Have you ever played that game where you’re sitting in a circle and have a sentence whispered into your ear and then you must whisper it to the person beside you until it comes full circle? Sure you have. It’s a kids game. The fun of it is seeing if the original words make it all the way around the circle. Usually they don’t and the results can be quite funny.
So imagine this. You’re a cave dweller at the dawn of the age. It’s winter and time for a chat around the fire. Everyone is hoping Tunk is up to telling one of his fantastic hunting stories. And he is, but it’s one you’ve all heard before. So it’s kind of boring. Fellow cave dwellers begin to scratch their fleas and pick each other’s noses. Tunk gets really annoyed. He stands up and grabs his club.
“Tunk never tell story again!” And off he goes to kill a mastodon for next Friday’s supper just in case everyone is sick of the (increasingly pungent) pterodactyl stew from Sunday.
This is extremely unsettling. Nobody knows what to do until little Org pipes up. "We should endeavor to write down this story or it will be lost to future generations.”
Everyone is stunned at little Org’s sentence structure and use of proper grammar. He might even be responsible for the first use of the word ‘story.’ Time will tell.
Org runs off to his corner of the cave and grabs some birch bark, a sharpened stick, and a jar of bat’s blood. (NO – I don’t’ know where he got the jar). He heads back to the fire and starts pumping for information. What did they all remember about the story? Whispering is heard around the glowing embers. Org is excited. But then squabbling breaks out. Okay – what could they all agree on? “Please tell me," pleads Org while wringing his hairy hands. But there’s no agreement anywhere it seems.
Then Granny, at the advanced age of 26, pipes up. “Back in my day . . .” A collective groan goes up and someone spits into the fire. Org is beginning to think this collective story writing gig is overrated. So he thanks them all, takes his bark, his stick, and his bat blood in a jar and hustles back to his corner to figure it out for himself.
The next day he brings his story, “Ten Ways to Trick a Mastodon”, to the fire. Everyone agrees that he got it down pretty good, even Tunk who had come back in the night with a new fur coat.
Don’t even ask. That’s the second written down story and involves nudity.
By the following spring Org had made six copies of "Trick" as it was now called and sold them for twenty clams a pop to Gary, the leader of the next cave over. Org's work became wildly popular and he eventually employed others. So, not only did he write down the very first story, but we can also thank him for founding the very first Org-anization.
Image: AKARAKINGDOMS Free Digital Photos