I only had 3 or 4 leaf falls when I saw him the first time.
From the first, when he found me, he spoke the words Tal Mon Kat. The language was… wrong… hard… so we "talked" with hands and body language and some words. Though I didn't think of it that way for years after. Ka, I called him. Ka Dru Tal. In the time I was with him, only 3 others of his kind, did I ever see close up.
He told me I was a "mudman cub". My sire and dam were "lost". I was found and raised by Ka and for a time we were together. I grew and learned his ways. At times I would let him know I would speak to others but always he would deny me this. Pain, he would sign, death, for both of us. Me for being an "outsider in their places" for too long. He for showing me "the ways of the People". After a time the solitude started to tell. So after 13 leaf falls he turned me out. One day we traveled far to the edge of his "great wood". Under the largest tree I had ever seen, he sat. Taking the pouch from his neck he spread the contents out in a pattern I had come to recognize as sacred. I followed his actions with my own pouch. Then he took the 'marking stone' from his pouch and put it in the proper place in the pattern on my side. Doing this made me his true son and I was moved. Then with great ceremony we returned everything to its proper place except now I had his sacred stone. Now he turned a full circle with his arms spread over head to the sky, then he raised them to the great tree, then he raised them to me. Then he looked hard at me and He pointed… and said only two words…"Tal Go". He was old when he found me and was slower now. I would die before I showed him any disrespect. I didn't want to leave him. The "people " do not smile, so when he showed me his teeth, all worn and broken, I knew it was a threat. He was saying I must go! I looked into his eyes and showed him I had no fear and he nodded once. I reached out and touched his shoulder, and then I turned and walked out into the outside world.
I had a stone knife, a fire-hardened sharp stick, one hand taller than I was, a length of braided hair, 3 paces long, and my sling with its pouch of stones.
In time I found my way into the camp of what turned out to be "The Stalkers", a mercenary company that had seen better times .One man there saw something in me and nurtured it. I ran errands and ran wild.
Their discipline was strange to me but after I broke the arm of one who would hurt me, the man saw to my "education". That I remember as a long year. But at the end he said I had been accepted as a "recruit".
I was sent to the scouts and I excelled and became who I am.
I think Ka would approve