The Tribe

In a time before anyone can remember, there were two tribes who lived as one.

The hunters were fast and strong. When the hunt was finished they would sleep and rest for the remainder of the day.

The gatherers were slow but steady. Life to them was not a race but a climb. They that kept on moving would make it to the top.

One day, the hunters decided that they should not have to share their food. After all, stalking and killing animals was harder, more dangerous work than foraging in the trees and the bushes and the long grass.

The gatherers were not happy. Long hours in the sun, searching for food, was hard and draining work. Hunters did not always return with a prize, so gatherers made sure that the tribe stayed alive.

There was an almighty row and angry words split tribal bonds into two.

The hunters headed to the north, chasing the herds of wildebeest and bison that migrated over the mountains.

The gatherers wandered south, seeking the fruits and bounty of the trees that grew by the great river.

As they climbed higher, the hunters learned that no more prey was to be found. They raged and argued over who should go looking for other kinds of food. When things turned dire, the strongest went off hunting on their own, leaving the weakest to starve.

The gatherers meanwhile struggled too. The hot southern sun dried up the river so that fruits and berries were quickly in short supply. Though everyone shared what they found there was not enough food to go around so the weakest died anyway. Those who were stronger barely had the energy to forage what remained.

Eventually, the survivors returned to the plains and once again the tribes became as one. All now vowed that the tribe must never be divided by pettiness again.

And though many years had passed, and the story faded from the memories of those no longer alive to tell the tale, when children asked why hunters shared what they hunted and gatherers all they gathered, everyone knew what to answer:

The lions roam to the north.
The birds fly south.
But the people stay together.



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