The Other First Man, a Fable

Once a long, long time ago, there was this man. Initially, he was the only man around his parts. Not that he was really the first, mind you, but this fable isn’t intended to produce another “Adam and Eve” argument; no way, no how. But this other first man existed about that long ago, perhaps even earlier.

His name was Albert.

It didn’t take Albert very long to realize he was a bit different than all of the other animals. It was because he realized he could think, rationalize, figure out things.

So Albert set out to…er, live. His quest to live began with finding water, which was provided by a stream nearby right after Albert realized his thinking was what made him different from the other animals around him. Then he realized, or perhaps not realized, he had curiosity, not like a cat, but Albert was curious because he wanted to know. So he crossed the stream where he drank his water to find out what was over there.

After a while of exploring across the stream, he met Alberta. She didn’t have any makeup on, but by the standards back then, she was good looking compared to all of the other women. But of course, there weren’t any women for comparison. And then again, Albert wouldn’t have been any heart throb to any movie starlets if they had been around then.

So Albert and Alberta hit it off. They went back across the stream and set up house in a dune or small hill where Albert had dug out a room. One evening by the fire he had figured out how to control – yet another thing Albert found different between him and the other animals – Albert put his arm around Alberta, and something between them began to grow. They discovered this growing thing was Albert. They didn’t know where to put it initially but Alberta figured out where to put it. The place to put it was Alberta. They discovered this felt pretty good, so they did this for a bunch of nights by the fire.

Soon Alberta began to get rather large in the mid-section, and they were puzzled. Eventually they figured it out when Alberta gave birth to Albatross. He was a feisty infant and grew fast. He was also a boy and inclined to do stupid things. Then one day, Albatross took on a saber tooth tiger. That was one of the stupid things. It also was Albatross’ last thing of any kind.

Albert and Alberta paid their respects to Albatross by burying his loin cloth, which was about all they could find. As they paid their respects, this large bird flew directly over them, and they decided to honor the slight remains of their son by naming the bird “albatross.”

Still they were intrigued with how good it felt putting Albert’s growth in its proper place. Soon they had a daughter whom they named Albertina. Not too long afterward, they had another boy and named him Alberto.

That’s when Alberta decided she and Albert were having way too much fun, and it made feeding everyone much more difficult. So, being a woman, she told Albert she didn’t want to have fun anymore. Albert didn’t agree, but being able to think, he realized he didn’t have any choice, nodded, and retreated to a solitary spot to alleviate any growth he might experience after that.

Albert, Alberto, Albertina, and Alberto loved animals. They thought they were cute and fluffy. Unless the family needed to eat. Then, the little critters became supper. Not being able to think, the smaller critters took a while to finally figured out they were cuddled and then eaten. That’s when the critters became much harder to find. So Albert, who had met Alberta’s brother, Alvin, teamed up and went hunting for larger game.

Meanwhile Alberta worked around the living spaces with Alvina, Alvin’s new wife. They discovered there were some good tasting berries around. Alberta decided some leafy growths she found on the ground might go well with the meat. So she said to Alvina, “Let us take these home,” and the green leafy plants became known as lettuce. The two women thought the lettuce along with the berries for dessert would go well with the meat the boys brought home.

While the men were away, Alberta and Alvina started talking about how to be prettier, even though it wasn’t needed. There wasn’t a lot of competition, but they were women and wanted to look prettier. Somehow, they decided they would put mud on their faces when they went to sleep at night. They believed the mud would draw out impurities and keep their facial skin soft and without blemishes. So that night after the men had brought meat home, and Alberto and Alvina had prepared their meal of caribou steak and lettuce with berries for dessert, the two women went to their separate dunes where the men had carved out living space (and put the fire in front to keep the space warm and keep off the numerous animal threats at night) turned the dirt they had saved into mud with water they had brought in from the stream, and covered their faces with the dark concoction.

Previously after preparing an earlier meal, Alberta and Alvina left some crushed berries in a depression in a nearby boulder. It sat there for a couple of days until Albert scooped some of it up in his palm to taste. He liked it. It made him feel good. Then he had Alvin try it. They both liked it. So it became part of their evening routine. This evening while the women were applying their mud, Albert and Alvin relaxed after their hunt and the meal, drinking their new found elixir and bragging about who got the biggest caribou. The women had gone to be by the time the men finished the elixir and bragging.

When Albert went to his living space, the fire cast an eerie glow into the dug out room. Slightly tipsy from the elixir, Albert did not see Alberta on the skin on the floor, but saw this very scary creature with a face that looked like some kind of monster. He grabbed his nearby hunting rock above his head and was about to crush the monster’s skull when Alberta woke up and screamed. Her eyes glowing white through the mud, Alberta still scared Albert, but he recognized the scream, which also scared him. When she explained to him what was going on. He was puzzled, but he could think and knew Alberta was a woman who did not think the way he thought. Albert wisely apologized but was very careful when he went to bed at night from then on. He was very, very careful.

And somewhere in those olden times when it rained and made hunting, if not impossible, certainly unlikely for catching any game, Albert would stay home with Alberta and talk about who they were, what they were, and what life really was. They agreed they were different than other animals. They had already realized they could think, be logical, come to conclusions. But they also realized there was something bigger than them. They thought it might be connected to some bigger power in the heavens, perhaps connected to the albatross they had named after their first son. They also thought it might come from within.

This idea of what was right and what was wrong seemed to be something they understood and the other living things did not. They discovered they not only cared for their family but other human beings.

You see, other men and women began to gather at the stream and set up living there. They found they could be much more efficient if they assigned individuals to specific tasks, creating teams for each part of their life in this community, creating much better living than what one family could do on its own.

That’s when the trouble started.

Some men thought the women should be subservient. All of the women and some of the men disagreed, but the women coupled with the men thinking they were subservient were forced to agree with their men, so the men were considered superior.

Then some other folk tried to cross the stream and join the group. These men who thought they knew everything and disregarded the power of good and right and wrong within them and above them feared the newcomers. They chased off the newcomers and set up boundaries around their encampment. They became isolated. These same men began fighting over who would be the chief. They wanted to punish anyone they perceived to be against them and set up tribal sessions where they ruled and punished their competitors, even killing some of them.

It got really ugly.

Albert and Alberta were scared. Alvin, Alvina, and their children had left some time before, wanting to check out what the other side of their world looked like. Now Albert and Alberta, the original occupants in the area, who had realized they were different and not like the animals because they could think logically and knew inside what was wrong, right, and humane, realized many men and women were acting more like animals, specifically lemmings, and were disregarding what was wrong and right.

So one night in the darkness of the wee hours, Albert, Alberta, Albertina, and Alberto snuck away carrying their animal skins, Albert’s hunting rock, and a bota bag made of animal skin holding Albert’s berry concoction.

No one knew where they went, what happened to them. They became legends in the little village. Some people thought they were gods had gone on to a magic place for the dead, and worshipped them. Some thought they had suffered the same fate as Albatross, death by a “streak” of saber tooth tigers, or perhaps more fittingly, an “ambush” of those big cats. But no one really knew.

But the Albert family didn’t die, at least not then. They wandered until they found a cave, suitable for living, a nice piece of real estate, really, with a great view at the foot of a mountain far away. There were no other people there, and Albert and Alberta were glad because they wanted to listen to that inner power, which was also in the heavens and all around them and do the right thing.

And they lived happily ever after…

Oh no they didn’t.

Some paleontologists recently have found ancient human stools near the cave and began an intense study of the creatures they named “Albert and family.” They found a crude grave, a mound stones nearby. There wasn’t much left, but these paleontologists determined the remains were of the other first man and woman.

Apparently, daughter Albertina and son Alberto separately wandered off to other places after they reached puberty. The paleontologists determined the two young adults had gone to different cities because they enjoyed the night life and being around other people, right or wrong.

These scientists reached the conclusion Albert and Alberta had died, if not happily, at least satisfied they had try to do the right thing.

And that was enough.

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