Chapter 14 Summary
Karana’s leg hurts so much by the time she arrives at her home that she is barely able to crawl under the fence and move the heavy rock on the inside of the fence. For five days she cannot leave because her leg is swollen and she has no herbs with which to treat it. She has plenty of food to eat, but after two days the water is getting low, and two days later her water basket is empty. Today she must go to the ravine to get water.
She leaves at dawn, taking her spear and her bow and arrows. The journey takes her a long time, for she has to crawl on her hands and knees with her food tied to her back and dragging her weapons. The short way to the spring is over many rocks, so she has to travel the longer way through the brush. While she rests, the girl sees the gray dog with the yellow eyes, the leader of the pack, in the brush above her. His head is down as he sniffs her tracks, and as soon as he sees her he stops. The rest of the pack is behind him, and they stop, too.
Just as Karana picks up her bow and fits an arrow, the leader of the pack fades away into the brush and the others follow. It happens so quickly, it as if they had never been there at all. She cannot hear them, but she is sure they will try to surround her. Slowly she crawls the rest of the way to the spring. Her leg hurts but she continues to the water, dragging her spear. The mouth of the spring is surrounded on three sides by high rock walls, so she lies on the ground and drinks for a long time before filling her basket. Feeling better, she crawls toward the mouth of a cave with a ledge of rock jutting out above it. A few bushes grow there, and she can see the head of the gray dog through them.
He does not move, but his yellow eyes follow her. As she gets nearer to the cave entrance, she sees several more dogs behind him, but they are too far away for her to reach them with her spear. Suddenly the brush on the other side of the ravine begins to move; the pack has divided and is waiting for her to pass between them. As she crawls into the cave, she hears the crackling of the brush above her, then silence. She is safe for now, though she is sure they will return at nightfall. They do, but they simply stalk around the brush until daylight.
The entrance to the cave is small, but beyond the entrance the room spreads out and is big enough for the girl to stand up. It is cold and a bit damp, but Karana stays here for six days...
(The entire section is 741 words.)