Darwin’s Stories: Part I

An Espresso Tale


Accipiter G. Goshawk

Here is another older story I pulled up out of the cellar of history. It’s more comedic than some of the others I’ve written so far.

Hope you enjoy it!


Author’s note: This story requires more effort from the reader than one of your ordinary run-of-the mill tales. It must in fact, be imagined as if narrated by Sir David Attenborough (and if you don’t know what that means, go find one of his documentaries; the man is a monument and has helped countless generations fall in love with the natural world).

Stories, as we all know, have been on this planet for a very long time. For decades, scientists all over the world have puzzled over the origin of these ephemeral yet magnificent creatures. The ancient Greeks used to believe that stories were the creations of Hermes, who strung star-beams together thus fashioning fantastic beings of fantasy. Many sceptics have even gone so far as to declare stories to be a mere by-product of human dreaming.

This view would still be preponderant today, if it weren’t for Doctor Thomas Fitzgerlad-Thames and Professor Joan Allgood and their amazing studies in the field of fiction.

The first discovery that cast a new light on the past of the creatures we now know and love, began with Fitzgerlad-Thames, who in 1976 discovered the first fossilized story in a back-yard in Lower Stavisham. Doctor Thames had long devoted himself to the study of tales and fictions, but had yet to uncover solid evidence that stories had their origin elsewhere than the scribblings of long-forgotten authors.

In the summer of 1976, Doctor Thames received a call from a Mr. Smith, who claimed to have found a most peculiar thing in his back yard. Thames immediately excavated the area around the find and was surprised to find the fossil of a fully formed myth.

“It was easy to tell it was a myth, I mean, the hero for one thing. Big strapping bloke, son of a god, I wager. And supernatural elements all over the place. Nothing like the old stuffed fables you see in a museum, but real ineffable magic and archetypes. Must have been one hell of a beast, all morals and mysteries. Probably a predator of its age.”

The doctor was fully conscious of his extraordinary find, and began a full scale excavation of the surrounding countryside, bringing to light more and more stories.

Enter Joan Allgood. Professor Allgood had been studying stories in the wild for many years, and was the first to propose a theory of story evolution.

“The Redactionists were most vehement about the whole thing. I remember one time, -it was in 1983, I think-after a long safari with a 1920’s Noir pack, that I came home to find them camping outside my house. They started yelling when they saw me: great cries of “Story evolution is trash! Stories come from authors! Stories without humans are unnatural”. Threw a lot of rotten fruit at me as I recall.”

But this didn’t deter professor Allgood. For five years she studied wild stories, carefully documenting their lives from birth to death. Her articles on story reproduction and social structures are still today the cornerstone of all story-studies.

The union of these two great minds came about at the International Narrative Conference in San Diego, in 1980. Professor Allgood was present at the time of Doctor Thames’ presentation of his finds in Stavisham, and this new information opened her mind to the find of the century. In a moment of clarity, she realized that, contrary to decades of scientific literature, stories had not in fact, been created by humanity but had existed prior to our species conquest of the planet and had evolved side by side with us through the ages.

“This of course went against everything scientific -and for that matter theological- literature had been saying for years. I mean, what would my old pastor say? Stories evolving out of nothing? The notion was theoretical and ridiculous.”-

3 thoughts on “Darwin’s Stories: Part I

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