When her blood finally cooled down, Gawa was already next to the river. The trees there were taller and leafy, in contrast with the thin and twisted trees of the open fields, and many some benti and other beings were taking some time in that place. In that moment, many if them were eating, swimming or just resting under the shadows of the trees, and Gawa decided to do the same: she sat down under a sunfruit tree and stayed there, looking to the water.
The river was called Wetgrass— the word was Mit'wazi—, and the waters running in that point has already passed by Taisa's village. Following its course, after all the extension of the lands shared between gasami and the zivar, the river reached the territory of the boratsi, big and strong beasts that could easily rip a benti apart. They boratsi were the natural predators of the benti, but at the same time they were probably the only reason for the gasami, sawari and tanzali had not destroyed themselves even after so many wars. Curious, thought Gawa, we don't kill each other because between us there is something that can do it.
After the boratsi's area the river entered, larger, into the lands of the sawari. Gawa had never been there, but, by what they said, it was a very large territory. According to the benti of the army, there the Wetgrass met another river, much larger, that they called Green River. It was known that Green was the widest river of Engoru, and Gawa would like to see it at least once.
Around the point where the rivers met the earth was much more soft and fertile, and there grew all kinds of flowers and fruits. Gawa had gone to the market sometimes, and could see some of what they had in that place: small and strange animals that she never imagined that could exist; fruits that looked like they had weird legs; flowers of many colors, like the color of the sky at twilight, the color of a lizard's liver or the color of the clouds. But above everything, on the lonely mount that they called the Sky Nest, grew the flower-of-eyes, that Taisa's mother needed so much. They said that there the flowers covered almost all the soil, as if the Nest was made of them...
"Give up, Gawa," the voice of a benti cut her thoughts. He was one of the watchers of the race. "If the girl has to race against the weakest cubs, she will never be a benti-zai."
"The zivar didn't let her race against the older cubs," answered Gawa. "It was not her fault."
"Wasn't it? She could have chosen to fight them, instead of just obeying them."
"They don't solve their problems like we do, Asati. Their rules are different."
"Their rules are bad," said Asati.
"Those are their rules," Gawa was upset. "Why did you come bother me, after all?"
"Well, I got curious," said him.
"Curious?" she was surprised.
"I've seen you running around since a long time ago," he started, "and I can even say that you make a good work, considering that you are old and she is a tiny bag of bones. I knew that you could even win, but that you wouldn't be accepted racing against those weak cubs. And you, Gawa," he said, in an accusative tone, "knew that too."
Gawa kept silent. He was saying the truth.
"Why, then?" Asati asked. Why did you accepted to race, even knowing what would happen?"
"It wasn't her time", answered Gawa, "and I had to let her know that. Just like one of our cubs, that isn't born knowing how to hunt or how to climb rocks, she also has a lot to learn."
"What you say is true," Asati agreed, "but all of our cubs think like us. No matter how they are little, they are hard and wild, and such are the zivar children that we accept. But not this girl of your, Gawa. She is soft and you know it."
"She is different," Gawa said, "but I believe in her. And I believe because she has determination."
"Determination?" Asati was confused. "What is that?"
"It is something that the zivar taught me that exists. Whoever has it can do even what isn't of their nature. If a zivar has enough determination, he can run like us, swim like a fish or even fly like a bird. It just takes some time, but they can do it."
"A zivar flying?", Asati laughed. "But they don't even have wings! Poor Gawa, they are filling your head with lies."
"It's not a lie!" she said, getting up, once more upset. "That exists, and I saw it. You may believe it or not, but Taisa will show everyone what she is capable of!"
Asati shut up in the face of the mad benti, and now it was possible to hear the sound from the river. They stared each other for a while, until he finally said:
"That's up to you, then," and then he turned back to go away. "We've been living very well until now without this determination. I still think it is a loss of time, just like the other one was."
Gawa felt the fury coming back, but held herself; if she went after Asati, she wouldn't be kind to him as she had been to Taisa. She sat again under the tree, seeing the benti going away, and, after cooling down, moved towards the village. ns 184.108.40.206da2