Tarneg 1 Trembling with fear, Ayla clung to the tall man beside her as she watched the strangers approach. Jondalar put his arm around her protectively, but she still shook. Ayla thought, gaping at the man in the lead, the one with hair and beard the color of fire. She had never seen anyone so big. He even made Jondalar seem small, though the man who held her towered over most men.
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Tarneg 1 Trembling with fear, Ayla clung to the tall man beside her as she watched the strangers approach. Jondalar put his arm around her protectively, but she still shook.
Ayla thought, gaping at the man in the lead, the one with hair and beard the color of fire. She had never seen anyone so big. He even made Jondalar seem small, though the man who held her towered over most men. The red-haired man coming toward them was more than tall; he was huge, a bear of a man.
Ayla glanced at Jondalar and saw no fear in his face, but his smile was guarded. They were strangers, and in his long travels he had learned to be wary of strangers. It seems to me the name I heard was something like that.
The man with the flaming beard looked thoughtful for a while, then, unexpectedly, he lunged for Jondalar and grabbed the tall blond man in a bone-crunching bear hug.
She taught me your language. I told you. We are related. Talut beamed a grin at her, then eyed her appreciatively. Jondalar put his arm around her again, and she noticed a fleeting look of pain wrinkle his brow before he spoke. Is she of the river people? The short, stocky woman he knew bore little resemblance to the great hulk of a man standing there on the riverbank, but they were chipped from the same flint.
They both had the same direct approach, the same unselfconscious — almost ingenuous — candor. Ayla was not going to be easy to explain. Are you sure she is Mamutoi? Only we who hunt mammoth live in this region. Talut appraised her shrewdly. She had spoken the words in his language, but the quality of her voice and the way she made the sounds were… strange. Not unpleasant, but unusual. Jondalar spoke with the accent of a language foreign to him; the difference in the way she spoke went beyond accent.
Will you come? Would you like to visit? Find your own people? He wanted to know who my people were. I know they will.
These are the kind of people you should have grown up with, you know. We can leave any time. She wanted to go with them; she felt an attraction to these people, and a curiosity to know more about them, but she felt a tight knot of fear in her stomach. She glanced up and saw two shaggy steppe horses grazing on the rich grass of the plain near the river, and her fear intensified. What will we do with her? What if they want to kill her? What would they think?
It would be interesting to see their reaction. He also noticed that she spoke with the same unusual accent, even in his language.
His language, the headman realized, but not hers. He was pondering the enigma of the woman with a certain relish — he enjoyed the new and unusual; the inexplicable challenged him. But then the mystery took on an entirely new dimension. Ayla whistled, loud and shrill. Suddenly, a hay-colored mare and a colt of an unusually deep shade of brown galloped into their midst, directly to the woman, and stood quietly while she touched them! The big man suppressed a shudder of awe.
This was beyond anything he had ever known. Was she Mamut? One with special powers? Many of Those Who Served the Mother claimed magic to call animals and direct the hunt, but he had never seen anyone with such control over animals that they would come at a signal. She had a unique talent. It was a little frightening — but think how much a Camp could benefit from such talent. Kills could be so easy!
Just as Talut was getting over the shock, the young woman gave him another. With the colt following behind, they raced up the slope to the steppes beyond. She edged toward the headman and leaned against him as though for support. Or, perhaps, Jondalar," he said, turning to the tall stranger. She raised Whinney from a foal. The colt is Racer. I named him — she asked me to. It also means someone who tries hard to be best. The first time I saw Ayla, she was helping the mare deliver the colt.
You must have known what I was thinking, but who could help it? He was glad he had not come upon them unknowing.
It would have been unnerving. He wondered for a moment what it would be like to ride on the back of a horse, and if it would make him appear so startling. And then, picturing himself sitting astride one of the rather short, though sturdy, steppe horses like Whinney, he laughed out loud. Jondalar chuckled. Several people smiled, or chuckled, and Jondalar realized they must all have been thinking about riding a horse.
It was not so strange. Ayla had seen the shocked surprise on the faces of the small band of people and, if Jondalar had not been waiting for her, she would have kept on going right back to her valley.
And enough freedom since, while she was living alone, not to want to subject herself to criticism for following her own inclinations. She was ready to tell Jondalar he could visit these people if he wanted; she was going back.
But when she returned, and saw Talut still chuckling over his mental picture of himself riding the horse, she reconsidered. Laughter had become precious to her. She had not been allowed to laugh when she lived with the Clan; it made them nervous and uncomfortable.
Only with Durc, in secret, had she laughed out loud. It was Baby, and Whinney, who had taught her to enjoy the feeling of laughter, but Jondalar was the first person to share it openly with her. She watched the man laughing easily with Talut.
He looked up and smiled, and the magic of his impossibly vivid blue eyes touched a place deep inside that resonated with a warm, tingling glow, and she felt a great welling up of love for him. Just the thought of living without him brought a strangling constriction to her throat, and the burning ache of tears held back.
No, one was a boy, she realized. And was that a girl with them? She found herself observing the group of people surreptitiously, not wanting to stare. Her body movements signaled Whinney to a stop, then, swinging her leg over, she slid off. She was as much in need of the familiar reassurance of their presence as they were of hers. I say here, as long as Talut is headman of the Lion Camp, no harm will come to that mare or her young one.
I would like you to visit, and bring the horses. She had no real reason to refuse, and she was drawn to the easy, friendly laughter of the huge red-haired man.
Talut nodded, smiling, and wondered about her, her intriguing accent, her awesome way with horses. Who was Ayla of No People? Ayla and Jondalar had camped beside the rushing river and had decided that morning, before they met the band from the Lion Camp, that it was time to turn back. The waterway was too large to cross without difficulty, and not worth the effort if they were going to turn around and retrace their route.
Though they had started out toward the west, they had no particular destination in mind, and ended up traveling north, and then east instead, but much farther than Ayla had ever traveled on her hunting forays.
Jondalar had convinced her to make the exploratory trip to get her used to traveling. He wanted to take her home with him, but his home was far to the west. She had been reluctant, and scared, to leave her secure valley to live with unknown people in an unknown place. Though he was eager to return after traveling for many years, he had reconciled himself to spending the winter with her in the valley.
It would be a long trek back — likely to take a full year — and it would be better to start in late spring, anyway. By then, he was sure he could convince her to come with him.
The Mammoth Hunters
Auel opens the door of a time long past to reveal an age of wonder and danger at the dawn of the modern human race. Auel continues the breathtaking epic journey of the woman called Ayla. She has finally found the Others she has been seeking. Though Ayla must learn their different customs and language, she is adopted because of her remarkable hunting ability, singular healing skills, and uncanny fire-making technique.
Books by Jean M. Auel
Plot summary[ edit ] This book picks up where The Valley of Horses ends; Ayla and Jondalar meet a group known as the Mamutoi, or Mammoth Hunters, with whom they live for a period of time. The protagonists make their home with the Lion Camp of the Mammoth Hunters, which features a number of respected Mamutoi. Mamut learned some of the Clan sign language during that stay, and became aware of the fact that the Clan are human as opposed to other animals, as is the common opinion of most of his people. He cannot speak, having the same vocal limitations as the Clan, but he also has their ancestral memories. Ayla quickly discovers this and teaches him, and the rest of the Lion Camp, the Clan sign language.
Auel takes readers back to the dawn of mankind and sweeps them up into the amazing and wonderful world of Ayla, one of the most remarkable heroines ever imagined. Over 30, years ago, in a world we know but would not recognize, a young girl of five plays by herself on a creek bank. Suddenly, her world shifts, as a cataclysmic earthquake leaves her an orphan in a harsh Ice Age landscape. They must journey to find a new place to live. She is starving and half-dead from a wound on her thigh made by a cave lion defending her cubs. A medicine woman from the Clan, named Iza, receives permission to try to heal her. Despite her advanced pregnancy and the large load she is already carrying, Iza will not leave the child to the elements.
Edit This book starts off from the events at the end of The Valley of Horses. The main protagonists, a young woman named Ayla and a man named Jondalar , meet a group known as the Mamutoi , or Mammoth Hunters, with whom they live for a period of time. As their name would suggest, their hosts rely on mammoth not only for food but also for building materials and a number of other commodities - and indeed for spiritual sustenance. The protagonists make their home with the Lion Camp of the Mammoth Hunters, which features a number of respected Mamutoi. He learned some of the Clan sign language during that stay, and became aware of the fact that the Clan are human not animals, as is the common opinion of most of his people. He cannot speak, having the same vocal limitations as the Clan, but he also has their memories. Ayla quickly discovers this and teaches him, and the rest of the Lion Camp, the Clan way of communicating.
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