The Ingrate

The Great Being, Part 16
Volume 4, Issue 44

This continues our serialization of The Great Being, The One Thing That Really Exists, which we sense as “me”. We are following the trials and exploits of two Agents of Cosmic Intelligence (ACI), Melchizedek and Layla, who have entered the first homo sapiens sapiens bodies circa 200,000 BC. Previous installments.

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The babies were put to work in the council of the elders. Much as he treated the priestesses, the old shaman who led the tribe (with a strong bossman under him) looked to the babies to confirm the intuitions he had about each situation. The communication was partly telepathic at a rudimentary level (except for Melchi and Layla) but mostly by body and sound signals like facial postures and rhythmic grunting. The priestesses were all as old as the shaman, and as sharp-eyed and intuitive as him too.

The elders functioned to solve problems the tribe was having, as individuals or as a whole, and to envision what the tribe should be doing next when there were no pressing problems, and to get them to do it.

Everyone except the babies already knew the story of GLYP, a baby that had been orphaned by the killing of its parents in a border dispute that drove the tribe north to its present position in what would later be Turkey. GLYP had been adopted by HAH (not the original HAH but one of many females who had taken that name as a result of misunderstanding LAYLA’s instructions). This HAH was an unmated female who loved having GLYP. She showered him with affection and gave him whatever she could.

GLYP was old enough to remember his natural parents and was cold and indifferent to HAH. HAH brought GLYP to council on the first day the shaman had commanded that babies were to sit in going forward. MAH and DAH (and TYG) sat outside the inner circle and watched as HAH and GLYP were invited to sit down.

GLYP was able to sit up on his own and promptly lost interest in the ceremonies, pretending to play with his feet — anything so as to show his contempt for both the council and HAH.

What do Neanderthals do with tots like this? Layla asked, concerned that the toddler might be put to death. 

Let’s make our voices count to ensure the right outcome, Melchizedek telepathed back to her. The two of them had read everybody’s mind and understood the total situation.

The shaman by gestures indicated that GLYP should come to him. Reluctantly, GLYP allowed himself to be handed to the shaman, who stared into his eyes then put him in his lap and bounced him up and down. GLYP was not necessarily enjoying it but was sufficiently intuitive to be careful not to cry or do anything that might get him in even worse trouble.

The shaman seemed to note this in his wink to his priestesses, who winked back, themselves rocking and bouncing in parallel motion to the shaman, looking like an R&B band of a later era. HAH was enthralled, hoping for some positive outcome.

This went on for a while and Melchizedek was starting to get bored and wondered if he should take charge. That would be very risky, he knew. His thoughts were interrupted when the shaman issued a one-syllable command something like BUH!

Shortly he was brought a tiny mushroom cap by a younger tribeswoman serving the elders. He made fast work of half of it immediately and made a satisfied sound. He closed his eyes, still holding and rocking GLYP.

Melchi reached tentatively for the other half of the mushroom and the shaman’s hand caught his halfway. Looking up with trepidation he saw the shaman smile at him as he put a fragment of the other half in Melchizedek’s mouth.

Psilocybin, he reported to Layla.

After the mushroom was downed, the shaman began to lead the band into a more tuneful piece of improv music, with emphasis on rhythm. Even the babies felt moved to join in, especially Melchizedek as he rapidly became extremely stoned. GLYP seemed to warm up a bit, not fighting the proceedings so much.

The shaman is seeing GLYP being ungrateful all his life, and getting away with it up to a point, and then being stoned to death by the tribe for an ultimate ingratitude to the Great Spirits of The World, Melchizedek pathed to Layla as he saw these visions flash rapidly through the shaman’s mind. But now he’s stumped as to how to explain it to GLYP so as to avert this outcome.

I would be too, Layla pathed back. We haven’t taught them nearly enough words to communicate all that. Glad he’s the one who has to do it.

The old man opened his eyes and looked uncertain. Then his eyes lighted on Melchi and Layla and lit up. He patted them both encouragingly on the back and repeatedly pointed with his head at GLYP. He was passing the buck to them.

Now what?


All my best,


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