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Wenny Boggs had gone farther into the desert than he had planned. He was still stalking the elusive herd of Womp Rats when he realized where he was and how low Tatooine's twin suns were hanging in the sky. It would be safer to camp than to cross the kilometers of vacant sand in the dark; Tatooine's night belongs to the Sand People. He certainly didn't want to confront a hunting party made up of those fearsome beings. He turned his landspeeder toward a rise of rocky hills, in search of a defendable spot to wait out the night.

The cranny wasn't roomy or comfortable, but it provided protection. With a blaster rifle at his side and a hunk of SoroSuub Insta-Meal to munch on, Wenny settled in.

Sleep eventually claimed the youth, no matter how much he tried to fight it. The darkness of the desert and the gentle sounds of the night combined to lull Wenny into a light doze. Then the singing started and Wenny woke with a start. The song he heard had been hauntingly sad, but the night was now quiet. Could he have dreamed it?

Again he heard it, the sound echoing from over the jagged peaks at his back. It was somber, wistful chant that captivated the young farmer. Wenny decided he had to see the singer. Slinging his rifle across his back, he climbed over the rocks to have a look.

Below was a narrow canyon that winded into the tall crags. A single bantha waited at the canyon's mouth, riderless but equipped with packs and pouches that clearly belonged to a Tusken Raider. No one was in sight, but the song continued, pulling at him, dragging him into the crags. Wenny could offer no resistance. The corridor of rock emptied into a hollow circle surrounded by high walls of stone. in the center of the circle was a flat stone platform, ringed by stacks of painted rocks, rising as totems to ancient, unknown gods. And there was the singer, bending over a figure that rested on the flat stone. It was a Tusken Raider, one of the fearsome Sand People, and he sang not in the rough, growling voice of his kind, but in a sweet, sad, lilting one, unhampered by the breathing filter his folk always wore.

This raider had removed his filter, but Wenny could not get a clear look at the creature under the bandages. He was transfixed by the Raider's song, strangely melancholy and dreamy, not harsh and frightening as Wenny would have imagined. But then again, he had never imagined the Sand People would, or even could, sing!

The figure on the platform looked old and weak. As Wenny watched, the aged one reached out and grasped the singer's hand. He whispered words into the ear of the youth, then his hand fell away and he died.

For a long moment everything was quiet. The song had stopped as abruptly as the old one's life. The young Raider, wrapped in tattered robes and swaddled cloth, his breathing filter and helmet at his side, rocked back and forth as he stared down at his expired comrade. Then he began to wail, his anguish shattering the night and echoing through the canyon. Somewhere, a million kilometers away, the Bantha's cry joined it's master.

Wenny bowed his head. He never imagined the Sand People - the Tusken Raiders - as feelingful, emotional beings. He wiped his eyes and gave a final nod to the old one, then quietly returned to his nook to await the Tatooine dawn.


Disclaimer: Star Wars and all related characters, trademarks, and graphics are all property of Lucasfilm Ltd. The above entry is from The Star Wars Sourcebook by West End Games, Inc.