“Mom, what’s that? Why that thing can fly without flapping their wing?” Turate asked me when flying steel passed over our head. He never stops asking lately.

“It’s a human craft, son.” I explained.

“Human craft?” He tilted his head.

“Yes, human craft. All craft they made based on everything around them. Birds, whales, snakes and even us gorillas.” I put him on my lap thinking that it might be the right time to tell the story.

His eyes brighten and his jaw dropped.

“They’re an amazing creature indeed. They surpassed us in everything including greed and pride.” I pointed at a dense concrete forest on the north.

“One thing that we could learn from them. Nature will balance itself if the scale is tilted too far.”


Ages ago, human hunts and lives in a small group. They eat fruits just like us sometimes. Slowly but sure, instead of hunted by tiger and lion, they hunt them down.

It’s all started when they learn how to cut woods and shape rocks. They also learn how to make fire and started to burn the forest to clear up everything. The place to live become more stationary and they plant their own food so they can survive every season. I still wonder why and how they can survive the snowstorm.

The horses are controlled. The oxen were captured. I don’t know when chicken, cow, pig, and sheep were subdued.


“How do I know all of this?” He is shocked as if I could read his mind. I smiled.

“Our ancestor told their story to their offspring as I do now. You must continue the story too later.”

I couldn’t really imagine human were living in the wild but that’s what I heard. Back to the story, they came across with another pack of human. They couldn’t talk to each other, just like us.

“Have you met other bands?”

“No, never. But Hanabi was not one of us before. She’s released by the humans into us and she’s not living like us at that time. How to climb, to pick ripe fruit, to talk in our tone. She had to relearn everything as if she was reborn.” Again, his eyes told me that I should complete the story.


And that’s not how humans treat other humans back in the day, they attacked each other. Waging war. Imagine if all of the males here are fighting with the other male from another band. That’s war.

Our ancestor wasn’t sure what’s happening back then. Is it their way to balance nature or just being threatened by others. It’s weird… sometimes, they decided to fight each other after they talked. Sometimes, they fight and retreat, over and over. There was one time when grandma’s mom met another gorilla across the sea and they told her the same thing.

The land they used is getting bigger until clashes between humans are normal. The strong devour the weak. The cycle just kept going on. Since the age of clay until the age of steel. Across forest, across mountains, across seas.

But that is changing when I was born. It’s already a peaceful time. No explosion. No scream. No rattle. It is more peaceful compared to my mom’s story.

Now, they can sing as good as birds, climb as good as us, and run as fast as a cheetah. No, run further than a cheetah. They don’t run that fast.


“How about dog and cat, mom? They’re also often seen with humans.”

“Now that’s another story. It’s time to eat.” I pinched him on his nose.

Credit: Willis Chung