What Was “The Wonder of Og?”

Short Stories for the SoulFrom my soon-to-be-released Short Stories for the Soul:

“The Wonder of Og”

            Og traced his fingers across the images of sun and moon he had scratched on his cave wall. His father had taught him to bow down to the sun each morning and the moon each night. They ruled the sky, and every day and night they crossed from one end to the other. Bowing to them made sense, even if they sometimes hid behind the white fields that floated in the sky.

            Yet Og could not stop wondering if there might be something beyond the sun and moon. They were gods of the sky, but how did they get there?

            He stepped past his woman, Enu, with Little Og on her back, as she cooked meat on a stick over the fire, and he looked across the valley that spread beyond his cave. Why do I ask these things?

            He did not know. No one else asked such things, so they could not help him.

            Stories of the first people had long been told around fires at night, like stories of the first man and woman who lived in a big garden, and of a young man who killed his own brother. Other stories were of hunting big animals and crossing big fields of water where the land was so far away it could not be seen.

            Og’s father and mother had taught him all the stories, and they had heard them from their own parents, who in turn had heard them from theirs. But no one knew where the stories started.

            It was said that the first people were made by a great God. Out of dirt. The first people talked to this God, and the God talked back. But they also made the great God mad and had to leave the garden. So it was said.

            Og wanted to talk to this God too. But he did not know where the garden was, or if the God had also left the garden. He wanted to know where the God lived. And he wanted to ask if this great God had made the sun and the moon because they ruled the day and the night but did not seem to make anything the way the great God did.

            The others across the valley said he was crazy. Everyone knew enough to worship the gods of the sky and of the mountains, streams, forests, and fields. “Just believe. Do not be different,” they would say. They often shook their heads at him. “There are no answers to your questions.”

            But Og could not help but wonder…