A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

A day in the life of a prehistoric man.




When Owongo arrived back at his cosy cave where Mirumda was waiting for him, a smile on her lovely very full lips, he was in a state of deep, almost uncontrollable happiness and filled with a conviction that yes, he was right, it was only fair that everyone had a say in the affairs of the tribe rather than just a few.

He had been dropped into the gurgling stream be his supporters, but that was an accident, it didn’t matter, in no way did it reflect the opinion that the rest of the people had of him. What he had said had touched a mutual nerve. Most of the people living in those days had very little they could call their own, yet found themselves in one way or another giving to Prince Dickory or to one of his select collection of bulging friends. And most of the people weren’t in that group. The word they used for themselves was an early incarnation of the word ordinary.

Here’s a snapshot of Owongo’s daily life. Get up when the hooting bird nesting near the bank of the stream told him to get up, go towards said rowdy bird and see if it had left any eggs in its nest for him to steal because the most delicious thing in his world was the taste of raw eggs. Meanwhile Mirumda would be preening herself, only the language he used was less onomatopoeic. Preening: that’s what he called it. She would be cleansing her lovely face, rubbing a purifying oil squeezed from s river crab into her skin, whiten her teeth with a concoction of her own making, one which contained strange feminine ingredients like chalk. Then she would treat the ankle-biters to breakfast, food if they had any but her breast if they didn’t, before trying to find something nourishing for herself in the pantry, which was a natural alcove at the rear of the cave where titbits were put and which, in poor weather still had a stream trying to trickle out and through the cave, an annoyance which was consequently being eternally blacked by Owongo, using his manly skills which always proved to be nothing but temporary.

Then, when she was finished with her preening she would stand at the cave entrance, usually in her birthday suit, which was gorgeous in Owongo’s eyes, waiting for her man to return with, she hoped, food of some sort. Maybe the noisy feathered wretch that insisted in waking them before the crack of dawn had left two eggs in its nest, in which case Owongo would have stolen both of them and saved one for her. Or, failing that, he might have managed to trap the odd slippery fish and kept it out of sight so that none of Prince Dickory’s bullies could see it and bash him over the head in order to steal it. He’d been bashed over the head more than once, and didn’t like the experience or appreciate the pain.

Failing that he would wander further afield, into the woodland that stretched for as far as the eye could see, and maybe find a few nuts or fruits of some kind (in season, though he had precious little knowledge of seasons) before returning to his home cave and hugging the love of his life.

It would, sadly, be only a brief hug because then he would have to go out again and do some proper hunting.

There were two ways he went hunting, either on his own or in a group of like-minded almost naked men, which was much safer. This time, though he’d had no time to arrange a party of hunters, so he sallied forth on his own, wearing a mini-sized apron to protect his masculine parts from thorns, thistles and the clinging blood of his prey. He was very protective of those anatomical jewels because Mirumda did so admire them when she was in in the right mood.

On his own, he was limited to prey that was easy for a lone man to transport back to his own cave. There was nothing to be gained from a struggle with a huge creature because he’d have to butcher it on the spot with a stone blade which would never prove to be sharp enough for him to do a proper job, and carry home what he could, leaving the greater part as an unexpected treat for other creatures of the wild.

He was deeply involved in tracking a young fawn when a voice came to him out of a thicket he hadn’t thought likely to conceal any man due to the preponderance of thorns. And he recognised that voice. It was Prince Dickory, and it was garbed, in his mind, with what future generations might call sarcasm.

Tracking my dinner then are you, ‘Wongo>” it asked.

For me,” he replied, “For Mirumda,” he added.

The fawn obviously heard the grunted conversation and looked up, warily. It was ready to take to its heels and run when Owongo hurled a stone at it. Now, great practice in times of real need had trained Owongo to aim truly, and he did this time despite the interruption from beyond the thorny thicket.

His aim would have been spot on had the fawn not done what any sensible creature would have done, and taken to its heels, and the stone, though it would have hit the creature viciously on its head, passed harmlessly passed its fleeing tail.

Now see what you done, ‘Wongo,” came the voice, “Deer might have made supper for us, but you scare it off!”

Then the owner of the voice came into view, loping from behind what was quite a substantial thicket and accompanied by two thugs. Owongo recognised the sort. They would quite happily have slaughtered their own offspring had Prince Dickory ordered them to, but this time their brutish faces were covered by an uncertain leer as if they were still uncertain of their hero’s intentions towards Owongo, who they recognised as a popular man in the tribe.

It was mine, Prince,” retorted Owongo, “I tracked it for miles.” He didn’t actually know what a mile was but the term he used was an adequate primitive alternative.

All deer of the forest are mine,” retorted Prince Dickory, “you find out when you have your voting!”

You, man, will be judged by equals who were born like you were and will die like you will and will choose me,” risked Owongo.

Get him and teach him who’s boss here!” snapped Prince Dickory to the two thugs.

Owongo knew what to do, though. He leapt towards the thicket, landing after a mighty leap in the thickest part and finding his eyes watering as thorns pierced his legs. But he was wearing his min-apron and his manhood was mercifully protected.

The thugs weren’t so well dressed as him, though. They were totally naked after the manner of men who want their master to love them, and so revealed male genitals that were sadly on the small side.

Minus anything like Owongo’s apron the thorns created immense pain for them and they ended up curled on the ground weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, which added to their gory discomfort by biting their tongues.. Prince Dickory emerged from where he had been hiding and when he concluded that those he thought would protect him were incapable of doing anything of the sort, he turned and ran himself.

In battle, he knew he was not the equal of a man like Owongo if he didn’t have men at his shoulder to fight for him.

It took Owongo some time to relocate the fawn, but he did so because it hadn’t gone too far, carefully, warily, keeping his eyes open for other tribesmen besides as well as the fawn. And when he was happy that everything was right he leapt upon the creature and, using his own teeth, tore a mighty gash in its throat.

Sorry, critter,” he mumbled, and set off home, dragging his gift to Mirumda behind him and careful, every step of the way, that no Prince would know where he was.

© Peter Rogerson, 2.11.23


© 2023 Peter Rogerson

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Added on November 2, 2023
Last Updated on November 13, 2023
Tags: bullies, hunter, apron fawn


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 80 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..