Monday, June 17, 2013

Giant Stone Axe

… the discovery of the first of what are believed to be the world’s largest stone tools on the bed of the lake...Four giant stone hand axes, measuring over 30 cm long and of uncertain age, were recovered from the lake basin.


Maybe 100,000 years ago, the dry basin of Lake Makgadikgadi in the Kalahari Desert.

Waki was almost finished. He was relieved and yet a little sad.  He was relieved because this work had taken time and was heavy. His back ached and his fingers were raw, and cut in some places. He was sad because it meant his son was now a man, and would face a man’s dangers.
He squinted at the sun.  It was starting down.  When night came this stone axe, a gift for his son, would be finished.  Waki adjusted his feet amongst the flint chips, barely noticing yet another small cut.  When a man worked the stone as Waki did, a man got cut.
There was a noise in back with the people.  Waki’s mate and children, her sister and her mate, their children, and Waki’s younger brother were the people.  His mate’s mother had been with them until the last rainfall, when she had fallen asleep for the last time.  They were a small people, but all was well as they hunted along the lake. 
The noise grew louder; Waki’s mate was wailing. Waki lifted his head, then stood up slowly, his aching knees refusing to move as fast as he needed them to.  He walked to the people.  His brother was dragging a long tall animal behind him.  It was lean and brown, with fresh blood…as he got closer, Waki saw that it was his son. One look and he could see that his son, who had been Waga, had gotten too close to a lion.  Waki looked at his brother.
“Grothr” the one word made sense.  A female lion, probably protecting her young.
Waki hung his head.  He couldn’t look at his wailing mate, or his other children. Instead, he went back to his stones.  He picked up the stone axe he had been shaping as a fine gift for Waga.  
He finished it, hearing the heart wrenching wails of his mate until the sun was almost down.  He picked up the fine stone axe.  Large because Waga was large.  Large because Waki felt a great sense of goodness for his young man-son.  He went to Waga’s still body.  Over the head he held the great stone axe.  He lifted it to the sky and his bellow to the sky was bloodcurdling.  He roared again, shaking the axe against the twilight and the quiet stars. He turned, and purposefully strode to the edge of the lake.  In sorrow, anger and unanswered rage he threw the stone axe to the bottom.

1 comment:

  1. Short but full of emotions: pride, joy, sadness, pain. Thanks Aura! I enjoyed this piece.