Caveman Wisdom

Two cavemen, Gronk and Thogg, were sitting on a rock ledge, overlooking the expanse of land that stretched before them. The afternoon sun was full and bright; not a cloud was in the sky. In the near distance, wildlife grazed or darted playfully to and fro. The warbled songs and stabbing calls of various birds filled the air. Life was good. Impulsively, Thogg turned toward his friend and said, “You know, Gronk, I’ve been…thinking.” It felt as though he was admitting a dirty secret.

Gronk lowered his head and stroked the hair of his forearm. There’ve been rumours,” he said.

“Yes, no doubt. Word gets around.”

“What’s it like?”



Thogg was staring off dreamily into the distance. “It’s wild—can take you on amazing trips without ever leaving the cave.”


“Oh, yeah.”

“Sounds almost like a drug,” said Gronk.

“You ever been tempted?”

“Nah, can’t say that I have,” said Gronk. Indifferent, he began to pick at his teeth with a small twig. A few moments later: “It’s new, isn’t it?”

Thogg leaned back against a slab of rock and spread his arms wide, sitting as though on a couch. “In the big scheme of life, yes, relatively.”

“It’s just a fad, though, right?”

“No,” said Thogg, “I think it’s here to stay.”

“What is it…actually?”

“It’s a higher intellect function that sets us apart from wildebeests, monkeys, and such. They haven’t got it, but we do. With thinking, we can produce ideas, decisions, memories, and have opinions.”

“You don’t say,” said Gronk. Staring off into the distance, he absentmindedly scratched at his chest. “Is it good for anything?”

“Well, can be,” said Thogg.


“Remember two moons ago, when we were working on that stick?”

“For sure.”

“And how I used a rock to shape the end into a point?”

“Yes, marvelous, simply marvelous. What a stroke of luck!”

Thogg grinned. “Uh, uh, wasn’t luck. It was thinking,” he said, tapping a crooked finger against his head.

“Nah! Really?”

“For sure. Thinking is great stuff; we just have to use it carefully.”

Gronk scratched his chin. “Whadya mean?”

“Well, thinking is like any other tool—like fire, twigs, rocks, and clubs. We just have to make certain that we’re using our thinking, rather than our thinking using us.

Gronk swatted lazily at some flies buzzing hear his head, and then turned—with a puzzled expression—to face Thogg. “I’m not sure that I follow,” he said.

“Hmm,” said Thogg. “Well, you know when we make fire? How we have to be careful?”

“For sure,” said Gronk, “because if we’re not, we can get burned!”

“That’s right,” said Thogg. “Thinking is much like building fire. We must always control the fire, and fan only the positive sparks of thought.”

A glimmer of understanding lit across Gronk’s face. “Tell me more,” he said.

“It’s really not that complicated,” replied Thogg. “With thinking, we can imagine all sorts of new ways to improve life. The key is to focus on good stuff…here,” he said, pointing to his head.

“Sounds wonderful!” exclaimed Gronk. “I’m going to try this new thing called thinking on for size.”

“Before you do,” said Thogg, “just remember the caveat.”

“Humph,” said Gronk, “the what?”

“The ca-ve-at,” said Thogg, with a roll of his eyes. “It means a warning or caution.”

“What’s the warning?”

“That we must only think positively—never negatively, or about what we fear.”

“Just one more time…why?”

Thogg cleared his throat and leaned forward. “Because all thought—both good and bad—is creative. If we focus on negative thoughts, we’ll create negative outcomes! You may not know this yet, but we’re creators—the top of the heap! And thinking is our greatest tool! If we think the right way, there’s no telling how far we may go. But if we think the wrong way, absolutely no good can come of it.”

Gronk stuck out his chin and nodded. A crawling beetle soon caught his attention. As though mesmerized, he nudged it several times with his finger. And just as suddenly as their discussion had begun, it came to an end. Gronk yawned; thinking about thinking had made him tired. He groaned softly as he stretched out on a flat rock to  soak up the heat of the sun.

Thogg, however, felt energized. Compelled by a creative spirit that would not be denied, he clambered up a nearby hill. At the peak, he raised a hand to his prominent brow and scanned the horizon—imagining a better future not yet a reality. As twilight fell, a lone eagle crossed his field of vision. Thogg craned his head and watched it soar in wide circles above him. How effortlessly it flew, barely moving its wings. A grin crossed his face. “One day,” he said aloud, “maybe one day.” And with that though echoing in his mind, he ambled back to his cave and dreamt away the night.


Art Russell
Art Russell
Arthur Russell is a retired paramedic of thirty-five years of service and currently lives in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. An author of both fiction and non-fiction, his previous published works include an e-book entitled Hold That Thought regarding the Law of Attraction and, more recently, a book entitled This Taste of Flesh and Bones about enlightenment and our spiritual nature. Now sixty-three, he wishes to share his knowledge regarding enlightenment to help alleviate human suffering. Proud father to a son and a daughter, he is currently working on his next book. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, adventure, motorcycling, and meeting new people, all of which enrich his life in countless ways.

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  1. Your post sent me back to the multi volume “Clan of the Cave Bear” of my youth. Your characters, Art, are quite a bit more eloquent than Jean M Auel’s cavemen.

    On thinking carefully, I remember vividly Nickolas Cage in the Movie The Rock describing the poisonous material he is handling as something “we could really uninvent”. There is a reason uninvent is rejected by spellcheck: once the genie is out of the bottle, it is really difficult to put him back in.

    • Hi Charlotte. Thank you for taking time to comment. Yes, Thogg definitely knew a little more than he should; but that made the article fun to write.

  2. Such a wonderful story, Art. Simple and serene in it’s delivery of ageless wisdom. It also reminded me of something I ‘think’ you’ll get a kick out of for sure. Right after my NDE, and considering its implications, I was compelled to go to the Ball State University library (I was a pre-med student) and look up the word ‘satan’ in the two-volume set of dictionaries just inside the main entrance. As I arrived on the mark, the first reference was to the Greek ‘thetan,’ meaning ‘thinker.’ So many things clicked in that moment and I understood what the ‘true’ adversary we face is… our thinking. There’s no devil, no evil being that wants to control us. It’s all choice in how we think and act, no matter what excuse we might want to give to the contrary. I felt like Thogg in that moment of his future as the eagle. It was an incredible feeling of freedom. What is also incredible is the ability we have of observing our thoughts and adjusting them to align with a perfected form, fit and function in the world that is of our choice. Hence the wisdom of the old saying, ‘Many are called. Few choose.’ Thanks for a wonderful excursion.

    • Thank you, Zen, for sharing your insightful comment. I agree that there is no devil. I’m glad that you felt so free! I also like the saying, “the lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of Understanding.”

    • Hello Ali. It’s quite amazing, isn’t it, how our ideas come to us. I’m often surprised at the ideas that come to me; but in my experience they are always better than if any strain is involved. To me, it’s all about “flow.”