By the River of Spirits is a deep forest…
which stretches back and back in a dense and chaotic tangle of strangled sapling and parasitic weed to the edge of the Pigmy forest.
No man—white or brown or black—has explored the depth of the Forbidden Forest, for here the wild beasts have their lairs and rear their young; and here are mosquito in dense clouds.
Moreover, and this is important, a certain potent ghost named Bim-bi stalks restlessly from one border of the forest to the other. Bim-bi is older than the sun and more terrible than any other ghost. For he feeds on the moon, and at nights you may see how the edge of the desert world is bitten by his great mouth until it becomes, first, [Pg 28]the half of a moon, then the merest slither, and then no moon at all.
And on the very dark nights, when the gods are hastily making him a new meal, the ravenous Bim-bi calls to his need the stars; and you may watch, as every little boy of the Akasava has watched, clutching his father's hand tightly in his fear, the hot rush of meteors across the velvet sky to the rapacious and open jaws of Bim-bi.
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