The World’s First Intervention
When the rest of the men in the tribe returned to the camp, they found Ruckruck sitting in front of the fire. The women sat further back and, although they were busy sorting the fruits and berries, they were suspiciously slow about it. The old ones had the children sequestered safely in the cave.
The men shared weighted glances with each other and then they sat the deer down beside the fire. Little Arndal had been given the rabbits to carry but he didn’t set them down because no one told him he could, so he just stood there holding them awkwardly. Tarmek, being the strongest and fourth smartest of the men, took the lead.
“Why no hunt?” he asked.
Ruckruck looked up at him and then at the other men and then at the deer and then at the rabbits and smiled.
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Tarmek shook his mighty head and pointed his meaty finger.
“Why no hunt?” he asked again.
Ruckruck tilted his head to the side and shook his tangled hair and kicked the pile of plants at his feet.
Tarmek nodded down at the plants and then turned his hands around and then put them together.
“You plant lot late.”
The other men grunted in agreement.
Ruckruck looked from the men to the plants to the fire and back to Tarmek.
“Plant burn good,” he said.
Tarmek looked at Vant, the second smartest man in the tribe, and Vant looked at Bob, the smartest man in the tribe. Bob stroked his chin and then he stepped forward. He pointed one finger towards the plants and one finger towards the deer.
“Plant good,” he said. “But eat more good.”
Ruckruck looked around the men.
“You hunt,” he said. “I plant.”
Tarmek slapped his belly. “No.” He shook his anachronistically circumcised penis towards the women. “They plant.”
“They plant eat. Me plant burn. They no find.”
None of the women in the tribe mentioned that they were quite capable of finding the plant on their own because this was back in the hit a bitch in the head with a club days.
Tarmek spit, but, we must note, this was not necessarily an aggressive spit. People just spit a lot back then.
“Too much plant,” he said. “Not nuff hunt.”
“You no like plant?” asked Ruckruck.
“We like plant,” said Tarmek.
“No one said,” said Bob.
“Plant good,” said Vant.
“But too much plant bad,” said Tarmek. “Make you weak. Make you slow. Make you sleepy.”
“Wolf food,” said Bob.
Vant pointed a club at the women.
“You no rape no more,” said Vant.
“I rape some,” said Ruckruck.
“When last time?” asked Vant.
“Just day two,” said Ruckruck.
“Long time,” said Vant.
(The women did not agree with that sentiment but, yet again, did not express that vocally.)
“All we say,” said Bob, “you some plant and you some hunt.”
“And some rape,” said Vant. (Vant was all about the rape stuff.)
“Not all plant,” said Tarmek. “Not all time.”
Ruckruck looked from the men to the fire to the women and then down at the plants.
“No plant burn?” he asked.
Tarmek looked at Vant who looked at Bob who said, “No plant. Skin.”
And so the men in the tribe sat around and watched Ruckruck skin the deer. Everyone had forgotten that Little Arndal had rabbits, too, and Little Arndal was really shy so he didn’t say anything about it and just continued to stand there awkwardly.
Once the deer was cooked, the women and the old men gathered near the fire. Ruckruck was the fifth smartest man in the tribe and so he got to eat sixth. (One of the women, the one with the widest hips, was officially rated higher than Ruckruck.) Tarmek made Ruckruck put some meat back when his appetite threatened to overwhelm his social station. Then the old women got to take their food back to the cave to share it with the starving children.
After the meal, Ruckruck picked up another branch and looked at Tarmek for approve. The alpha nodded.
“Now work done,” he said.
Ruckruck tossed the branch into the fire. The tribe gathered closer and inhaled deep. That was the night that hackey sack was invented.