Folmont History - Prolog

Little could the young Shawnee brave imagine, as he crept through the dark forest of giant hemlock trees, that one day in the far distant future, alien people with new and mysterious ways would build a 'modern' village in this ancient hunting ground.  Nor could he even contemplate such exotic notions as 'past' and 'future'.  His problem was the present; how to deliver himself from the menace that faced him and recover the deer that he had stalked all day and finally slain.

The great cat's eyes bore into his. The animal's deadly fangs gleamed in the light of the evening sun as the old mountain lion prepared to defend its first meal in three days. There was little game in these woods for his kind to hunt, and much competition from wolves and bears. The sparseness of undergrowth beneath the forest canopy provided little browse for herbivores, such as deer. Indeed, later travelers would refer to the area as the Shades of Death, since so little light penetrated to the woodland floor.

Himatawa drew back the sinew strand of his treasured hunting bow and propelled his stone-tipped missile toward the feline threat. The cougar jerked at the foreign sound and the arrow only grazed his stony skull, glancing off to plunge harmlessly into the stem of a hemlock sapling.

Centuries later, another hunter, while resting near the rotten stump of a once-lofty tree, would discover this primitive arrowhead and speculate about the man who once used it and the type of bow and arrow owned by his kindred predecessor. This "modern" man, wearing camouflaged clothes and colored paint on his pale face, also hunted with bow and arrow. But, his bow was made of incredibly strong materials and was equipped with odd little wheels and cables, making it far more effective than Himatawa's crude weapon. What would really have bewildered that native American, this modern hunter stalked his prey for sport, not for food. And, although modern man had in many ways devastated the wilderness, the 20th century hunter had far more game to hunt. The 'virgin' hemlock trees of what became known as Allegheny Mountain had long since been cut to build the white man's cities. Wild game now thrived and proliferated on the brush and hardwood trees that had promptly reforested the land.

The hungry cat cringed next to the deer carcass, torn between fear and hunger, the two primary emotions to which it had been programmed by evolution to respond. Attack or retreat. Which course of action would insure its survival and that of its species. We can only speculate as to which hunter triumphed that day in the murky past. But, as it turned out, both the cougar and the red man were eventually driven from this land.