Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Neolithic Eleven-Year-Old Boys

Oh man, I hate having to yell at Nick to get him going to bed.  How difficult does it have to be?  H does this every night.  Right.  It's a cliche.  A worn out cliche. 

So imagine it's the middle ages.  The farrier has an eleven-year-old apprentice.  Does his wife battle with the boy to get him to go to bed? No.  They work the boy so hard he is glad to be sleeping whenever he's allowed.  Is that really what happened back then?  Or did the farrier and his wife love the boy and fight with him the way parents would have so that they could all be up at the crack of dawn making breakfast and shoeing the horses?  Wouldn't you like to know the answer to that? 

What about when they were building Stonehenge?  The people are tired.  They live eight people to a hut.  They've rolled logs under a Sarsen stones three miles each day for seven days and need to dig a deep hole and let the stone fall into place, hopefully without killing anyone tomorrow.  Sleep deprivation probably didn't go well with engineering huge stones into position.  So would the eleven-year-old boys keep up the people in his hut at night then?  How did the tired old men and women deal with all of that energy, the boy's desire to stay up late to discuss the ins and outs of placing that stone? 

What about when the tribe was crossing the land bridge into Alaska from Russia?  The weather is unpredictable.  The tribe is lost.  They can't go back because there are too many predators and enemies behind them.  They have no idea what lies ahead or how long this land bridge is.  The chief' has an eleven-year-old boy, and he wants the boy to go to sleep so he can stay up with the rest of the elders and discuss his fears.  He wouldn't want the boy to think he didn't have a clue how they would survive if winter came and they were still on this narrow land bridge.  Will he be able to lead his people to safety?  The old men doesn't want to stay up half the night waiting for the boy to sleep.  They look forward to going to bed themselves.  Did they have to take away privileges to get the boy to go?  Did they have to tell him he wouldn't be allowed to hunt with the men if he dilly-dallied on his way to bed? 

And did boys back then wake up their mothers in the middle of the night with 'Mom, I'm thirsty.  Can you hand me the antelope bladder so I can get a drink?'

I just wonder. 

Thank you for listening, jb

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