People began wild, and the milk of she-people was wild milk. Infants drinking that milk belonged to the people.

A child born wrong was given no milk that it might die.

Burning woman began as a child born wrong. Her small body emerged, white-hot and shining. The flames killed her mother and scorched the hands of she-people.

Such a baby that burned was meant to die.

She-people gave her no milk. They abandoned her beside endless water.

The baby cried, and hot wind came from her burning mouth. Birds knew that voice. It spoke the first language, from which all other languages came.

Bird mothers flew down to her, built a nest about her, gave to her food meant for their own young. Birds sheltered the baby with their wings. Her flames scorched their feathers.

The child grew to be a woman who burned, white-hot and shining. She came back to people, as birds were not her own kind. She lived with people but not of them. She was to the people as one with no kin.