Evolutionary Poetry & Fiction


A fictional adaptation of The Origin of Bigotry and Prejudice.

My name is Bill. I am a hunter-warrior writing to you from the past. When your people learn to read the words that I have written on this cave wall, I will be dust blowing in the winds. I am writing these words to describe a horror that has befallen my people. I write these words in the hope that someday you will discover why we did these things to ourselves and that you will not repeat them.

I live here, in this cave. I do not know where it is located. Some of the younger males have noticed that the Sun stays in the same place as it travels through the skies. It is hot all the time. The Sun seems to be in the sky all the time. It gives us no rest. It makes our bodies lose water that we can not afford to lose. The hotter the day, the less our group can travel when we go on a hunt for food. And it seems that each day seems longer to travel. Maybe it is because I am getting old. I am approaching my late thirties. I can no longer run along side the hoofed herd like I once used to. The younger males tease me and tell me I will soon be food for the Black One that follows the same herd we do. They are right. I fear that my time will be soon as it appears that all our food sources are disappearing. When there is no food for our tribe, there is also no food for the Black One. The old ones of our tribe have talked around the campfire of a similar period in our tribe's past. I like to listen to the old ones. They tell stories of things past. They teach us things so that we become better hunters and do not waste our time chasing the wrong game. They talk of things that their old ones told them when they were young, around ancient campfires. They told stories of our beginnings.

The old ones taught us of how we became groups. They said that we came together because in a group, our numbers multiplied our courage against the elements and predators of nature. They taught us that when our voices were joined together we could scare away all but the hungriest of beasts. They told stories of when times were good, when the grass grew tall as a warrior and we had more food than we could possibly eat. They said that there was so much food that when the hunter-warriors were done eating, the sharing was so plentiful that it would last for several days. Fruits and berries lasted for a week or more. Then the old ones brought the stories to my time of remembering, in my youth not that long ago. When I was born, we were already in a social group, and with this grouping and sharing grew trust. We trusted others to share what food they had. We trusted others to help us share fire and shelter. We trusted others to watch over us as we slept. We became brothers and sisters.

Times were good. The years passed, and good rains and sun brought the tall grass again. Small game abounded in the bush and larger animals came to feed on them. We learned to hunt the larger beasts in groups. There was laughter amongst the campfires. At night, as we laid on our backs and looked up at the wonder of the stars, we talked about what those bright dots could mean. As our numbers grew, our group became a clan. Our clan became a tribe. We became strong. We became one family. A birth was celebrated by all, and a death was mourned by all.

Then the sun came and the rain stopped.

The wind blew all the time and dust squinted our eyes; it filled our mouths and gritted our teeth. The grass stopped growing and the small game disappeared. Then the large animals who fed on the small animals disappeared as well. My hunting group could no longer find food. We went out each day and brought back less and less. We all became frightened and whispered dark things amongst ourselves. The children began to cry themselves to sleep for lack of food. And the wind blew all the time. Some said the sound was the dark ending of permanent sleep, approaching.

Then the choosing began.

As a tribe, we were made up of many clans. As the food began to become more scarce, the sharing became less and less, and then stopped. Those clans who were blessed with the most sons managed to find the most food. As they were the strongest of the clans, they could travel for days with little water and food and bring back what they could. When they did bring food back, their first thoughts were of their immediate clan. But because of their great hunger, they ate more, and because they ate more, there was little or nothing left to share.

Our family became less then it was. The laughter that was once around the campfires was gone. Cries of hunger and tears of loss were everywhere. Those that had some food to give, now had the power to choose who was to receive that food. Small groups of warriors were formed to assist those clans with the most food. It was their job to keep the food store safe.

It was a terrible time. Those with food became strong, those without became weak and humiliated. The weak and unfortunate, if lucky, were only sent to the fringes of society.

If somehow you manage to read these words from the cave walls, then do this: make sure that there is food for all. The rest will follow.

August 1995

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