“But they are God’s creatures how can you wipe them from the face of the earth?” inquired Medin.
At last he opened his eyes, they flashed with indignation, “Do you wish that your wives and children be mauled and slain, or that you all live in fear your whole lives?” He stood and addressed them all. “Why should we remain beholden to a God that no longer speaks or meddles in the affairs of man? Send me your best hunters, those skilled with the spear and bow. I will teach them and lead them.”
“But what do we do in the meantime?” wondered Plebin, now a little afraid of the monster he had awoken.
“Build walls of mud around the settlement, I will show you how.”
Nimr took charge of the building works. People made mud bricks and he showed them how they should build a high mud brick wall, higher than any had dared build before. Its base was thicker than the top and it rose to three times the height of a man and high enough to stop most of the taller hunting creatures.
They also sent him their good hunters, those skilled in the spear and bow. When the building works were under way, he led the hunters to destroy those beasts closest to the city. Until that time men had lived in villages or small towns or even in tents, open to the wild.
Some creatures were fast and strong and intelligent, and it was impossible to catch them in pits, with nets or with the bow. Nimr thought long and hard to try to find a way to hunt them. There were goodly creatures, ones that could be useful to men, “If we could use the speed of the horse and the leopard we could catch them easily.”
One of the hunters had befriended a group of horses, his name was
Tarn. Nimr asked for his help. “ Tarn, have you ever tried to sit upon one of the horses?”
“My son tried once, but they are proud and were not willing to be ridden upon. The horse threw him to the ground, he badly hurt his back.”
“I am not a man to give up so easily, I would try to succeed.”
A horse was eating near
Tarn’s house. Nimr ran up to the roof and launched himself onto the back of the animal, he grabbed onto it’s mane with his hands. The startled animal bucked and reared. It was a minute or two before Nimrod was thrown to the ground. He landed on his bottom with a bang.
Stunned at first he drawled, “I shall not be mastered by any animal,” he made for the horse again, but it soon escaped.
“You will have to catch it with a rope first, but it would be best if you tried to calm it down before you tried to ride it!”
Nimr could see another horse. He took a rope and made a noose.
Tarn gently spoke to it and offered it an apple. Nimr came quietly over and slipped the looped rope over its head. It pulled back a little but was not scared. Tarn patted its neck. Nimrod leapt onto its back and pulled the rope tight. This gave him more grip as the horse bucked and jumped to try to get rid of its unwanted rider. It was only a few more minutes before Nimr had tamed it. “Now I have the speed of a horse to aid me in my hunt.” The horse walked forward, Nimr lost his balance and fell off. “Maybe there is more to sitting on a horse than I thought,” he said as Tarn laughed.
It watched its prey. The little girl knew nothing about it. As she skipped and jumped in the mud the thing watched her. It was about to pounce when something flew past its head and landed beside her. The velociraptor, startled, started to run. As it passed the girl it knocked her over and she began to cry. A black man, riding a horse with a bow and arrows and two leopards gave chase. The leopards could match the speed of the dinosaur. Nimr again raised his bow and fired it accurately at the neck of the dinosaur. The iron point was sharp enough to pierce its neck. It squealed, lurched forward and fell. Nimr reined his mount and went to check his kill. It was dead, he was victorious.
The mother of the little girl had seen what had happened and had gone to hold her child to her breast. She then ran to the settlement saying, “The rider has rescued my child.” As a crowd gathered round she related the story of the rescue to them.
Nimr skinned the creature and spread out its hide to dry in the sun. A villager approached him and spoke. “The elders of the village would like to honour you with a celebration feast tonight. You are the hero of our village.”
The village was a group of dwellings surrounding a green. There was a festive feel in the atmosphere as villagers readied the green by decorating the long tables with flowers and straw decorations. Poles were erected with strings linking them together, also hanging with decorations. Nimr was escorted to the chief elder’s house by his sons and daughters. There they had him bathe and rest then gave him a robe to wear instead of his hide armour. He chatted to the oldest of the girls, a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed girl. As her father entered, he brought with him the child that Nimr had inadvertently rescued.
“What is your name?” asked the elder.
“My name is Nimr,” he replied.
“What does that mean?”
“It means ‘leopard tamer’.”
“My name is Drathan it means ‘cottage’.”
One of the younger daughters came in. “Father, Sharnak is here.”
Sharnak came into the room and pronounced, “We are ready for you now, warrior hero.”
Nimr was led out by the two elders, followed by the others who had been in the house. Maidens went before them adorned with flowers scattering petals over and before Nimr and the procession. The rest of the villagers lined the path to the green.
He was led to the centre of the table and sat at the head. Villagers had constructed a gazebo over his seat to protect him from the sun. Sharnak spoke, “We now welcome and honour this hero for the rescue of the child Leth.” He began to clap and cheer, the others did also. Food was brought in and they sat down to eat.
Nimr looked magnificent riding upon a horse, two leopards in his entourage. Good hunters flocked to him. The elders were weaklings so he therefore needed to be in charge. He was a mighty hunter, he should lead the people. There were not enough men from the surrounding villages who agreed that he should be their leader. His rhetoric was not good enough to convince all the villages that he should lead them so he took his young men, his hunters, into the wilderness and the mountains to show them hardship and train them in the arts of war. They became tough and brutal, good at spear and bow, disciplined and willing to follow their leader into any venture he suggested.
The closest village to his was Clem’s. His men went into the village and rounded up the adult males. When Nimr entered the village he gave them all an ultimatum. “Become my subjects, or you shall be put to death.”
The men of the village looked to Clem and his two sons. Clem stood firm and spoke up to Nimr, “Me and my sons shall never submit to an upstart who threatens murder and promises servitude.”
Nimr looked at the soldier closest to Clem and nodded. The soldier raised his spear and brought it down into Clem’s heart. His sons leapt forward too late to stop it, they too were speared to death. The rest of the male villagers knelt in submission. This is how Nimr became the ruler of the valley, usurping the natural leadership of village elders. Some of the men he took to be his soldiers, others he made to work in his fields to provide food for his growing army and to build his city and the walls around it. He gathered those from the surrounding villages into this city either by war or promising them that they would be safe from the wild creatures.