1 Jun


elephants photo: Elephants el4205.jpg A great deal of planning goes into the preparation for a really long walk, Owongo discovered as he closeted himself into the back corner of his and Mirumda’s cave, in an alcove that he liked to call his “office” though he had no clear idea what an office might be. His woman didn’t understand him. She never had, properly. He was a force of nature, a man who operated (as do most males) on the principle of single-tasking.

And how, you might ask, do I know all this? The answer is both simple and complex. My own DNA can be traced back to a whole series of primitive men who all chose to be called Owongo, and the spooky thing is they all married (or cohabited with before marriage was invented) women called Mirumda. You might think I’m jesting, but the DNA evidence is there.


Maps proved to be a problem. There weren’t any. Very few people travelled further than they could see and if they did it never crossed a single mind to draw a map. So Owongo was to go on a long walk with no clear idea of what he might encounter on his noble way and, in addition, not really be aware of direction.

Supplies would be another problem. In our later age we might expect to bump into the odd supermarket as we journeyed the length and breadth of a country, but in Owongo’s days there were no supermarkets. There weren’t even any corner shops! Every little provision he needed he would have to carry with him and discover via the gift of good fortune as he went along. And all the time he would have to avoid any nasties that chanced to be sharing the same route as himself, and by nasties I mainly mean sabre-toothed creatures.

It has been noted elsewhere that all Owongos were inventive by nature as well as being canny enough to know there are some things a long walk might demand, like good boots.

The whole idea of the boot lay in the future but Owongo could clearly see that his feet might suffer if he didn’t offer them some protection over and above his naturally thick skin. So he scratched his head and wandered into the woodlands near his cave, pondering on the problem.

By chance a small herd of elephants lived in a clearing in that woodland, and they also enjoyed wandering between the trees, and trumpeting. Owongo trumpeted too, but his instrument of choice was his backside after he’d consumed the stone-age equivalent of baked beans. It is a talent that has travelled down the generations even to today.

It so happened that Owongo was so deep in thought that he failed to notice the pile of elephant droppings that both of his feet squelched into, and he walked on, oblivious of the aroma that drifted up to him from his own feet. On he went, scratching his head (and his gonads when they itched) and eventually returned home, still concerned about the state his feet would be in after so long a walk as he had planned.

“Urgh! What’s that stink?” squawked Mirumda, holding her nose and taking two steps away from her wonderful spouse.

“What’s that?” asked Owongo.

“On your feet, idiot!” shrieked Mirumda. “You’ve put your feet in something really nasty! Elephant poo, by the stink of it! Go and wash your feet before the pong sends me round the twist!”

“Er … sorry,” mumbled Owongo, aware that he would have no sex life until he cleaned his feet, and took himself down to the stream that gurgled beautifully within easy reach of his cave. Such was luxury in those distant days … spring water as good as on tap!

And it was there that he discovered that the elephant faeces had hardened and become a solid protective covering for his feet. If electricity had been invented back then a light-bulb would have flickered on in his head. As it was a flint sparked and he saw in an instant that he had created exactly what he wanted – a pair of boots (though he didn’t know the word “boots” of course), and they fitted his feet perfectly.

Using a flint scraper he carefully cut the hardened poo from his feet and stood back to admire two well-fitting boots.

“The answer,” he sighed. “Now I have everything I need…”

He concealed his new boots in a corner sufficiently far from home , one that protected them from wind and rain and washed his feet before returning home to Mirumda.

“Better not mention it to her,” he thought, “she might not like the idea…”

“That’s better, lover of mine,” cooed Mirumda when she saw him. “What do you make of these?” she added, suddenly exposing her more than adequate breasts for his inspection.

“Lovely,” he sighed, gently grabbing a handful and wondering whether long walks were really what he wanted.

© Peter Rogerson 01.06.15


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