Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Island of the Lovers of Life

Once during my travels, I came across an island which was little known to civilization. This island was populated by a small tribe of natives, who were all, by some queer coincidence, capable of conversing in English.

The natives were all exceedingly friendly, and from their behavior and actions, I could tell that these people led a life unfettered by the tainted moralities of the allegedly civilized world. They lived with simplicity, communing with the wonders of nature. According to the head tribesman, the tribe lived by the philosophy of "Loving all life, and harming not a single plant, animal or living thing".

Of course, their lifestyle was considerably harsher than that of a modern civilized person, as evidenced by the thinness of the tribe members and the various oddly shaped scars that each member bore on their bodies.

They invited me to a meal, and I gladly accepted. At that point of time, I could not have anticipated the horrors that awaited me.

The first dish was a brown, hard lump of a strange item which I assumed to be some native vegetable. It was malodorous, and I lost all my appetite. It reminded me of some highly fermented dishes I had previously encountered during my travels.

I declined the first dish, and instead drunk the clear, syrupy beverage that each tribe member seemed to be taking in. It was an extremely sweet drink, almost as if it were made entirely of sugar and water. It was difficult to consume, but I downed it nonetheless.

The next dish was slightly more appetizing, consisting of a slab of some meat, which the tribespeople described as being "meat of dead animal". The dish was seasoned only with a light pinch of salt, and lacked all other seasonings. The dish was fine, but the taste could have been greatly improved by the addition of other seasonings. However, at the time, I dismissed it by assuming that such spices did not grow on the island.

The last dish was one where I realized the utter horror that I had been staring at and had not previously recognized. Three tribe members carried out the corpse of an old man, and presented it on the eating spot. The corpse showed signs of being cooked, and in fact clear cuts were made on the corpse to cleanly divide the flesh into neat slices, presumably for easy consumption.

I did not know whether fear or disgust overtook me then, but I vomited on the spot.

As the tribe members began consuming the meat, I froze in fear. Was I to be the next meal? Then, I suddenly made a fearful realization.

The thinness of the tribe members, as well as the strangely shaped scars on their bodies, could only have been due to one grim fact. This tribe practiced cannibalism, and the scars were caused by the periodic removal of flesh for consumption!

I must have fainted then, for when I awoke I was on a vessel out at sea. Some contrivance of fate must have occurred to whisk me out of the unspeakable danger that I had been exposed to.

A people who loved all life! In hindsight, it was clearly a deceptive title conjured to obtain my false confidences, although I sometimes wonder why the tribespeople resorted to such a ruse when brute force would have sufficed. Still, this was a question that I had no intent of finding the answer to firsthand.

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