The Tzvaleubhoi at first appearance did seem a complete paradise. Gazing upon the grass, green with chlorophyll, the energy sponge, upon all the green oxygen makers, the leaves of the peach tree, Naztko watched a cow approach, a leaf fall, as he ruminated something in the air. “Well,” he said, “it’s an ecology of convenience, a necessary delusion. I suppose it’s an unnatural environment, because we have no predators.”

“Do you need them?”

“I don’t know. Maybe imbalance is good.”

“Predators kill the weak, and keep the gene pool strong?”

“Well, we already have the perfect pedigree I think.” The cow mooed. “This one almost talks,” he said, shooing it away. Walking into the shade, reaching up with aplomb to a low hanging peach, he plucked the rosy one, ripe, and gave it to me. “Eat this for your trip back, a sample of paradise.”

But before Naztko could digest his own thoughts, Utcoozhoo galloped into our sight, shouting from a distance, “Odd revelations.”

“Whoa,” said Naztko, “come closer, catch your breath. We can’t hear the news if the messenger dies. Whatever the crisis, we can spare a few minutes.”

Utcoozhoo sat down under the tree, sweating profusely. Naztko tried not to look worried. I didn’t try.

Naztko said, “I imagine reactivating such ancient pfayohiqusi would bring some enigmas. We’ll deal with it.” Naztko reached into a pocket in his robe, and pulled out a thermos bottle. Removing the cup from the top, he poured Utcoozhoo some ice coffee with cream and sugar. “See,” said Naztko, “I got to use this bottle you gave me last year. How is it?”

Utcoozhoo drank half. He said, “It’s good. I’m glad you’ve been using your gift … Um, I want you to call an emergency meeting, and bring as many elders as you can to the Forbidden Zone — preferably, everyone. I need help interpreting some ancient language I’m uncertain about. ”

“We can’t …”

“Yes, yes, yes. Do I have to be so official? OK, it’s pcapdyntpa, I swear.”

Naztko asked, “What’s it about?”

“As best as I can figure out, it has something to do with Earth Wobble, eccentricity, and the blockage of equatorial ocean currents, but you have to see it for yourself. It’s better if you get the complete picture. I don’t think I can describe it properly here.”


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