He had struggled to draw with it at first. But, the more hunts he drew and celebrations to the seasons he depicted the less the young/old man struggled, as the stone wore down.
When finished, he sat back to study his work, though wasn’t at all satisfied.
Something just didn’t seem right to him. Pud felt like it was missing something essential to the evolution of his group.
He was the fourth generation of his tribe’s illustrators, and even though it was a great honour, Pud felt that he wanted to move on to a different medium of expression.
The illustrator knew deep inside what he called his kull that there had to a better way to describe the many kinds of hunted animals. Stick depictions that might be an Ugul or may just as easily be a Chata weren’t exact enough for the young/old man.
He’d thought about it many times during the winter nights, when there wasn’t much to do but sleep, think, or make up stories about the shining dots in the sky.
He shot a quick, furtive look over what we now know in English speak as his shoulder. He was glad to see he was still alone. The men, after all, would still be out hunting and the women would be showing the children what ghita could be eaten.
He returned his gaze to the cave wall and carefully scrawled the word ‘UGUL’ underneath the last beast captured.
It sounded majestic to the flappy munkas on each side of his kull.
Pud was certain that such a way of expression would catch on. He, was practically giddy with excitement in what he referred to as his tuum-tuum. He imagined that his new expression would be a part of his tribe’s way of communication for many years to come.
The fury of the tribe’s leader, Goon, when he came back from hunting and saw the scribbles, wasn’t much of a surprise to dear old Pud. The punch to his tuum-tuum and the stamping of his juu-juus did seem a tad over the top, but Goon wasn’t known for his gentle approach to life. Pud had once seen the leader beat another member to death for looking at his woman the wrong way.
Change, sadly, would be beyond Goons thick kull.
It did seem ironic to the illustrator that the little ones were the only members of the tribe who enjoyed his new way. Their inquisitive minds were tickled with the new symbols.
Maybe, before they turned into more Goons, I should keep their interest, he thought: obviously in his own guttural, monosyllabic way.
And that’s exactly what he did.
Every day, within the pretence of teaching the younglings how to draw, he taught them his secret new script.
Under the cover of winks and whispers the knowledge grew.
Eventually, with the death of Goon and his ilk, the flower of language bloomed.
Sadly, Pud the Younger/Elder didn’t live to see this, but he did pass back into the earth knowing that it would one day be celebrated and that he had done his best with the short life he’d lived.