as told to Tess Jump (Maya and Tess are twin chipmunks)
(Smoked rattler is an important ingredient in many recipes of the high steppe chipmunks. Maya, a high steppe chipmunk, told this tale in a dream she shared with Tess. This is how the two sisters communicate, they live far from each other.)
“I put my rattler tooth spear and my shale machete in the sheathes on my back. Ma and Pa did the same. The heat was hitting! So we figured the rattle snakes would be seeking shade. We unleashed our tumbleweeds and set out across the plain. We headed for the rock hills, not far, you remember. Maybe 20 long rattlers away. Found one in the first little cave. Warm was flowing from it! It was sleeping, just the way we like it. Unfair. I crept up, readied my spear. And dove. I hit neck, behind the jaws. Pierced the scaled skin with my toothed claw. That’s all I remember, because I got hit by the bunch of the body’s twist. Ma tells me it threw me across the cave, and I hit the wall and fell, out. Ma and Pa took over, slicing and jumping about and in.
The rattler reared, shot poison at Pa’s eyes, he dodged. Ma somersaulted under and slid a long slice down its belly. Guts spilled. It hissed and turned on her, she jumped away. Pa leaped and split its head with his machete. It wavered and fell. Then they woke me. We got the others and rolled the great beast home. Spent three days cleaning, smoking and deboning it. What a feast! What a headache!” Maya smiled at her sister as the dream began to fade.