e-book, Microsoft Word format, electronic edition 540KB
A rock shelter on the southern edge of the eastern Great Lakes is the setting for this work of fiction about ancient hunters and modern farmers.
Events of the prehistoric past and the present collide on a northwest Pennsylvania dairy farm, and an ancient accident echoes in the modern-day world of Martha Wolf. Her hired man, the enigmatic Logan Kolchek, is the self-designated protector of a rock shelter occupied by Paleo-Indian hunters who left evidence of its periodic use and exquisite rock carvings depicting a terrifying hunting accident.
Natural Choices is based on the archaeology, geology and dramatic climate changes along the southern shore of the eastern Great Lakes. The story is of two time periods--the present and 11,000 years ago.
The issues of the declining family farm in America and archaeology versus the repatriation of Native American remains and artifacts are woven into a saga of ancient and modern people living close to the earth. A vision for the future sharing of the wisdom of the ancients through virtual archaeology over the Internet is the book's high-tech climax.
Grandmother placed three objects on the cave floor. The light of the fire reflected off the knapped edges of the pieces of rare, black, volcanic glass bringing their individual and unique shapes into view in the cool darkness. Immediately, the small girl was fascinated by the glowing patterns. One piece was a cutting tool, the second a spear point and the third an engraving burin. Grandmother waited patiently for the little one to take an interest in what was before her. "Perhaps, none of them would interest her as sometimes happens," the woman mused remembering a few time when a child had simply crawled off distracted by some detritus on the floor or the fire, or the little one's own hunger.
The tiny, dark-haired girl, who was three elk hunt seasons old, took a few moments considering each piece of obsidian--each subtly different in design and exquisitely sharp. Her large eyes, seemingly as dark and changeable as the pieces before her, rose to the ancient hazel ones and calmly, one-by-one, without hesitation and without injuring herself--the child deftly choose first, the engraving burin; second, the spear point and third, the cutting tool. She held each piece up to the fire peering through it. Each was the color of smoke around the thinner, fluted edges, dark in its denser center. She then turned each to catch the fire's reflection on the irregular surfaces--rendering them as dark and impenetrable as moving water on a moonless night...
"Granddaughter," the ancient one said, "you have made your natural choices..."