Kibu was sitting near the hut and watching the birds fly high in the sky. The high trees were staggering in the wind as if they were trying to reach the sky with the brushes of the branches and make it even bluer than it was. It was a bright summer day when everyone was completely sure that laziness was the best remedy from the blistering sun and heat. Somewhere in the distance, Kibu heard the voices of his friends who were having fun near the ocean, but he did not want to join them. All he wanted now was to be alone and think.
Yesterday Nansu called him a brother, but he knew that it was not literary right as Nansu was only his best friend, although they got on so well and helped each other so many times that it was possible to call them real brothers. However, today he learned that Iksu was not his brother as well. Iksu, this funny little kid, who has always been so eager to learn new tricks from Kibu and was so proud of his brave elder brother, was not his brother. How to call him? How to call mother and father when they are not your mother and father? It was difficult to figure out how the life would look like from that moment on.
Kibu remembered the face of Binuk, his “father”, when he tried to push those horrible words about his birth out of his mouth. It was clear that it caused him a lot of pain as if he was trying to get a huge splinter out of his finger. He said it was necessary for him to know that his real father was a powerful shaman Aliktu the Hurricane who was able to persuade the gods to create the hurricanes so strong that they could destroy the whole village of enemies. Kibu’s mother died when she was giving birth to him. His father was respected by people of his tribe and feared by enemies. It is obvious that it is only one step from fear to hatred, so one day a very skillful warrior suddenly managed to throw a pike so fast that Aliktu did not have even a second to ask the gods for help. He died, but his only sister, that wonderful woman whom Kibu knew as his mother, promised over Aliktu’s body that she would exert every effort to bring up his son as a decent man and help him find his fate. When Kibu turned ten, his foster parents understood that it was high time for the truth to go out of its hide. Maybe the life of simple hunters was not the life that the gods wanted Kibu to live, maybe his fate was greater than bringing prey to feed the village. When his “father” was saying this, he could not raise his eyes and look straight into Kibu’s face. He was sitting on the rock and staring into the sand beneath as if it was a yellow whale or a red seagull.
“Was my father a good man?” Kibu asked.
“Uh, he was… He was special,” Binuk answered.
“And do you want me to leave now? Are you tired of me? Am I a too heavy burden for you?” cried Kibu.
“Don’t say so. You know we don’t want you to leave. It’s your home and you can stay as long as you want, but your mother and me… well, not your mother… but… we thought you were made for some better things. I don’t know what I could give you. I don’t know how to talk to gods like your real father did.”
“Well, it’s ok. Sorry for my rude words. But please, I need some time to think,” Kibu answered in a calmer tone and went away.
The heat was getting more and more oppressive, but the children did not have any intention to stop their game. Their laughter made Kibu’s thoughts run away. He felt it was not a place for him among these happy and cheerful people. Something was wrong with him, something was wrong with all his life. Probably Binuk was right and he should take a boat and sail to some mysterious island where he can find a shaman as great as his father was, and learn real magic from him. Maybe that was his destiny. In several years he would make enough to be called Kibu the Omnipotent. Or Kibu the Fearless…
With this in mind, he stood up and went towards the forest to find a really deep shadow and a quiet place to think about his own future. He was so obsessed with his dreams that he did not notice how he reached a big clearing Binuk once told him about. He said this place was greatly favored by all animals, but it was considered an evil sign to kill even a small bird there. Binuk could not explain why, but he was never especially good at expressing his thoughts as Kibu had already seen today.
There were no noises heard except of singing of the birds that were singing so beautifully as if they were trying to please the gods. Kibu sat down on the rock and began looking at different tiny flowers that covered the clearing. What was waiting for him in his life? Fame, respect? Binuk’s words were both bitter and sweet at the same time. He lost his family because they turned out to be simply good people and not his real mother, father and brother. However, he also felt that something very important is emerging in his soul. Kibu leaned against a warm bunk of an old tree that was so old that probably remembered not only his father if he had ever come here, but maybe even the people who had sailed to this island long time ago on the great rafts. Kibu knew that next year all boys in the village would be asked to choose their life path. The choice seemed obvious to him, but at that very moment, he was at a loss.
He was sitting there for a long time trying to make a decision, but it was not easy as there was no calmness in his soul. It was a storm in the ocean and the little boat of his life was like a fragile toy in the enormous hands of the fate. If his father was there to give him advice and become his teacher and mentor! But people do not come back from the world of the dead, he knew that perfectly well despite all the legends and scary tales that the old men liked to tell the village kids.
“What are you doing here, kid?” the deep and low voice asked.
Kibu jumped off his rock. He did not expect anyone to be here. A tall man with dark skin that had a slight shade of purple and impressive muscles was standing in front of the boy.
“Who are you? Why should I answer you?” Kibu asked fearing that his reply may seem too audacious. The man looked like an experienced warrior and Kibu did not want to make him angry.
“No, you shouldn’t. You should do it just because you are afraid of me,” the man said laughing. “You look like a frightened mouse! Have you chosen your path already? You are probably a nurse for babies of the village, right?”
The words of that man hurt Kibu.
“No! I will be a shaman!” Kibu couldn’t help telling lies because he wanted to show the man, though he did not have any idea who he was, that he was not a sissy. “The olds of the village told that I would be called Kibu the Fearless!”
“Who are you?!” The man looked really dangerous and his behavior irritated Kibu very much.
“I don’t think you need to know and I don’t think you’ll understand,” the man answered. “So the shaman of your village agreed to teach you? You don’t seem to be smart enough to get even the basic of the magic.”
“Well…” Kibu wanted to lie again, but he could not find any proper words. “We don’t have a shaman on our island.”
“Then you need to go somewhere else to find one. But I doubt anyone would agree to waste his time with you.”
Kibu looked at the man and a terrible thought came to his mind. Maybe he is a warrior from some enemy island and he came here as a spy and then he’ll return back and bring more warriors with him. Kibu’s village does not even have a shaman. Of course, everyone will fight for their lives, even women. Kibu was lucky not to see any fights, but the olds remembered them too well. He understood that he needed to kill this man otherwise his parents… Well, not his parents, but… Oh, it doesn’t matter. Kill, kill, kill.
Kibu realized that now was the only moment suitable for it. He collected all his strength and jumped onto the stranger aiming to capture his knife. If he didn’t succeed now, he would be probably dead in a second. That was Kibu’s only chance. But he failed.
The man was too dexterous and nimble to let a ten-year old kid win. Kibu was pressed to the ground and the stranger was over him.
“I know what you were thinking about. It was written on your face. Did you really hope to kill me? A funny boy!”
“Yes! You’ll kill my family!” Kibu shouted. “You are a spy! I’ll not let you do it! You’ll take my brother away and make him your slave!”
“Oh, your family, kid… Your brother? Do you have any? I didn’t know that.”
“Yes! I can talk to the gods! Go away now otherwise they will kill you!” the boy did not know what to say to make this stranger go away.
“You mean it?” The man looked at Kibu very attentively and fell silent. Then he released Kibu, but the boy did not move. After a long pause the stranger continued. “So what is your path, kid? My fearless kid? You’ve proved that you are really brave. I am sure you’ll become a good nurse as you need a lot of courage to work with kids.” His laughter was quite warm this time. “Come with me in my boat. I’ll take you to the greatest shaman in this ocean. He’ll teach you magic and tell you what you need to know to make the ocean obey you.”
Kibu raised his eyes to the sky as if he hoped to find an answer there. He sighed and turned to the stranger. But… he was alone! Where is he? Hid behind a bush? Ran away? Disappeared? Or was it a dream?
A little boy came to Kibu and handed him a small broken boat.
“Dad, can you fix it? I want to play with my friends, but the wind blew and it crashed into the rock,” the kid explained.
“Well, I don’t know. It seems pretty difficult!” Kibu answered with a smile.
“Please, Dad! I know you can do it! You make the best boats in the village. It’s magic, Dad!”
“Magic, you say? So maybe I am a shaman?”
“You? No, you are not. You are my father, don’t you know?” the little boy answered proudly.
Kibu’s village looked very calm, but as usual, the heat was unbearable. He looked at his son and then at the huts covered with huge palm leaves. That was his home, the place where he belonged. His parents were old now, but they were still very happy that Kibu had not left them. He became the most skillful artisan in the village. He was much respected and not feared.