Runningriver and Sole had been tracking the herd for a day and half. As a rule, hunters would turn back if the hunt went on for more days than men on the hunt so it was now or never.
"The small tracks meet big ones," Sole whispered. "And fresh."
Runningriver had noticed the same thing himself. They had spotted the little Thunderfeet going into the jungle that very morning and had stepped up their pace to catch up before they got too far into the dark trees. The tracks were left in the soft mud of a creek that ran past the hunters' homes in the cliffs and off into the jungle they now traveled. It wasn't likely they would get lost, but the deep jungle was dangerous without a big group.
Even one of the smaller lizards would feed their families for a week. The creatures were as large as a man and stood up on two feet like men. But they had huge heads full of sharp teeth and used small forearms to hold their prey. And they usually ran instead of fighting, so they made excellent prey.
The Thunderfoot tails were especially full of meat. If things got too dangerous, it was a good idea to simply take the tail and run. It wouldn't come to that. Runningriver would see to it.
"Have you ever seen a big one?" asked Sole. He pressed his weight on his spear and stood up to stretch his aching shoulders. They had heard them tramping about plenty of times, but the adult Thunderfeet always managed to stay hidden somehow.
Runningriver was about to answer when there was a sudden crash of leaves and snapping branches in the jungle behind them. The two hunters whirled about and held their spears at the ready. In a flash, a mass of fangs as long as spear-points snapped open before a mouth like a black cave and a roar that was louder than thunder shook the air and sent a tremor through the earth.
As the towering Thunderfoot charged down on them for the kill, all Runningriver could manage to say was, "So that's what the big ones look like."