Boxes From the Skies
Muna’s box was the best box. It said so right on the side, “Best” and then “Box”; or so she imagined, being 5 years old and therefore still unable to read.
“Are you happy with your box?” Mom asked, and Muna nodded enthusiastically. None of the other kids in the tribe had boxes like this; one of the perks of being the chief’s eldest daughter.
“What are you going to do with it?” This was a strange question, but Muna recognized the little twist at the edge of her mom’s smile. She was trying to trick her!
“I’ll put it in the hole.” Said Muna, in the most obviously tone she could muster, and, just to make sure, added, “obviously.”
“That’s nice.” Said her mom, and went back to leaning into her furs, turning to stare at the villagers outside of the hut, going back to sifting through the dried herbs. Even in this, a box day, she was still expected to stay at their hut during the day, in case anyone needed her.
“Gush and Thai also have boxes.” Muna added, trying to draw her mother’s attention again. Every kid in the village had a box, so, this wasn’t exactly news, but still. Maybe mom will look over?
She didn’t look over.
“Their boxes don’t have the same carvings as mine.” Said Muna, tracing her fingers on said carvings. They looked like wind, if wind could be carved into a fist-size stone cube.
“That’s true, you got the best box.” said her mom, sniffing one batch of herbs, held together with a string.
“Best box.” Nodded Muna. “Can I keep it?..”
“You know we need to put the boxes in the holes, otherwise?…”
“We don’t get rain.” said Muna, with a groan. Rain was nice and everything, but why would anyone prefer it over a cool box was beyond her.
“And we need the rain, because?…”
Wait, this was a new one. Muna looked up from the box at her mom, who was looking back — intently.
“Wa…ter?…” Assumed Muna.
No, wait, there’s plenty of water everywhere, the Land was filled with lakes of all shapes and sizes.
Mom shook her head, and smiled. “Close enough. Stand up, Muna — I think I see the others coming. It’s time to head out. Your father is probably waiting.”
“Daddy!” Said Muna, picking up the box, and running outside.
Her mother sighed. That kid would have broken that precious box for pieces with a hammer, if her father had told her to, not even asking why.
“One day she’ll go a bit too far, trying to appease him.” She muttered to herself, and sneezed. The next batch of herbs was not yet ripe.