27
Feb
12

Lucy: A Biography–Part VIII

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 8:

Chapter  3–Part 2

Changes

Nature could barely make the trio out in the darkness. The brindled shades of their hirsute bodies blended into the brambled scrub.

“For eighteen million years, Lucy, I pushed this land from the ice covered South Pole until it separated and migrated north. Here, I nurtured the perfect balance of environment and climate for the growth of mankind.”

 Her Lucy experiment was safe here. Few animals hunted the Great Rift Valley with its moving basins and bottomless crevices. Only Nature’s newest creations were reckless enough to test their burgeoning minds against the quickness of the natural world.

“I will help you, Lucy, but you must ask! Put aside your failures and inadequacies. My demesne will be yours. I am your deus ex machina!”

Did Lucy understand?    

Just as Lucy completed the sack, Raza returned. He squatted at her side, being careful not to bother Baad. Even in Night Sun’s wan light, Lucy could see a sheen of moisture above his upper lip and tension around his eyes.

“What do you see, Ra-za?”

When he didn’t answer, she followed his sightline, searching the shadows for the danger that made him tense, and listening for sounds out of place from the nocturnal chirps and hisses. Lucy had no idea what was normal this far from her homeland. To her side, Spider worked on an intricate web.

“Go, Spider, to the horizon! Spin your web where sky meets earth. Keep us safe from what danger lurks there,” Lucy whispered to the tiny creature.

As Lucy watched its back-and-forth movements, so careful and exacting, Raza rubbed his callused knee. Finally, he grunted, apparently satisfied with his sensory search. He dropped his head and fingered the leaf sack Lucy had looped around his muscular neck. It hung higher than hers, just above the horizontal line connecting the nipples of his chest. He grunted again.

“Put your cutter in it. Then your hands are free, like mine,” Lucy motioned.

Raza nodded and adjusted to the tether’s feel. After many breaths, he spoke.

“Soon we cross Impassable-Rift. It is difficult.” He studied the length of her body as though judging her chances of success. Lucy nodded, trying to reassure him, but he glanced away and continued. “Once we’re across, I will show you quarry-where stones-grow-for-tools and lake-where-children-play. You will meet the big-tailed deer and its cousin Gazelle, Sabertooth Cat and its cousin Homotherium, and mammoth and Oryx. You will see Snarling-dog who stalks by day and Hyaena-cat who hunts at night.”

Raza’s hands moved with eloquence, his face expressive as he described their journey. Lucy understood ‘quarry’, ‘lake’, ‘stone’—words that described features of her environment—but any time he moved from familiar actions such as ‘stalks by day’ to intangible ideas like ‘lake-seen-by-Kee’, she lost his conversational thread. This, she kept to herself by maintaining a passive, interested expression.

Raza paused, as though to collect his thoughts. There was a confidence in his face that made her want to trust him. More than that, she felt kindness.

“We will make it.”

She stiffened and felt the blood drain from her face. These were the words she used when Garv disappeared: “You will make it!”

“How do you know this?” she stuttered, struggling to calm herself.

“Kee-that-sees-all sees it.” A smoothness imbued Raza’s words that hadn’t been there before. He’d noticed her agitation.

“Who is this Kee?”

Although Lucy flawlessly reproduced his hand movement for the name ‘Kee’, Raza responded with a quizzical tilt of his head.           

“Some say she came from your land.”

“I understand.”

Stories circled through her group, too, of those who crossed the Rift in the past and never returned. Lucy spread her lips into a display of contentment, hiding her teeth as was appropriate when she felt no fear.

Raza’s warmth evaporated as Baad jerked awake. The elder’s ears pricked as his eyes darted along the grey line of the night horizon and through the shadowy shapes. When Night-dog howled, both males leaped to their feet. Baad glanced at the leaf sack now adorning Raza’s neck, but before he could comment, Owl hooted.

“Night-dog and Owl heard the steps I heard.” Baad’s bark was soft, but urgent, and the two strode toward the perimeter of the camp. Lucy jumped up. She, too, must protect them.

“Stay!” Raza snapped as he dropped his cutter into the leaf sack and then they were gone.

She drooped her head, knowing she again failed. Her fear at his words, We will make it, told Raza she was a coward as surely as Krp’s trembling jaw. Could she never be what she must be?

Lucy made a mulch from her herbs and rubbed it on her sore breasts and stomach, hoping to find relief from the tenderness, and curled into a ball to sleep. Garv’s scent mingled with Raza’s. She walked with strong confident steps, but as she moved forward, her head tilted over her shoulder at something behind her. Something beckoned…

Raza and Baad found nothing, though they searched the full perimeter of the campsite. Still, when they returned, they built nests to either side of a sleeping Lucy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Part VIX next week…

Want to be notified when Lucy: A Biography is published? Click here.

Follow me

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write AnythingCurrently, 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.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Lucy: A Biography–Part VIII”



  1. Leave a Comment

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


What’s in this blog

Discover the sizzle in science. It's not that stuff that's always for the smart kids. It's the need to know. The passion for understanding. The absolute belief that for every problem, there is a solution. The creative mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. The quest for the Holy Grail.

That's science.

Read Sizzling Science on Kindle

kindle

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 233 other followers

Share This

Bookmark and Share

Categories

Documents

Books I’m Reading

Great Science Books

Assembling California
Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
The Forest People
Geology Underfoot in Southern California
The Land's Wild Music: Encounters with Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest William, and James Galvin
My Life with the Chimpanzees
Naked Earth: The New Geophysics
Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are
The Runaway Brain: The Evolution of Human Uniqueness
Sand Rivers
The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body
The Tree Where Man Was Born
The Wildlife of Southern Africa: A Field Guide to the Animal and Plants of the Region
The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior: An Autobiography


Jacqui's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with Jacqui, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

RSS Fact and Fiction about Early Man

  • The Old Way: A Story of the First People October 4, 2017
    author: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas name: Jacqui average rating: 4.19 book published: 2006 rating: 5 read at: 2017/10/04 date added: 2017/10/04 shelves: history, early-man review: […]
    Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
  • Ki'ti's Story, 75,000 BC December 11, 2016
    author: Bonnye Matthews name: Jacqui average rating: 4.29 book published: 2012 rating: 5 read at: 2016/12/11 date added: 2016/12/11 shelves: early-man review: […]
    Bonnye Matthews
  • Meeting Prehistoric Man October 4, 2014
    author: GHR von Koenigswald name: Jacqui average rating: 4.00 book published: 1492 rating: 5 read at: 2014/10/04 date added: 2014/10/04 shelves: early-man review: Meeting Prehistoric Man by GHR Von Koenigswald is a journey throughout the world in discovery of early man as paleoanthropologists understood him during VonKoenigswald's time, circa 1950' […]
    GHR von Koenigswald
  • Letters from the Field, 1925-1975 September 13, 2014
    author: Margaret Mead name: Jacqui average rating: 4.17 book published: 1977 rating: 5 read at: 2014/09/13 date added: 2014/09/13 shelves: early-man review: If you didn't read my last week's post, you may wonder why I am so excited about Margaret Mead's eye-opening book, Letters From the Field. Even if you read me last week, you may wonder--I […]
    Margaret Mead
  • The Unfolding of Language: An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind's Greatest Invention January 12, 2014
    author: Guy Deutscher name: Jacqui average rating: 4.17 book published: 2005 rating: 3 read at: date added: 2014/01/12 shelves: early-man, research review: Dr. Deutscher has done a scholarly, thorough discussion on the roots of language, but I believe he started too late in time. I'm of the persuasion that language involves more than the spoken word. I […]
    Guy Deutscher
  • She Who remembers November 3, 2013
    author: Linda Lay Shuler name: Jacqui average rating: 4.11 book published: 1988 rating: 4 read at: date added: 2013/11/03 shelves: early-man review: […]
    Linda Lay Shuler
  • The Runaway Brain: The Evolution Of Human Uniqueness July 25, 2011
    author: Christopher Wills name: Jacqui average rating: 4.12 book published: 1993 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: science, early-man review: In my lifelong effort to understand what makes us human, I long ago arrived at the lynchpin to that discussion: our brain. Even though bipedalism preceded big brains, and we couldn't be who we are […]
    Christopher Wills
  • The Origin Of Humankind July 25, 2011
    author: Richard E. Leakey name: Jacqui average rating: 3.97 book published: 1981 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: early-man, history review: If you're interested in man's roots, there are several authors you must read: Birute Galdikas Dian Fosse Donald Johanson GHR Von Koenigsman Glen Isaacs Jared Diamond Ian Tattersell Lev Vygots […]
    Richard E. Leakey
  • Lucy: the beginnings of humankind July 24, 2011
    author: Donald C. Johanson name: Jacqui average rating: 4.11 book published: 1981 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: early-man, science review: I read this book when I was writing a paleo-historic drama of the life of earliest man. My characters were Homo habilines, but they cohabited Africa with Australopithecines, so to understand the co-st […]
    Donald C. Johanson
  • Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe July 24, 2011
    author: Jane Goodall name: Jacqui average rating: 4.25 book published: 1990 rating: 5 read at: date added: 2011/07/24 shelves: early-man, science review: I have read every book that Jane Goodall wrote. She has an easy-going writing style that shares scientific principals easily with the layman. Probably because when she started, she was little more than a no […]
    Jane Goodall
California Yellow Pages
blogarama - the blog directory
Free Blog Directory
wordpress stats
blog search directory
Science Blogs

Vote for Me


%d bloggers like this: