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The children dance, bright spears in handsAuthor's Notes
Chasing the waves, stabbing the surf
The pearly cone-shells sure look sharp
Like true blades shining in the sun
In the water lurks one dancer
Snorkel hidden by salty froth
Suddenly, she stands, fiercely shrieks,
Attacks swinging six leather limbs
They dance out an epic combat
And when one child strikes her chest
The mock-monster falls to the sand
With much drama, she acts its death
The victors cheer their brave triumph
Before another claims the rig
The girl picks up a gleaming spear
They grin and start the dance again
The cooperative martial "dance" moves are taught as basic survival skills and form a basic level of training for both civilians and future war sailors. The children of Tifijimi, however, have started to rig harnesses to provide them with a monster to defeat, turning the exercise into a popular game.
The grownups, knowing that extra practice might save lives, interfere only enough to make sure that the mock weapons and monster costumes are safe.
Written for the May, 2017 Muse Fusion.
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