The hominid named Gra had to chew the skins for several days to get them supple enough to form the sack. His big blunt teeth and wide parabola of jaw began to ache. But he persisted. No effort could be spared for the all-important hunt, the first of its kind. Fashioning the bone sewing needle occupied another half-day, as did cleaning the animal intestines to form thread. During this period he subsisted on carrion, too preoccupied to track new game. He grew sick from the tainted meat. His mate, Reh, brought him some of the fleshy stalks that grew in the swamp, a plant which had cured his distress once before. But finally, after all the work and illness, he was ready.
Warily, he approached the site where the odd, unclean strangers in their outlandishishly textured furs had once camped, before vanishing in a whirlpool of shimmering air. They had scattered debris over a wide area before leaving, and the bright colors and half-recognizable shapes of the abandoned objects hypnotized him. The slick surfaces of the figurines that resembled his fellow tribes-people in the oddest, most disturbing ways seemed to impart knowledge through Gra's skin. One by one, he began to pick up the objects and store them in his sack, his muscle-corded arms, veins in bas-relief, almost too powerful for the delicate task assigned them.
By mid-day he was feeling faint, possibly from the lingering effects of the bad meat, but also possibly from the collective mojo of his prizes. And then, as he stooped for one last trophy, dizziness washed over him. The air swirled in chromatic pinwheels similar to the whirlpool that had taken the strangers away. Two of the figures --a black and red mouse and a pregnantly voluptuous woman with a beehive for a head--came to life atop a pedestal of untainted fresh kill, and orchestrated noises unlike any he had ever heard filled his ears. Something never before felt was born inside him. Gra fell to his knees--to pray.
And how much will you be contributing today to the fund for new stained-glass windows, Mr. Jones?