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, his
interest in NokhSo wonders became rejuvenated. He caught the smells
and sniffed, but was confused, unaware of what he was seeing--cartons,
jars, Tupperware boxes--alien artifacts. But when I poured us both a
shot of apple juice from a carton and showed him how to drink it from
a glass, I could literally SEE the staggering revelation on his face:
this big white skesk-thing was full of FOOD!
I offered him lunch. I assumed he probably wouldn't eat meat and
prepared some salad, bread and cheese, being careful to keep everything
as natural and organic as possible. I demonstrated putting olive oil
and vinegar dressing on my salad, but one whiff of the vinegar was
enough to scare him off it. He really enjoyed the salad; lettuce,
tomatoes, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and dressed with olive oil.
He did not overeat, by the way; Dagrolyt was very much in control of
his appetite. Although very interested in what was in the refrigerator,
he satisfied himself with smelling and small tastes on a fingertip. I
thought he must have been hungrier, as Adam said he always was, but
assumed it was Nokhon politeness not to eat all the food in your host's
Dagrolyt was squatting beside the table, as Adam often did; I sat on a
chair, putting our faces at the same level. Our conversation during
the meal had been single words to indicate "good?" "yeah, good," or
something similar. Then we were awkwardly silent, just waiting for
Adam to come home.
I excused myself and came back with the printout of the Nokhon-English
dictionary Adam and I had been assembling, plopped it onto the table
between us. I pointed to it, indicating bigness, significance.
Dagrolyt regarded it with polite interest as I paged through, looking
for the words I wanted.
It took me a few minutes, but you should have seen his face when I
spoke to him in Nokhontli, "Adam is in town right now, but he'll be
back soon, don't worry." He looked at me with mouth open, then down
at the printout, comprehending that I had plucked his language out of
He touched the paper curiously. I indicated the printed text and read
a line to him, "Tyø-ya ahat? : what do you want?..." His eyebrows went
up and he looked even closer, touching the text, then inspecting his
finger. He then pointed to another line and looked at me, asking,
"Tyø-h'o-sba?" I read it to him, "O'o yaws-ahat ome," may you find
food, the standard Nokhon blessing. He laughed with the wonder of it.
We played the language game. I would say a word in Nokhon, tell him
the English equivalent. When I had reminded myself of enough words I
could even say a phrase relating to our situation, such as "Adam has
told us about you. Would you like some more apple juice?"
I have never been much of a linguist, but did learn to say many things
in those few hours of concentrated contact. I had studied some
obligatory foreign languages in the course of my education, French in
high school, Latin and Spanish in college, but had never achieved the
proficiency which comes only from repeated usage. My major proximity
to a foreign language was two months in Mexico, when Adam was 11 years
old. That was, however, a humbling experience: since Adam learned to
understand and speak Spanish after just a few days and was totally
fluent within a month, while I was still fumbling with the conjugations
of verbs. So Adam had done most of the talking for us.
After another hour I tried to call again and finally got Adam on the
phone. When Adam's tinny voice came out of my silly rock Dagrolyt's
head snapped up, he could recognize it.
"Hey Adam, you've got an unexpected guest waiting for you here at home."
"Oh yeah, who?"
"What--Dagrolyt? You're kidding!"
"Here, you talk to him." I handed the phone to Dagrolyt, signifying
what he should do with it. He looked quite unsure, but imitated me and
put it to his ear and listened anxiously.
"Dagrolyt? Tyø-kro ahat re?" Adam asked.
It was a treat to watch Dagrolyt handle the impact of skesk-magic,
he was astounded, but obviously not a superstitious savage. His eyes
did go wide, his mouth did fall open, but he did not throw the telephone
and run. Instead he spoke into it, as he had seen me do. "Ra...ra'kha!
There followed an excited exchange of Nokhon words between them which
I could not follow. I did notice, though, how quickly Dagrolyt adjusted
to the concept of talking on a telephone. Pretty intelligent, for a
big naked-but-hairy wild man from the woods. When it ended, he handed
me the phone, saying "D'Art."
Adam told me he was still in the University District, but expecting
Elaine to pick him up pretty soon and then they'd come straight home,
probably be there in about an hour.
While we were waiting I put some music on the stereo. I remembered
that Adam had taught him part of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, so I put on
a CD, jumping ahead to the good part, the Ode to Joy. Dagrolyt gave
himself totally to the experience. He knew how to enjoy himself, very
relaxed about it all.
By the time Adam and Elaine arrived Dagrolyt and I were just getting
into the latest Mark Knopfler album, having explored some short
smatterings of ethnic music from Mexico and Greece, 50's rock'n'roll,
Adam came running into the house, having run ahead of Elaine as she
shuttled the car through the gates. He did a comedy surprise act when
he saw his Nokhon friend slouched comfortably in the sofa, as if
already completely adjusted to NokhSo lifestyle.
Dagrolyt jumped to his feet and the two giant men embraced in the
middle of the room, almost filling it up. The house trembled with their
dancing weight. Then they were chattering in Nokhontli too fast for me
to follow, both laughing and bobbing heads, clearly enthusiastic and
happy to see each other again.
Elaine came in and was amazed to see two huge sasquatches in her living
room. We were used to Adam, when there is one giant filling up a large
room you can feel that he's odd and you are normal, but when there are
two of them, the room gets quite small and so do you. We felt like
Elaine was introduced, but she spoke even less Nokhon than me, so she
could hardly carry on a polite conversation. Adam did flying
translations for everybody for a while, but mostly their conversation
between themselves went too fast to translate. Finally Adam took
Dagrolyt upstairs to his room where they could talk in private.
The story we had gleaned was that Dagrolyt had followed Adam to us by
some form of telepathy or Sha-haka magic and that he had come to us
to bring a message and continue Adam's training in the Atli and
And here's the message as Adam reported it to me---
Dagrolyt says that change is happening out among the mlønoli and it's
because of me. Not that I was especially anyone's hero, more that they
want the same access to the rest of the world and other cultures as I
have. The young Nokhontli don't want to be an exiled race any more.
They want to be free of the Atli and they want SKESK!
"You have some enemies out there," Dagrolyt told me, "but you also have
some friends. You may eventually be meeting more visitors."
"Friends or enemies?" I had to ask.
"Who knows?" my wise guru told me.
"I'll bet Daklakht knows," I responded, "what is he up to these days?"
"Daklakht is missing. As Alutna-Jii he has the right to go undercover
and has done so. He was last seen in Aket over a Moon ago. He might
be in the Great White Mountains (Himalayas) or he might be..."
I finished his sentence: "Right out there in the woods."