The Echo of the Eons
Consider a man, an early man, maybe 100,000 years ago or a little more. Just like his animal counterpart of 4 to 5 million ybp, he thinks there’s someone out there in the dark. He can hear this someone in the wind. It may be the same someone who brought the fire. They remember a lightning bolt that appeared to be thrown to the clan but then struck a tree. Was it the gift of fire? Or was this force evil? Did he try to strike the clan? Or was it just a warning? They tried to keep the fire, but didn’t know how.
“Uuhhh. Uhhhh.” They asked the fire to come back. Nothing happened.
The next time they thought this powerful One was coming (they thought he hid in the storm clouds), they repeated their plea. “Uuhhh. Uuhhh.” Nothing. All the men came into the tribe’s clearing. They all began, “Uuhhh. Uuhhh.” It was a distressing noise. The strong man rammed his staff on the ground. It startled the others. He tamped a spot softly with his staff. He tapped the spot harder and harder, then he spoke the word on the beat. “Uuhhh! Uuhhh!” He leaned toward the others emphasizing the sound and the beat. “Uuhhh! Uuhhh!” Slowly they joined in. And as one, they raised their voices, Uuhhh!! Uuhhh!!” Nothing happened.
The next time storm clouds gathered, the clan assembled on their common ground. The strong man pounded the ground. They all chanted, “Uuhhh! Uuhhh!!” After a while, they became tired. As they were about to give up, lightning struck in the distance.
Renewed, they began chanting again. “Uuhhh!! Uuhhh!!” The strong man continued pounding the beat. The leader of the hunt stepped before the men and spread his fingers wide. He made his hands quiver as if it was a prelude to some coming event. The men, continuing the chant, spread out into the open meadow beyond the clan’s compound. They kept their voices strong. It was hard to hear them over the gathering storm so they stood their ground. One of them motioned to the man farthest out to stop. He was into a creek up to his shins. A blinding bolt of light burst out of the man’s chest and he fell dead into the stream. The crackle of thunder reached the others. Son of a bitch! the strong man said, though, in the words of their day, “UH uh uh UUUUHHH!!”
When the next storm gathered the men again met on the pounded ground of the clan’s common. The strong man tamped the beat, the others chanted. The leader of the hunt palmed the air in front of him with both hands indicating the men should stay put. There were a few lightning strikes visible, but no fire appeared. This went on for a few months. The men started stamping their feet to the beat of the chant. It seemed to ease the monotony of the monotonal chant.
At the next storm and chant session, a weird little guy, who’d yet to hit the first animal on a hunt, had his spear with him! He started tapping it to the beat of the strong man’s staff and the tribal chant. Every so often, after a downbeat, he’d raise his spear toward the storm and it caused the men’s emotions to swell until they let out a yell. The tribesmen looked at each other. One by one, they slipped away and returned with their spears. Before long, the tribe was tapping their spears, chanting, and pointing toward the storm and shouting in unison, “UUUHHHH.”
Soon enough, the lightning struck a tree on the meadow. The hunt leader motioned for a couple of men to fetch the fire. As they got to the tree, lightning struck again. They both fell dead. “UH uh uh UUUUHH!” said the strong man.