Silverhair (Mammoth Trilogy 1) by Stephen Baxter

By Stephen Baxter

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He was hard-eyed and selfish, and was often accused of hiding when foraging parties were being readied, and of stealing others' food -- even stealing from infants. But Aglu was sly, and nothing was ever proven. Despite his faults, Kilukpuk loved her brother. She defended him from attack, and did not complain when he took the warmest place in the burrow, or stole her food, for she always dreamed he would learn the error of his ways. Now, there came a time when a great light appeared in the night sky.

Lop-ear. " She wrapped her trunk around his, and tugged. He laughed and flicked back his lifeless ear. " "I saw the strangest thing in the sea. To the south, from the headland. It was like an ice floe -- but it wasn't; it was too dark for that. And there were animals on it -- or rather inside it -- like seals--" Lop-ear was watching her fondly. He was a year older than Silverhair. Although he wouldn't reach his full height until he was forty years old, he was already tall, and his shoulders were broad and strong, his brown eyes like pools of autumn sunlight.

And she threw him as hard as she could; threw him so far, his body flew over the horizon, his cries diminishing. She went back to the burrows to comfort her calves, and tell her people the danger was over: that they need not skulk in their burrows, that they could live on the land, not under it, and they could enjoy the light of the day, not cower in darkness. And Kilukpuk led her people to the sunlit land, and they began to feed on the new plants that sprouted from the richness of the burned ground.

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