Grunt listened to the boring story. Grunt wanted to be outside playing with the big, loud wolves rather than staying inside a dusty and dark cave. He knew that the reason why his parents were staying in the cave was because they were scared of the outside world. They only went out when they had to hunt. The rest of the day was spent just sitting down and sharpening rocks on the cave walls or drawing pictures with the tar.
Grunt was nibbling on the raw lamb that he, Grunt, had caught. The family knew that since Grunt was not afraid of the outside, he could just get the food for them and they could just stay in the cave for as long as they wanted like a bunch of overfed pigs. Grunt was hardly listening to the scary story. Everyone in the tribe except him was listening. Grunt was laboring and making spears and making tents for the hunting party who hardly ever went hunting. Grunt was so good at hunting because he tamed a couple of the wolves to help him hunt. He was also known besides Grunt as Friend of the Wolves because every other caveman’s enemy was the wolf. Man and dog were not best friends; they were the worst of enemies.
Grunt came to the conclusion that he would rather be listening to the story than doing all the dirty work for the tribe. He crawled over to the fire and listened to the Old Caveman tell the story. Grunt laughed when the people shivered and drew back in terror and surprise. It seemed like the same story kept them being afraid. The same old story led them to the same reaction. He thought that it might be reasonable for them to be scared the first time, but why be scared if you heard it all your life? The cavemen knew every word of the story and they were still shrieking at some of the violent parts. He then grunted in caveman dialect. It roughly translated to, “I want to learn how to shiver.”
The old man said “If you can’t shiver, you don’t qualify as a true man. You have always been odd. You have not learnt how to shiver by now. All these men and boys who are shivering have gone out into the world to do so. If you want to learn how, get off the floor and go out into the world!” That day he vowed that he would learn how to shiver.
Grunt wondered that maybe his life could be more scary than this story. Maybe doing that would teach him how to shiver. He was starting to think that maybe if he made his life interesting, he could teach himself how to shiver. So he snuck toward the boulder at the cave entrance which was blocking the way out. He squeezed through a tiny crack beneath the boulder.
Outside, the light was fading. The sun was lowering and it was beginning to snow. In the distance he heard a wolf howling at the edge of the moon on the horizon. Within five minutes, the sun was gone. But so was Grunt. He was wondering where the sun goes after it sets, so he headed west. He was running, trying to keep up with it. He wondered what would happen once he got to the other horizon. So then he stopped. He knew he had reached the next horizon. But he didn’t see anything different. He just saw an icy stretch of water, showing the last rays of the day. He looked around. He was standing at the top of a very tall, chalk cliff. The sun was there, on the freezing water. It was glinting like gold under torchlight. Grunt knew he could go no further, so he turned back. Then, his eyes widened as big as the sun. The pack of wolves had smelt him out!
The wolves were cornering him. He tried to calm them, but these wolves looked far from taming. Then, he pulled out his crude stone knife. Grunt knew that the chances of surviving with a mere stone knife against a pack was very small. He didn’t rush towards the wolves. He would wait for them to come to him. The wolves realised that if he was not afraid of them, then he wasn’t a weak target. The wolves backed off.
He tried to shiver about this close encounter, but he didn’t shiver. He stomped his foot on the icy rocks.
When he returned home, he received a lot of scorn. Grunt said, “I was just trying to learn how to shiver.”
But the Old Man said, “If you want to learn how to shiver, go out into the world. Then you will learn how to shiver by the end of a day.”
So, for the second time in half an hour, Grunt was out in the bitter cold having no idea where he was going. He just kept walking south. He knew that if he went down it would get warmer, so he just kept walking and walking and walking and walking. Then, he fainted. He was extremely cold. He woke up in the morning under six feet of snow. He continued his journey south, determined to learn how to shiver.
Soon, winds from the west were whipping up the snow, so he had no sense of direction. The snow was thickening in his eyes, and his hand and tongue were red with cold. In the distance, he saw a cave. The cave was pitch black, blacker than night.
Grunt, without thinking of the consequences, stepped in the cave. Then, a wolf jumped out of the darkness!
Grunt realised that he either would have to become friends with this wolf or he would have to invade the cave and push him out into the snow. The wolf snarled at Grunt, and Grunt snarled back. No, he could not make friends with the wolf because the wolf would not give him enough time to before the wolf consumed him. Grunt realised that he was becoming less patient for the wolves. Anyway, now that he was out in the wild alone, everything was his enemy.
Grunt was a very strong caveman. He was not an adult yet, so he didn’t have the strength to throw the boulder at his cave into the air, but he was still very strong. He got to high-ground, which in this case was a rock. The wolf could not get up there. The wolf was ready to jump into the air a soon as Grunt would.
Grunt jumped, and kicked as he did. This resulted in a couple of shattered teeth for the wolf. The dog left the cave, limping. Grunt could see the red stain of blood pouring from his mouth on to the fresh snow. Soon, the wolf disappeared into the cloudy blizzard.
Grunt realised two problems. He had no idea where food would be at this time, because he had never hunted in those condition and where would he get water. In his old home, there had been a cool mountain spring. Grunt set his sights on exploring the cave. To do that he needed to find a fire. He knew how to make fire. He had a chunk of flint in his pocket. He saw two thick logs at the edge of the darkness.
The logs were lit, and the fire that was roaring was nice and cozy. The cave was huge, and the fire shone upon a waterfall. This waterfall was going into a hole in the cave below, which was were the water flowed into a deep, dark, ravine. After a long day of exploring, Grunt fell asleep.
Grunt realised that he had still not learned how to shiver. He had heard absolutely horrible stories about the south. He had to go there. He heard that there were these strange and wicked creatures called “Humans”. The humans called them Cavemen. That was offensive, thought Grunt. They were the Neanderthals. He would prove to them that these tricky and cunning people would make him shiver, and he, Grunt, would conquer all the land. Grunt smiled a toothy, evil, grin. He had traveled miles away from home. Cavemen can travel at a surprisingly fast rate: 20 miles per hour. The cavemen literally powerwalk. Grunt had traveled something around 300 miles. He had left his cave back in the area where the city Oslo is to Stockholm. Stockholm is where Grunt was sitting in his cave.
Grunt got up from the ground and picked up his flint and headed outside of the cave. He started journeying South. Then a stampede occurred.
It was no regular stampede. Today our stampedes resemble that of wildebeests charging across the African country and buffalos charging across the fields of America. Back then, the stampede was of huge, bulky mammoths. Their great horns were very dangerous and in the north they were aggressive to cavemen.
Grunt realised that he had no choice but to run for his life. The beating of the feet got louder from the mammoth and they were crashing into one another and having fights amongst themselves. Grunt stopped running. He looked at the mammoth. Two huge mammoths were fighting to become the leader of the tribe. The biggest mammoth executed a blow upon the other mammoth. The other mammoth attempted to get the mammoth which had hit him back but that mammoth simply deflected it. That is exactly what the biggest mammoth did until the other mammoth was so exhausted that he felt on the ground. The mammoth comrades moved on with the new leader leaving him in the snow to get up.
The mammoth continued on to stampede. Grunt got out of their way and cautiously went to the mammoth. Grunt held back with his hands but then quickly he touched the ivory horn of the mammoth. The mammoth was suddenly alert. His eyes fluttered open. But when the mammoth saw him, to Grunt’s surprise, the mammoth did not attack.
The mammoth picked himself up and stared down at Grunt with huge black eyes. He softly cooed to Grunt to come and touch his horn. Grunt did not know that the mammoth had asked this but he still thought that the cooing sound was inviting him to touch the mammoth. So he did. Grunt had an idea. He could ride on the mammoth to get to the South and conquer the humans. Then he tried to climb up to the mammoth. The mammoth showed no resistance. So then he kicked the side of the mammoth gently and the mammoth went roughly on the same direction he wanted to go. South. They rode for hours and hours. Finally Grunt saw something memorable. He saw a huge unfrozen ocean and in the distance he saw what is
today mainland Europe.
Grunt realised that he could not take the mammoth with him. Grunt also realised that he had a problem. He had no idea how to swim.