The African Savannah, =/- 2 million years ago...
“Bah-bah-bah! Bah-bah-bah!” Little one was hitting her hands together, making the noise. Sniffing the air and looking around, Mama made sure her little one wasn’t attracting danger. Satisfied, she waddled the short distance across the stony bank to get water.
The others were not far away, most of them searching the tall grasses for the remains of the beasts’ kills. Papa had one stone with an edge he had found long ago, and they would use that to cut parts of the killings to eat. Every time it took longer to cut off a leg or part of the back.
Mama stayed back to care for little one. Little one could not walk far yet, but was too big to carry much. Mama began to scoop handfuls of the stream to her mouth. She had just finished a handful when the noise from little one changed.
“Bah-bah-bah!” and with each ‘bah’ was a little clink. Mama looked back and saw little one bashing two small rocks together. She returned to her water. As she looked into the stream, she noticed a rock that was shinier and rougher than the others were. Carefully she pulled it out. One edge was thinner, and running her hand along it, she could feel the hurt. If she pushed hard enough, the red would come.
Suddenly there was a loud cry from little one. Mama turned and saw that the rocks little one had been playing with had broken, one of them cutting little one’s hand. The red was dripping over little one’s legs. Mama ran over to her and picked her up before little one could cry too much in pain…that would bring the beasts.
Inspecting the cut, Mama could see it was small, and would stop bleeding soon. She set little one back down and picked up the two rocks little one had been banging together. One was still round, but the other was broken, and the edge was what had cut little one. Mama looked again.
A rock had broken a rock. Mama went back to the rock she had dropped when little one had cried. Sitting down next to little one, she gave her two more small stones, then picked up two herself. She began hitting them together like little one had. Little one joined in.
“Bah-bah-bah! Bah-bah-bah!” they made the noise together, each time banging their rocks. “Bah-bah-bah! Bah-bah-bah!
Suddenly there was a sharp crack, and Mama felt the sharp hurt and saw the red dripping. One of her rocks had broken, leaving a sharp edge, much like the one she had just found. Mama had to stop. Now she had two sharp rocks, both could cut into the remains of the beasts’ kills.
After the heat the others returned to the edge of the water where they’d made their night nests. Hearing the strange noise, Papa and another came upon Mama and little one. Beside Mama was a small pile of stones with edges. Seeing Papa, she held up one. Then she made a noise that was not a scream or an alert of any kind.
“Bah-bah-bak! Bak!” and she showed him the sharp edge. “Bak!” another rock with and edge.
“Bak! Bak! Bak!,” cried the little one, holding up her tiny broken stones.
Some days later…
Papa and many of the others crouched on the ground with piles of round rocks nearby. Each would grab two, then put one on the ground. Almost in unison, they would make the rock noise, “Bah-bah-bah! Bah-bah-bah!” When a rock got a sharp edge, the maker would make the “Bak!”sound.
The group now had many baks, and these they used to cut the remains of the killings from the beasts. The cutting was much faster for they all had sharp edges now. The group was eating very well.