Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bringing Down the Mammoth--a short story

Hugging and puffing and quite out of breath, Eh burst into the cave. His primitive eyes did not register the firelight casting its dancing shadows across the stone walls. Or the smoky odor of charred logs upon which nothing had been cooked for too long.
                Grunting and moaning in a kind of nonsensical language, Eh gestured wildly at the men lounging around the slowly dying fire. Eh was near frantic, “Come!” he grunted in the simple language they spoke. “Food. Not far. Mammoth. Big.” Eh gestured with his hands to show the massive size of the mammoth.
                The men, very excited at even the mention of food, jumped up. They grabbed their spears and harpoons-crude but deadly weapons, grunting, “Show. Show. Show food.” Eh led them away to the Mammoth. The women began to move as well, glimmers coming to their eyes as their stomachs growled in anticipation of food.
                The men jogged as they followed Eh through the rocky snow-covered terrain to the place where the mammoth was. In some places, the sharp rock cut through the soles of their shoes but they did not notice and kept on. Soon, the mammoth came into view. When they saw the Mammoth, the men jumped up and down in excitement. Food had been scarce for so long and before them was the equivalent of a feast.
                Eh grunted, warning them agains the mammoth’s strength. It was wounded but it was still very strong. Blood had stained and matted the fur around its torso. Since it had started to get colder, the animals slowly disappeared, or died, or went into hibernation. The mammoth would not have survived long.
                Quietly, the men spread out to surround the mammoth. Then they attacked. All at once, the men attacked the mammoth, jabbing their harpoons at it, trying to kill it. The mammoth fought back. Enraged, it swung its head around, knocking out one man with its trunk. Still the men persisted in stabbing it with their spears. The mammoth trumpeted its protest with several great blasts. But the men kept stabbing it. The mammoth heaved, gasping, desperately trying to stay alive. The men panted, tired from the work but determined to have the mammoth. They continued their attack on the mammoth. The mammoth took out more men but it was weakening. The mammoth collapsed, still struggling to stay alive. Then, it was dead.
                The men beat on their chests in triumph. As one, they converged upon it, ripping its flesh and shoving raw pieces of meat into their mouths as was custom for the men o fthe hunt. After they had filled their bellies, they hauled the carcass back up the slope to the cave so that the women and children could eat too.
                Everyone celebrated the return o fthe young men. They ate the rest of the mammoth and beat their fists upon their chests, shouting their triumph to all the world. Chief Ug took the blood of the Mammoth and bits of charcoal from the dying fire and painted pictures of the men fighting the mammoth on the mural on the inside wall of the cave. That night, with very full bellies, the little tribe slept very well.

I wrote this at the beginning of last year for a history (ancient civilizations-cavemen chapter) and I found it while I was cleaning my room today! :)

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