The Man Who Tamed a Fire (Frag, 1)

Submitted by Ken Watts on Sat, 12/09/2006 - 14:48

Man and Woman roamed the earth for a million and a half years more, having their adventures.

They ate, they slept, they made love, and they raised children for a very long time: thirty times as long as it has been since the first city, 3000 times the years since Columbus, 7,500 times the history of the United States.

A very long time.

Life was even better now. They had tools of stone to help them with the work of living.

They could hunt, like the tiger and the wolf and the lion; they could make blankets and clothing out of skins; they could even cut wood, and use it to make handles for axes or shelters from the rain.

This time I am talking about is half a million years ago, 2,500 times the history of the United States.

That is long time ago.

In those days, Man and Woman warmed themselves with blankets, and by huddling together. When they ate meat or vegetables they ate them raw, for they had not yet tamed the Spirit of the Fire, and they did not yet know its Word.

They had played with fire, when the grass or the forests burned.

They were curious, and had learned how to feed this creature, and how to keep it from escaping its nest. But the fire would die, and they could not bring it back. Then they did a new thing.

This is how it happened.

One morning Man was cold, and he rubbed his hands together to make them warm. He thought to himself, "This warmth is like the spirit of the fire, when we play with it."

He said to Woman, "When I rub my hands together, they get warm, like the spirit of the fire. Perhaps if I rub them hard enough the fire will come, and we can feed it sticks, and it will give us warmth whenever we want it."

And Woman said to Man, "If you do this thing, you will burn your hands."

And Man laughed, and said, "You are wise. Perhaps I should rub the sticks together, instead."

So Man went to the forest, and found dry sticks of the kind he had fed to the fire before. He made a pit for a nest, and put some of the sticks in the center of the nest for the fire to feed on. Then he took two of the sticks and rubbed them together, like he rubbed his hands.

He did this for a long time, and the sticks got very hot with the spirit of the fire, but they did not burn.