Finally after ten years, I am close to publishing the heart-rending and fast-paced biography of Lucy. Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, this is the paleo-historic saga of our earliest ancestors as lived through the eyes of a female Homo habilis.
Since Donald Johanson uncovered the tiny three-and-a-half foot clawless, flat-toothed Australopithecine, we have asked, Who is she? And how could she survive in a world of mammoth predators and unrelenting natural disasters she had no understanding about? This book answers those questions as well as more fundamental ones like, Where did God come from? Why did man create his first tool? How did culture start?
Here’s a summary:
Lucy: A Biography follows three species of early man (Australopithecus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus), as they fight for the limited resources of Pleistocene Africa. Lucy, of the species habilis, blames herself for the death of her family and agrees to mate with a stranger (Raza). As they journey to Raza’s homebase, they are tracked by two deadly predators: Xha, of the smarter and more powerful species Homo erectus, and the violent and unforgiving Nature, a sentient being who meddles with fate and Lucy’s future as though it were a chemistry experiment. The story is carefully researched to shared the geography, climate, and biosphere that would have been Lucy’s world 1.8 million years ago, when man was not King and nature ruled with a violence and dispassion we call ‘disaster’ today.
Every week, I’ll post part of this story.
A note: While I took Lucy’s name from the infamous Australopithecine skeleton discovered by Donald Johanson, Lucy is a Homo habilis. Her adopted child Boa is an Australopithecine.
Here’s Part 27:
Chapter 9–Part III
Carrying Scavenge Home
Nature wiggled with excitement. “Soon you will see the difference, my creation. Cat is powerful, but gives up easily. Man-who-preys is both powerful and focused, but he lacks empathy for anything not his own interest. He doesn’t understand symbiosis.
“You accept Cat because without him, you don’t eat. You understand humility. You might be smarter, but Man-who-preys might be a better fit for his environment. I suppose if he propagates faster than he kills, it could work…”
“Lucy. Can you help me carry these?”
Ma-g’n appeared at her side and handed her a pile of sodden leaves. They walked in silence, his presence calming Lucy as it always did. He understood the complexity of her balancing act, like crossing a lava flow on a narrow log. Each day brought more difficulties in fulfilling the promise she’d made to herself and her child, but she couldn’t give up. What would she do if she stopped trying?
“Maybe she’s right, Ma-g’n. She has raised good children. Will I ruin my child?”
“Dear Lucy. Kelda is bitter. Her parents left her, and none wanted her. Her hostility drives everyone away. Vorak mated her out of duty. We need children, and Kelda makes babies.”
“So I should follow her advice. She is wise in this area—is that what you mean, Ma-g’n?”
“Kelda found the path that suits her. You will find yours.”
Lucy nodded, but Ma-g’n seemed distracted. His shoulders stooped and his finger twitched through the pieces of his ear as though with a will of its own.
“Ma-g’n. What is it?”
His eyes clouded over and tension gripped his face. “We are in trouble, Lucy. Danger has returned. It is good you are a hunter.”
Photo credit: San Diego Museum of Man
Part XXVIII next week…
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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum and two tech-ed lesson plan collections for K-sixth, creator of two technology training books for middle school, and six ebooks on technology in education for K-8. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for six blogs, anAmazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.