Darwin's Subterranean World

Evolution, Mind, and Mating Intelligence

Evolutionary Psychology for Kids Part II

Biofiction from a 12-year-old evolutionist

What might pre-ancestral life have been like to a kid - from the perspective of a young evolutionist?

Guest Blogger: Megan (at age 12)

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Lucille woke as the sun rose. The cave she was sleeping in was deadly silent. My family must be sleeping, I shall wake them, she thought. She got up and shook her older sister. “Un. Waka foomu,” said her sister Ava. Then Lucille walked over to her mom, dad, and brother. She mumbled, “Locku. Waka loopka forhy.”

 “Uh! Noto waka waka!” said her brother Renaldo.

“Renaldo, matinenty waka waka. FOOMU!” Yelled their mom.

The family stood up, and put on their loin cloths. They then headed outside, where the rest of the tribe was waiting. “Shoom, lethof, gertie,” Said the tribe leader.

“Nuh. Duh looj,” Said the tribe in unison. The males, Lucille’s dad and brother included, went out into the woods to gather food for the tribe. The women of the clan headed into the main cave to cook over the fire, and get the medicine ready. Lucille and Ava hated this part of the day, but their mother made them do what the tribe leader’s wife said.

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The girls worked and worked until they heard a high-pitched squeal. “OOP! HIKA! HIKA!!!!! TULARES FAMERY LOPEYNOY!” screamed the leader’s wife. The women made their way to the woods, and the men were crowded around something. Lucille’s father came over to the ladies. “Kevin yuttey oom te suke! SUKE!”

“OOP! Kevin neeks hika!” screamed the leader’s wife.

“Suke? Hika? Snake! Help!” said Lucille. She was beginning to make words, not utterances. The tribe looked at her in confusion. “Kevin neeks help! Kevin yuttey oom te snake!” said Lucille using her new-found language.

Lucille walked over to Kevin. He had a horrible gash in his leg. The women had brought medicine made of herbs, and she put some in his leg. But it was too late. Kevin fell to the ground squealing, “Eepa! OOCHA!!!!!!” Those were his last words. He lay on the ground motionless. Lucille felt his chest for a heartbeat. “Kevin ji murg.”

Everyone gasped, and burst into tears. Kevin’s mother, father and sister went to his body and cursed to the snake that killed him.

The tribe would hold a ceremony in a few days. Lucille and her siblings hated these “death ceremonies” most of all. All they did was sit in the scorching sun and listen to his family, friends, and the tribe leader talk about him. It made Lucille sad and bored. These ceremonies lasted for hours, until the finale, where the tribe leader chanted some religious words, and the men threw the body into the fire, for good tidings.

The body was put aside as the sad tribe members were forced to continue with their day. Lucille had tears in her eyes all day; Renaldo and Kevin were close friends and Kevin was often at their cave. Her memories of Kevin were mostly him and Renaldo telling her to go away and saying, “Lykl suers!”

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Note that this blog is part of a series of blogs that bear on evolutionary psychology related to childhood - the first in the series, Evolutionary Psychology for Kids Part I, deals with how we can teach about evolutionary mismatch effectively to a young audience.

Glenn Geher, Ph.D., is professor and chair of psychology at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

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