High on the koppie the old woman tends the fire again. Throwing the final fistful of grey-green herbs over the unfurling flames, she melts into the silence of the pre-dawn shadows.
The once-maiden draws her lover close. He sleeps and she rises again, the child of the new dawn.
She stands gazing over the veld to where the smudge-blue mountains melt into the velvet-black of the burgeoning storm. Earth tremors ripple over the veld, rousing her waiting feet. She grows taller, a giantess, who strides across the yellowed grasses towards the beckoning finger of lightning.
The rain-bull kneels. In a single fluid movement, the San Man straddles the great beast’s back. The rain-bull rises. Thunder erupts from his nostrils and he charges down the mountain-side, scattering huge boulders before him. The men stagger in his wake as the storm clouds unleash their fury. Flood water surges down the slopes and blankets of rain sweep the over the veld to greet the distant sea.
The storm seethes on and the parched earth groans and shudders under its weight. The two men are gathered up in the deluge, spinning in a howling whirlpool across the veld and coming to rest on the cloud-cloaked koppie.
Later, the men awake to find their companion staring into the dying fire. They rouse themselves from their herb-induced dream-time and trudge down from the koppie.
They know that soon the once-maiden will return leading a long-legged rain-cow to bring soft raindrops which will last a whole season.
This has been the story of the San Man