His Sopwith Camel sputtering, Nigel Trelawney hurriedly tossed out whatever he could to lighten the craft. The jungle below loomed large as everything from the pilot’s parachute to his jacket plummeted to the canopy. A landing strut snapped on a mountainous tree, but the jungle didn’t quite capture the Camel. Trelawney made it back to base and ditched in his shirtsleeves.

The din attracted some Ut’uonoh tribesmen, who had noticed the odd birds flying overhead for some time. This one, though, seemed to have deposited some heavenly guano. A hunting party tracked the items to their source, and found Trelawney’s effects strewn about a quarter-mile of jungle. Most were useless; when the party returned to their village, the elder decreed that only the fabric was to be kept, as it might be useful for making rope

But when the pilot’s wallet was opened, there was a hushed silence. The images within, of a strange bearded man, were surely a sign, and must be treated as such. There was a great feast, much music and dancing, and the mystic images were incorporated into the elder’s traditional raiment, passed down from father to son.

And so it was that when the British High Commissioner arrived to seek an audience with the Ut’uonoh elder, the elder appeared clad in a garment which incorporated a handful of British coins featuring George V.

“How the bloody hell did the Ut’uonoh get that before they even met us?”

Inspired by the song ‘6 pence and moon’ by Hiroki Kikuta, released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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