The Kindly Caveman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: June 02, 2018

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Submitted: June 02, 2018



There were three Cave men long ago

Before the earth knew war and woe.

The cave had always been their home;

They knew no other place to roam.

Inside the cave there was no light

But they were glad the sun was bright.


The Eldest had a Crafty soul;

To plot and build things was his goal.

The second was a Thinking man

And pondered all a Thinker can.

The Youngest was not so inclined;

He wanted only to be kind.


This Kindly brother, every spring,

Fresh water to the cave would bring,

And first a little he would pour

To feed some flowers on the floor.

And if he saw his brothers ill

He’d thirst so they could drink their fill.


‘Twas not his brothers’ skill he lacked;

He merely thought their ways abstract.

So when in earnest they would scheme,

He’d leave to walk along the stream.

Beyond the cave he hoped to find

Some new occasion to be kind.


Some other cave men lived nearby

In hills the Kind one’s path was nigh.

He’d search for food hid in the cold

And bring it to their sick and old.

But this night he was warned away

With whispers of the Tiger’s stray.


The Tiger was a dreadful view,

The old among the cave men knew.

She stood upon four legs like trees

With claws that could a Mammoth seize.

Two frightful fangs adorned her head

And where she wandered, cave men fled.


Too young to know the Tiger’s sight

That filled so many with such fright,

The Kindly Caveman kept along;

He had no fear, his heart was strong.

And that was when he saw the gleam

Of Tiger’s eyes beneath the stream.


A heavy rock had fallen down

And doomed the mighty Cat to drown.

She struggled and she clawed the shore

But fighting only sunk her more.

The Caveman ran and pushed the stone

And freed the Tiger on his own.


She clambered up to drier ground

Then stopped and slowly turned around.

Her gaze met with the Caveman’s eyes,

Which quivered now to see her size.

She blinked at him and leapt away;

The Caveman, smiling, went his way.


While Crafty man discovered flame

And Thinker gave the spark a name,

In came the Youngest with the tale

That turned his brothers fearful pale.

They thought he acted foolishly

To set the fearsome feline free.


Alarmed, those two discussed some way

To keep the rumored beast at bay:

Perhaps a heap of stones they’d stack

To block the cave and hold her back;

Or flame might make a better wall

If fuel could keep it burning tall.


The Thinker with a stick began

To scratch the ground and trace a plan,

And soon the cavern’s floor was filled

With pictures of the things they’d build.

As they invented eagerly,

The Youngest kindly let them be.


When morning came the Eldest stood

And set out first to gather wood.

But Thinker went abroad to ask

Some nearby men to join the task.

So several cave men soon arrived

To see what plans had been contrived.


With help the wall was quickly built,

Though trampling made the flowers wilt.

The rumor of the project grew

And to the wall a crowd it drew.

Soon other cave men brought their kin

The stronghold to be sheltered in.


The Eldest told them they could stay

If with some labor they would pay.

At first the cave they must expand

To hold a crowd in size so grand.

The Thinker, so there’d be no flaws,

Wrote down a rigid set of laws.


With effort was the cave transformed

And many flames the darkness warmed.

They fashioned picks to break the rocks,

Which echoed with a thousand knocks.

When need increased they found that logs,

If cut, could serve as wheels and cogs.


The Kindly brother did his best

Assisting all with food and rest.

He smiled at first but felt dismay,

For law and labor ruled the day,

And in the change that had begun

It seemed his friends forgot the sun.


At last the Crafty brother stood

And said “the work we’ve done is good.

“But in the building, we forgot

“The Tiger that still must be fought.”

With that the men tied stick to stone,

Preparing weapons to be thrown.


As on they went their violent way,

The Youngest pled with them to stay.

He said “Though you may think me blind,

“They cannot live who are not kind.”

The Thinker heard him from the throng

And pondering he walked along.


The hunters tracked the mud-print paw,

Then all at once looked up in awe.

Upon the calm and grassy hill

Was poised the Tiger, standing still.

She held them in her piercing glance,

‘Till Crafty brother threw his lance.


For victory the cave men cried,

Then saw the spear bounce off her hide.

More rocks and spears they quickly threw

Then turned and fearfully withdrew;

For all the weapons they engaged

Had only made the Cat enraged.


They ran in terror to the cave

For safety they supposed it gave.

But when inside fled one and all

The Cat with ease destroyed the wall.

Now nothing more could hold her back;

They had been foolish to attack.


Bewildered by the crashing sound

The Kindly Caveman stood his ground.

The fear he could not comprehend

That such a beast could be his end.

His brothers watched as, like a child,

He stood before the Cat and smiled.


The strangest vision then occurred:

The Tiger ceased her charge and purred.

She paced to where the youth did stand;

He touched her head, she licked his hand.

Then with a curt and gracious roar

She bounded out the broken door.


His brothers and the others came

And laid upon themselves the blame.

The Eldest said “We must advance

“If to survive we have a chance.

“Although the Tiger tore it down,

“We’ll build another, better town.”


The crowd agreed they must explore,

And not be cave men anymore.

As all prepared their home to leave,

They heard their youngest brother grieve:

“Though with you all I wish to be,

“Your world of strife is not for me.”


The Thinker, kindly, sat beside

His brother who so meekly cried.

He said: “Observing you, I find:

“They cannot live who are not kind.

“Your way is best, but if you stay,

“I know we will be back someday.”


Then all the people went away

To make the world we know today.

The Kindly Caveman stayed behind

To teach new creatures to be kind.

And there, I think, he is today,

‘Till you and I go back to stay.


© Copyright 2019 John M. Broadhead. All rights reserved.

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