|Chapter 6: Legend of Berek Halfhand|
Covenant watched as Trell started to pick up the pieces of the broken pot. The Gravelingas' voice rumbled softly, singing an ancient subterranean song. Tenderly, he carried the shards to the table and set them down near the lamp. Then he seated himself. Covenant sat beside him, wondering what was about to happen.
Singing his cavernous song between clenched teeth, Trell began to fit the shards together as if the pot were a puzzle. Piece after piece he set in place, and each piece held where he left it without any adhesive Covenant could see. Trell moved painstakingly, his touch delicate on every fragment, but the pot seemed to grow quickly in his hands, and the pieces fit together perfectly, leaving only a network of fine black lines to mark the breaks. Soon all the shards were in place.
Then his deep tone took on a new cadence. He began to stroke the stoneware with his fingers, and everywhere his touch passed, the black fracture marks vanished as if they had been erased. Slowly, he covered every inch of the pot with his caress. When he had completed the outside, he stroked the inner surface. And finally he lifted the pot, spread his touch over its base. Holding the pot between the fingers of both hands, he rotated it carefully, making sure he had missed nothing. Then he stopped singing, set the pot down gently, took his hands away. It was as complete and solid as if it had never been dropped.
Covenant pulled his awed stare away from the pot to Trell's face. The Gravelingas looked haggard with strain, and his taut cheeks were streaked with tears. "Mending is harder than breaking," he mumbled. "I could not do this every day." Wearily, he folded his arms on the table and cradled his head in them.
Atiaran stood behind her husband, massaging the heavy muscles of his shoulders and neck, and her eyes were full of pride and love. Something in her expression made Covenant feel that he came from a very poor world, where no one knew or cared about healing stoneware pots.