Many young cats gathered excitedly to receive their final assignment in the Grand Hall within the Sacred Chapel. Silence fell upon them as MaMa, the High Priestess, began to address the crowd.
MaMa: “Please read the instructions on the scroll carefully. The High Council will be watching out for your safety. Dismissed!”
Marshmallow: “Clear skies, green pasture, abundant forests. This is totally different from the expected hot, blaring sun!”
Milkshake: “Haha! And, we are finally not lost or tumbling down one another!”
Oreo: “Well, 3 years have passed ever since our first mission. It certainly is strange to be one of these skinny two-legged beings…”
Soon after, the Three Nekos received an order to gather at a glowing red paw that appeared on an ancient tree nearby. Moments later, a Mongolian cat (disguised as a human) briefed the group about the Mongolians on mannerism and some background information before bringing them to their destination.
Decked in a form-fitting robe and exquisite accessories, a tanned, muscular man greeted them at the village entrance. The rest of the tribesmen appeared and greeted the guests warmly.
Carlisle: “Welcome, honourable guests! I am, Carlisle, the Chieftain of this tribe. Please make yourself at home here and let my fellow tribesmen show you how hospitable we Mongolians are! Enjoy yourselves!
Thereafter, the group was split into 3 teams guided by one of the tribesman. As for the protagonists, the Chieftain was their guide.
Marshmallow: (timidly) “Sir, will we be shown around?”
Carlisle: “Yes! Before that, let’s all come to my house for a feast. Come along now!”
Along the way…
Carlisle: “We, Mongolians are very different from the people of Great China. Instead of staying at a spot, we, pastoral nomads, will move several times a year in search of water and grass for our precious companions. Now, I believe, is a good season for my people and animals to stay for long!”
Oreo: (surprised) “You consider animals as your precious companions?”
Carlisle: “Well, definitely! We rely on them for survival in terms of transportation, food and even clothing. We respect nature and reap its goodness. Dogs are our best friend. They help protect the herd against potential predators.”
Carlisle: “Welcome to my home, also known as gers!”
The three Nekos marveled at the spacious area, filled with lavish furniture.
They were treated like royalty, served with a special hospitality bowl that contains various delicacies: homemade cheese, flour pastries (bordzig), sugar cubes and candy.
They also tasted many different types of meat from sheep and goat. According to the host, they were the fattest animals. Meat-filled dumplings were said to be served to guests as a form of tradition. It was customary for guests to drink alcoholic drinks as a form of respect to the host family. With that, the Nekos were content. They drifted off to sleep.
Wide awake, the three Nekos requested to observe the animals. Carlisle brought them to the field.
Marshmallow: “It’s strange how we can’t understand them…Maybe because we are in human form.”
Oreo: “Carlisle, do share why these animals play an important part in your lives.”
Carlisle: “Yes, sure! Sheep are vital for our survival. Their wool is useful for clothing-making, blankets and even the outer covering of the gers. Boiled mutton is a good part of our diet. laughs Sheep dung provide a good source of fuel even though we have coal and firewood!”
“In summer, the tribeswomen will milk the mares. Some of the milk will be fermented into an alcoholic drink: airag (or, koumiss).”
Milkshake: “Wow, these animals play a crucial role to aid the survival of the Mongolians!”
Just then, they heard a commotion in the village. A funeral was taking place.
Carlisle: “Come on, you’re here on a happy visit. The burial will not happen until tomorrow, early dawn.”
Oreo: “Hush! Don’t be a scaredy cat! Let’s hurry!”
The Nekos climbed through the hills into the forest. In the center lay a naked, frail body wearing only loincloth. Several grey wolves were busy consuming the body. Just then, a wolf appeared behind the Nekos.
Wolf: (growling) “How dare you intrude on our sacred consumption! We assume the precious role of helping humans send their dead to the heavenly sky!”
Milkshake: “How come we can’t communicate with other animals?”
Wolf: “Because they are just not interested!”
The wolf signaled for the others to come over. They bared their teeth, surrounding the Nekos. When they were about to pounce, out of the blue…
MaMa: “Welcome back! Congratulations on passing your final test!”
The three Nekos opened their eyes and were greeted by a familiar sight – the chapel’s interior made them feel safe. Another timely rescue!
Thank you for reading the Adventure of the Three Nekos! Hope you have enjoyed this journey~ :)