By Terry Pratchett

When a huge wave destroys his village, Mau is the one one left. Daphne—a tourist from the opposite facet of the globe—is the only survivor of a shipwreck. Separated by way of language and customs, the 2 are united by means of disaster. Slowly, they're joined by way of different refugees. And as they try to guard the small band, Mau and Daphne defy ancestral spirits, problem dying himself, and discover a long-hidden mystery that actually turns the realm upside down.

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That needed to be the way in which. He set out progressively, staring at that faded horizon. there have been birds far and wide, perching on whatever that floated. in general they have been little finches, chattering madly because the canoe went prior. a few of them even fluttered over and perched at the canoe itself, huddling jointly and looking at him with a type of determined, terrified optimism. One even perched on his head. whereas he was once tying to untangle it from his hair, there has been a thump as whatever a lot heavier landed at the stern of the canoe, inflicting the finches to scatter after which flutter again simply because they have been too drained to make it to anyplace else. yet they saved as far-off as attainable from the recent passenger, since it wasn’t specific approximately who it ate. It used to be an important chicken, with glossy blue-black feathers and a white chest, and little white feathers masking its legs. Its large beak, notwithstanding, used to be terrific pink and yellow. It was once a grandfather poultry, and solid luck—to humans at least—even if it did sluggish Mau down and consume one in all his fish. Grandfather birds had realized to not be afraid of humans; it used to be undesirable good fortune even to shoosh one away. He may well consider its beady eyes at the again of his neck as he paddled onward. He was hoping it'd be fortunate. If he had a few success, he should be domestic lengthy ahead of hour of darkness. there has been an Erk! because the grandfather chook took off back with one other of Mau’s boiled fish in its beak, making the canoe wallow for a second. good, no less than I’m a piece lighter, Mau inspiration. It’s now not as if i want the fish at the least. I’ll be filling up with beef this night! The chicken landed seriously on a log a bit method forward. really a wide log, actually. As he drew closer, Mau observed that it was once an entire tree, inspite of its roots, even if loads of its branches have been torn off. He observed the awl, tangled, emerging out of the water. yet a part of him already knew he used to be going to work out it. The sight of it raced towards his eyes and have become, only for a second, the heart of the turning international. The grandfather chook, having juggled the fish in order that it may possibly swallow it complete, took off in its gloomy is-this-really-worth-it? manner and flapped with its monstrous, sluggish wings approximately touching the scummy water. With its weight long past, the tree began to roll again. yet Mau used to be already within the water and stuck the awl deal with because it used to be pulled lower than. keeping his breath, he braced his legs opposed to the tree’s trunk and tugged. Oh, he’d been shrewdpermanent, hadn’t he, that second 100 years in the past now, slamming the awl not easy into the tree to teach the following boy what an enormous guy he was…. it's going to have labored. together with his final amazing heave the awl must have come loose. That’s the way it must have been, in an ideal global. however the swollen wooden had gripped it firmly. Mau dived back 3 extra occasions, and got here up at any time when coughing and spitting seawater. He had a deep, offended feeling that this wasn’t correct; the gods had despatched the awl to him, he used to be yes of that. that they had despatched it to him simply because he used to be going to wish it, he used to be yes of it, and he had failed. finally he swam again to the canoe and grabbed the paddle sooner than the grandfather chook used to be out of sight.

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