When Is Enough, Enough?

Out across the frozen tundra, oceans of grasses and shrubs locked ridged by the inevitable on come of winter, they crouch down low, colossal shades of shaggy gray/brown moving steadily in a westerly direction, far off in the distance. It’s still quite early, the dark of night barely free of the subarctic world about them.

They split into three groups, stealthily moving in on their prey, hoping to close in upon them at the cliff edge. A bitter cold breeze sneaks up from behind them, cutting into their bearskins, chilling them to the bone with a vengeance that cannot be quelled.

They are happy to be downwind of these massive beasts. It’s a game of precision, has to be executed without fault. Just one mistake and the consequences could be fatal, not just for the hunters but for their families waiting at home.

They are so close now they can easily smell the pungent waft of damp, ice knotted fur. A huge male, three females and two young; breathes so overpowering, visible as thick, white plumes, falling misty umbrellas upon them.

It’s now or never, all three groups simultaneously jumping to their feet, vicious screams lifting with the razor edged spears that cut through the subzero air, the mammoths startled, fearful, turning to face the hunters and to protect their young. The male charges forward, raising its mighty trunk, its tusks meeting human flesh, tossing the body like a rag doll backwards.

Terrified, the females pull back, pushing the young toward the cliff edge. Panic breaks out, the male rushing forward only to be felled by a barrage of spears and arrows to the head, trunk and eyes. With the male down, the females flee, two making their escape while one topples over the cliff edge along with the young.

Our forefathers fought hard to survive, faced endless hazards and suffered terrible hardships. They hunted creatures that outsized them, outmaneuvered them and out powered them, against near impossible odds with simple weapons. And yet here we are a testament to their success.

We have come far since then, in a world that is so different from the one they lived in that one might almost wonder if we actually shared the same planet. Many of us are still avid hunters, although most of us are quite happy to simply buy a nice Sunday roast down at the local supermarket.

The second part of this post will come in just two days.

Bye for now




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