Many palm trees in and around the village were scorched from the lava. The volcanic eruption and its aftermath plagued the thoughts of Mahatma and his neighboring villagers. Doc Allele, an English physician and missionary tried to reassure the villagers that the Christian God would comfort them, while their pantheon of gods, goddesses and traditions regarding thunder, volcanoes and earthquakes were mere superstitions worth only forgetting about. And the sooner the better. Eli, a young fellow missionary was slightly more sensitive to the needs of these nonbelievers.
The villagers made a sacred drink similar to honey mead, but the recent volcano made it pretty much undrinkable. Not even village drunkards wanted to taste this awful tasting beverage. Also, needless to say, the missionaries disapproved of this supposedly sacred drink.
The shaman of the village was named Ope’. He was deeply worried about the recent ominous volcanic eruption or ‘vomiting fire rocks’, according to his beliefs; not to mention the presence of these accursed missionaries. He thought to himself or his gods, What do these so-called missionaries know about our rituals and traditions? Who are they to say their beliefs are true or better than ours? (to be cont’d)