Such Misunderstanding

May, 1666

Upon reaching the natives' camp, they told us, in their language, "Leave our crops be, and we will give you our daughters."

We had no interest in their crops or their daughters; not until we realized their daughters were so undervalued, and not until we saw that by torching their crops, we might teach them to value their daughters more.

It did not occur to us that they might interpret our actions as, "Even to the likes of us seafaring men, those daughters of yours are of so little value that the pleasure we derive from destroying your harvest is preferable to the pleasure we'd derive from their possession", or perhaps, "We will torch your crops and then have your daughters." Those sorts of possibilities tend to slip your mind in the moment, only to occur to you later, in your well-appointed quarters, sipping from a magnum of pupu-tree liquor and reviewing the day's events in your log—but such misunderstanding on the part of the natives might in fact explain why they elected, in the glow of the fires we had put to their crops, to pulp all their daughters' skulls with clubs.

At the time, we thought they were offering us a sacrifice...