… Once Rice-Bird’s whistle could no longer be heard, Skunk soon forgot his fear.
He came to a shady place.
“Ah, this would be a good place to play the stick-game,” thought Skunk.
He gathered some chunks of rotten wood to put up in a large circle.
Then he took five more chunks of wood to represent his lost wives and seated himself among them, “move over a little,” he said to the ‘youngest of his lost wives’, “you are hampering my play, move over!”
Then Skunk arranged the rotten chunks of wood in two rows, with each chunk facing an opponent of the other side. He piled all the shell and bead ornaments that he had stolen from Rice-Bird in the middle between the opposing sides.
When everything had been properly arranged, Skunk again began to sing, “White-Skunk is playing the stick game, White-Skunk is playing…”
Every so often he would turn to scold one of his ‘lost wives’.
“Move over you, you will cause me to lose, and nobody can beat me for I am on my way from the Camp of the Clever Fellows.”
So went Skunk wriggling about on his haunches, talking and singing to the rotten chunks of wood.
He gave himself up to the wild enchantment and thrill of his game.
Skunk had become so enraptured by his own game that he failed to realise that the Wolf brothers had re-entered the valley and were looking for him.
to be continued