I seem to have started a new series of salutory little tales about another ancestor of mine, one Owongoo (not Owongo) This new cove is a Neanderthal gent, and he is on his travels. This is the third little tale, and you can find the first two by clicking on the relevant link:
THE ROCK IN THE SEA
There's nothing like a warm Mediterranean shower to improve the spirit and satisfy the soul. That's what Owongoo thought as he stirred in his sleep and then opened first one eye and then the other.
He had, if you recall, laid himself down to die. The nagging thirst and swollen tongue that had resulted from his drinking of salt sea-water was already subsiding as droplets of pure rain lashed down from a leaden sky and forced themselves between his Neanderthal lips and into his mouth.
Next to him Mirumdoo moaned. He recognised the sound because she moaned quite often. She moaned if things went wrong, or if he did something she considered to be foolish or even stupid (which he knew he never did) and she moaned when things went right but she wanted them to go wrong in order to be given a gratis reason for moaning about something else. She would have been awarded a degree in moaning had there been any formal Universities in her prehistoric time. So this time, when she moaned, Owongoo ignored her.
But you can never ignore a moaning woman for long. He knew that much. Life had taught it to him, along with a certainty that the moaning will never actually stop altogether.
â€œShut up, woman,â€ he growled through swollen lips. â€œWe're both in the same boat!â€
â€œIt wouldn't be so bad it it were a boat, but it isn't. It's a raft!â€ she spat back at him.
â€œIt would be a boat if I know what one was,â€ he replied, his voice heavy with irony.
â€œThere's land not far away,â€ she pointed, changing the subject because she knew that Owongoo couldn't get his head properly around irony. If he were a woman, she thought silently inside her head, if he were a woman he would be able to multitask and this pile of scrap timber would most certainly be a nice cosy boat, whatever one of those might be.
He followed her outstretched arm with his eyes and nodded. â€œMy ancestor the great Owongo after whom I was named said there would be new lands over the seas, and he was right,â€ he murmured, â€œwhich is remarkable seeing as he didn't know what the seas were and that there could ever be so much water anywhere on the world.â€
â€œThe mighty Owongo knew many wise things,â€ reflected Mirumdoo. â€œHe was even cognisant of the superiority of the female when it comes to such practical things as discovering new continents. He inscribed it on the wall of his cave, complete with a diagram of a large willy.â€
â€œWhat have large willies got to do with it,â€ growled Owongoo.
â€œIt's just that he knew a thing or three about the things we ladies like to snigger at,â€ she grinned, sniggering. â€œBut then, back then all the folks went about naked and everyone sniggered just about all of the time. I've seen drawings.â€
â€œYou'd never get me going around naked...â€ began Owongoo, outraged at the suggestion. â€œThis world of ours is a great deal too cold for that!â€
â€œBlame the ice-age,â€ said Mirumdoo with a great deal of wisdom curling her consonants and emphasising her vowels.
â€œMaybe you're right there, beloved,â€ smoothed Owongoo. â€œBut look, my odious precious, we're about to collide with a sandy beach! We have crossed the mighty seas and survived!â€
â€œAnd to think it can't be above a few hours since you laid yourself down to die,â€ sighed Mirumdoo. â€œI was looking forwards to a pint or two of your salty blood! I should imagine, my dopey little man, that it is quite nourishing, if not possibly high in calories, and here's me trying to lose weight!â€
â€œThat's enough of that kind of talk!â€ barked Owongoo.
â€œI just mean we can't have floated very far,â€ muttered Mirumdoo. â€œI'll bet we've hardly gone any distance at all! I'll bet this land that I hereby name Jibby is little more than a rock sticking up out of the seas, and that we have to go further before we get to the land of your dreams.â€
Owongoo leapt onto the sand as soon as his raft had closed the distance to it, and stood there looking around.
â€œThis is a wonderful land, this Jibby of yours,â€ he said, thoughtfully. â€œCome, noxious wench of my dreams, let you and I become cartographers and inscribe its likeness on a stone cave wall! Then, maybe, the time will come in some unbelievable future when other men will come and see our plans and maps and know how skilled we are!â€
â€œOr how daft you are,â€ muttered Mirumdoo, but she followed him off their raft and the two of them made their way towards the rocks of their new found land.
Â© Peter Rogerson 13.06.12 relevant