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We go up farther and look and see that we're above the hill with the building on it; we then go up more still. In the building all the aurochs and pigs are lying down (the pigs, by the dirt wall) to hide from the wind. I follow the girl and say nothing because it's hard to catch my breath and the wind takes everything we say aways off from us. We walk up and up, toward the treeline, which rises up all black above us there by the valley's edge. The girl walks in front of me, and the wind rubs her flower smell in my face.
We stop by the treeline and sit down on a stump, and for a long time we're so out of breath we can't speak. I look at the building below us on the hill there, where the herd-keeper, all little, comes from the middle of the building's inside circle. He walks between the aurochs, across the circle, and comes through the gate by the circular pen where there are pigs and chickens. In his hands he holds a container which is full of ground wheat, which he throws to the chickens for them to eat. Now he goes back by the wooden hut and we don't see him anymore.
I turn to the girl as I sit by her on the stump. "How old is Hob?" I say.
She looks at me, and now looks aways off to pull at the aurochs hide around her wind-blown hair. She says, "Hob is older than me and you and someone the same age as you [put together]. He's older than any man I've ever heard of. " I reply, "It's strange. It's not good that a man can be alive for such a long time." I say this with a dark inflection, so she knows I don't like Hob. I want her to come to dislike Hob, so she'll like me more. Yet she only smiles, and looks across the valley, and says nothing.
Thanks to my wife Michele for her assistance with this post.