Some choose to make black and white decisions.
Other choices have a different color…
There was once an island that now is no more. And on that island lived a tribe of black people, and a tribe of white people. Each of them kept to their own side of the island. Territory was easy to define, there was a great forest between them.
One of the black youths would hunt the forest much like his brothers would for food, game, and sport.
One hunt had him lying low in the forest waiting for the animal he had spotted to come out into the open. And when a girl from the white tribe jumped onto the log he hid under, she killed his animal.
As she stood there, still aiming, he saw pink skin beneath the girl’s stomach at the top of her thighs.
After she had run off with the kill, he realized he felt desire for her.
He returned to the forest every day thereafter, looking for the girl. Claiming to his friends that he had become a hunter of the forest for good, and must practice as often as possible.
When at last he found her, it was the day before his initiation into manhood. He found his kill for the day, and just as before, she attacked the animal first.
He waited until she had bound the creature, but before she sacked it, yelling, “Wait!”
“Yes?” she said, walking toward him. She stopped when he spoke again.
“You know of me not, but I have wanted you for years. This is the second time you’ve beat me to my kill. But will you burn it with me?”
“Why,” she asked. “If you want me, you will have to be kind, and I do not know if you are taught this by your family.”
“I have been taught to share with a friend, if that will please you,” he replied.
It did. They shared the beast. Burnt by the small fire he built.
They arranged to meet every week. With the boy now initiated, he was a Man, and she herself grew to earn the years of a Huntress.
One day, they spoke after lying together beneath a tree, and she began to talk of him meeting her family.
They didn’t shine to the black tribe, she was saying, but she hoped that if they met her man of the forest, they would see differently.
She took him to her tribe, and before he could sit in her family’s tent, he was running for his life.
They called him names, one of them they chanted loudly, and as he ran, arrows landed around his feet.
Finally back in his own tribe, he sought out his father, and told him of the ordeal.
His father advised him to look for a woman in his own tribe.
For a while, he did just that.
But after the first, whom he felt no love for,
The second, whose hips were ugly,
And the third, who fought at him and stabbed him in the back with a blunt stick which she held as though it were a spear one night when she had taken her share of the tribe’s mixed drink and gathered herbs,
He began to miss hunting. And the white girl.
His friends found white girls by the beach between tribes whom, when you gave them bright stones, they showed you their pink thigh-high roses, and laid with you, and called you Master or King, all if you gave them the right stone. Men went hungry hunting for stones instead of beasts in the name of such pleasure.
He thought of this and missed the woman he had grown to love within the forest.
He knew he couldn’t forget her, and started to travel to visit their tree.
He didn’t see her at first, but after an hour, she showed herself.
She came out of a bush. Her hair had been cut, and she looked weak. Approaching him, she threw stones at his feet and waited. Tears welling up in her eyes. The stones were very shiny indeed.
Shiny like the ones his friends gave to —
He turned his back, and in a low tone he spoke three words:
“Don’t. Follow. Me.”
He could hear the wail of her crying ring in his ears as he found his tent.
He spoke with his friends:
“What do you say we take these women from their fathers? The white ones. Forever.”
They looked at him.
They never saw so much murder in his eyes like that.
That night, they poisoned his water, and he never woke again.