14 J I M C A R R O L L While Suhayb loved the time with animals of the herds and their herders, the camels, sheep and goats, I couldn’t understand their ways, and the strange skills of the herders puzzled me. The lambs were brought in first to the tent area in the evening, and each was tethered separately. Perhaps an hour later in the dark night, the ewes were brought in. Nasser, the chief herder, then called out the name of each ewe, and as the ewes came up to the lambs, he matched ewe and offspring without fail, even in the night. Nasser told me he knew the animals individually, not only by name, but also by feel and odor. I thought it an unnatural skill. It was only then that the recollection of the schoolyard fight and the knife came back to me. Nasser was from Yemen and there in his belt I saw the traditional Yemeni dagger, or jambia. The large red jewel affixed to the bone handle was unmistak- able. Nasser was the source of Suhayb’s weapon. Was I so out of step with my surroundings that even the herdsman was a threat? Why would he give his precious jambia to Suhaby to punish me? My concern was compounded by Salman’s return of the knife to the Yemeni herdsman. What was my place in this family? And what of the law of the Quran that motivated Suhayb? What more should I learn about such a law? But it was the incident of the dhub that finished me for these spring forays into the desert. Suhayb proposed the venture. “Fa- ther, I saw a lot of dhubs over on the other side of the dunes by the water hole.” I had nothing but fear for the spiny-tailed lizard, often nearly a meter in length. The animal was so quick I could not see how it would be possible to interrupt its dash to its burrow. Would the dhub’s sharp spines reward me with serious wounds if I actually caught one? I saw the only real reward to be a tasty grilling over the fire, and someone else could just as well achieve that prize. Suhayb said to the men in the tent, “If we go out this evening, I’m certain we can catch several for breakfast. I bet I can catch more than anyone.” I had no doubt he could do so.