Today's episode is a special bonus episode as part of the Scottish Collaboration Week. It features my friend Dawn from the Scottish Murders podcast and a special tale about a mighty hunter. You can learn more about Dawn and the Scottish Murders podcast at scottishmurders.com, and I'll be sure to leave the links in the show notes, so please cheque them out. And now here's Dawn.Dawn:
I'm Dawn from the Scottish Murderers podcast and I'm inspired by Jonas from the Short Shorts, which is a podcast dedicated to beautifully written short stories and poems about fictional true crime, historical or real life events. Jonas' stories are truly unique, with inspirational messages within. I was lucky enough and so honoured to be asked by the inspirational and so supportive Jonas if I would voice a couple of his short stories. And I'd like to share one with you. If you like what you hear and you'd like to listen to more of Jonas's short stories, you can find The Short Shorts wherever you listen to your podcasts, and links will be in the show notes. I hope you enjoy this short story by Jonas called Otzi Iceman.Dawn:
Like a silent observer, I have seen the dawn of men, seen how they grow, adapt, multiply. Once, long ago, in men's infancy, down there in my valley, there was a village. They came in a small group from the south.Dawn:
My harsh winters proved to be peril for some of them, but they learned, they adapted and they eventually flourished. These were not primitive men. They were intelligent, adaptable, skillful. They farmed, they built, they made, they invented. Among them lived one. He was not much taller than you, but he was the most skilled and noble of all of them. I met him in his youth. When he was young, he started climbing my slopes, looking for anything he could hunt. At first, just small game. But eventually he became a mighty hunter, a master of the environment. He climbed my slopes, tracking, camping, hunting, enjoying his life.Dawn:
Over the years, I came to know this man very well. His walk, his hunting, his voice. He was curious, he was capable. He was satisfied and content. With time, he became my mighty hunter. His age and experience made him royal among his people. His skills in hunting and climbing my mountains made him a master at his skill. I have seen men come and go. I have seen how they fight to stay alive, how they give out to my coldness and piercing winds. I have seen them passing north with their families, on horses or just by themselves. But this man became my permanent resident, my hunter. He knew my slopes, he knew my seasons, he knew my process. He learned to survive using the animals, the trees, the plants. Until that one late spring day that I saw him coming up my mountain.Dawn:
His walk was tired, he was in pain. His face showed the harsh reality of his time. His breathing was heavy and exhausted. But as old as he was, he could track wild game for miles. He could take them down with one arrow. He knew the precise way to put them up to avoid predators. This knowledge came with years of experience. But those years left him tired, wounded, spent. My young hunter had aged this day, however, the winds were silent. My snow was melting. Pollen was in the air. I perceived he was in trouble. He was already injured. It seemed he had been in an altercation. His hand was hurt and so he hesitated when lighting up his fire. But when he finally did, he had a good meal. Wild meat, primitive bread, fruits and plants. He needed to be strong, to heal, and to track the bigger game he needed to bring back to his village.Dawn:
However, when he set out that morning, I noticed he was being followed. I recognised this person who followed him. It was his friend, but I didn't understand why. They hunted together before, but yet his bow was aimed at my hunter. And then betrayal. He injured my hunter. He shot him with an arrow that hit his lower shoulder, sending him down the slope. What is he doing? Why is he doing this? He then proceeded to find him and finished him by bashing his head and removing his arrow. He ransacked through his things and took some, but left most of his belongings there on the ground. I've seen how men kill each other. I have seen them die. But this was betrayal. This was not just the killing of another man. He killed my hunter. He betrayed his friend and probably condemned his village, for he provided for all of them. Quickly after he left, I covered him with snow to keep him safe. Somebody would come looking for him and I would show them where he was and what that traitor had done to him.Dawn:
So I waited. My snow came and went. Seasons came and went. My glacier moved him down towards the valley. But he was safe. He was complete. He survived millennia. I made my hunter immortal. And then, after 50 years, they finally found him. Rise up, my hunter. Show them who you are. Show them your greatness. Tell them our story. Tell them of our time together. Show them our ways. Our time. I have kept you safe and whole. Now I will let them take care of you. Let them tell your story. Live again, my hunter. Live again, my Otzi iceman.