A Caveman Evolution

About a 3 or 4 million years ago, two young cavemen, Ook and Zowie, fell in love. They hid their love from the rest of their clan by secretly going off to the far, dark corners of the cave to kiss and cuddle. But their love grew to be so strong that they became reckless. Once, when on a lion hunt, Ook and Zowie disappeared behind some bushes to be alone and, before long, they produced some rather peculiar moans and groans which alarmed their fellow hunters. Gossip spread like wildfire. The cave people immediately began to treat Ook and Zowie differently. That night, they were not given their fair share of the lion meat. They received more than a few harsh, icy stares.

Some members of the tribe were not surprised by the gossip, for they had always suspected that there was something different about Ook and Zowie. When he was a boy, Ook liked to gather more than he liked to hunt. This alarmed his father greatly, but Ook's papa liked the nuts and berries that his little boy brought back home to the cave, so he was reluctant to change his boy's behavior. And Zowie, from a young age, had the unique ability of moving his body well to the beat of the tribal drums. It was odd to see a boy with such rhythm, but he made the monthly tribal rites so much more fabulous that the cave folk kept their troubling thoughts to themselves. Besides, Zowie's gracefulness proved to be an asset when fighting neighboring clans. Many in his tribe grew to admire him.

But the new, overt exhibition of Ook and Zowie's "unnatural" behavior was just too much for these cave people. The two young men soon tired of being treated unfairly. They no longer desired to hide their love. One night, at the height of the monthly ritual dance around the fire, Zowie stopped his gyrating abruptly. Ook joined him in the center of the tribal circle and held his hand. The pair publicly announced that, from this night forward, they would sleep next to each other. And not hidden in the corner in the dark. No. They would snuggle up in front of the blazing fire just like everybody else!

This declaration did not sit well with the others. One of the wisest among them pondered how this arrangement could ever be acceptable. After all, he reasoned, the idea of two men sleeping side-by-side was newer than the invention of the wheel and was equally as untested. Others feared that if two cavemen were permitted to sleep next to each other, what was to stop a caveman from sleeping with a woolly mammoth or with a saber tooth tiger? Some feared that the earth god would be angered by this arrangement and would cause great quakes and other disasters.

The next day, about half of the tribal elders had a most unusual encounter. While out for a walk in the sun to ponder the prior evening's events, they happened upon a huge, imposing, rectangular monolith. It was a smooth, shiny black with a strange, ominous buzzing emanating from it. They were fascinated by it but did not know what it was. Some claimed that the monolith was a manifestation of Evolution, or at least some sort of Progress. This might be the truth. Almost every one of the elders that saw the monolith evolved their thinking and came to acknowledge Ook and Zowie's relationship as acceptable. [That is, all but four of them.]

The other half of the elders, the ones who did not walk in the sun and who remained in the dark, they did not evolve at all. They became staunchly opposed to the boys' relationship. They made Ook and Zowie feel most unwelcome in the cave that they all shared.

Ook and Zowie laid next to each other at night, puzzled over why the clan was in such an uproar as a result of their news. They hoped that the monolith might appear again to change some more thinking or that, maybe, enough time would elapse to breed a familiarity with their union. In the dark, they held each other, kept each other warm, and reassured each other that it would all work out if only they could remain patient for a little while longer.