Yum was getting very edgy now that the time for her second baby to be born was near. Sometimes at night she would want to be near Dum and others she slept apart from him. Then one morning when Dum woke up he found that Wah-Wah their little boy was cuddled up to him and Yum was gone. Dum knew at once that the new baby was on the way and was determined to be with her this time. He took Wah-Wah along to where Dong and Grunt slept and asked if they could look after Wah-Wah for a little while. Dong guessed that Yum must be having her child so merely bowed her head and nodded. Dum was like no other man she knew, he would question every rule or custom their people had if it did not seem logical to him. She wished her own husband was that strong.
Dum went down into the wooded area that the women used to have their babies and eventually could see a ring of women around Yum as she puffed and panted with effort of delivering her new child. Then when she cried out in real pain Dum could stand it no longer and came out from hiding and went up to her. He knelt down at her side and supported her, brushed the hair out of her face and held his cheek against hers feeling the tears run down her face.
“I am never going to lose you Dum, am I?” she laughed panting. “Baby is nearly here.”
The women surrounding Yum grumbled at the intruder but as the baby’s head had emerged they had their work to do as well. “One more big push Yum,” the old woman that seemed to be in charge told Yum. So Yum holding onto Dum brought their new baby into the world. The women wiped the baby as clean as they could and wrapping her up in some coarse woven sisal cloth and placed her in Yum’s arms. Dum wanted to reach out to touch the new born infant but Yum shook her head. “She must smell me first then get to know you later”. She bent her face over the baby’s and checked to see that she was breathing properly while the women fussed around tying a thin strip of sisal around the cord.
The older woman in charge then said to Dum “Go now and don’t tell anyone what you have seen. This is women’s business." She then turned away and Dum could see that Yum was nodding to him agreeing that he should go.
Dum hesitated for a second then said, “I will go and check the fish trap.” He got up from her side and walked away through the trees crying from his one good eye. The tide was not quite out when he got there so he sat in the dunes overlooking the stream as it emptied into the sea. As he took refuge in his thoughts he was amazed at how wonderful life was and how much he loved Yum. He was there for some time before he heard Grunt call out to him.
“Dum, I couldn’t understand why you had to come down here before the tide went out. Dong said you had gone out early. There is talk that Yum has had her baby. Do you still want to wait to collect the fish?”
“Yes, I think we should do that first, Grunt, don’t you?”
Grunt just shrugged his shoulders “If you say so.”
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