David Dabydeen


These things he knew - a calabash scraped of skin and painted in the colours of dusk; an ancient brush of lama branches, inherited from his Master and his Master before him; and vials containing sidyam juice and the venom of water snakes, which only he could blend, to becalm poison with benevolent fruit, so that when a child was born, he could anoint its forehead with the potion and ordain for it a life of constancy: passion contained within wisdom, anger within forgiveness, sickness within hope, death within the intimation of stars. And only he, Manu, originator of life, could read the scroll of light that was the evening sky. It was his task to bear this knowledge, inherited from his Master, and his Master before him, and out of such knowledge to name the newly-born and to determine its future.



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