The boy is herding cattle to the watering-hole. What's left of it. The wind blows dust into his eyes. He leans into it, one foot in front of the other.
His name is Kiyamvir Ma'ar and he is thirteen winters old and has been without a father for many years, and since the past winter without a mother as well he remembers her screams of agony and the blood that came from the door of the tent he wasn't allowed to enter no, not now, he can think about this any other time but not now.
There's a drought and the plains are desiccated grass, yellow-grey, dust blowing into his eyes. He remembers the drought-year before, when the babe that would have been his sister died before she had a name, because too many of the herd had died that year.
He told himself in the winter that if it were yet another drought-year he would leave, but he doesn't know where he would go, and so he's still here.