Things change. They say that right?
Well the world is one of those things.
For example, did you know that millions of years ago the world was actually controlled by birds? You probably didn’t know this, and if you did, you probably had the sense not to talk about it publically. Things happen when you talk about it publicly.
Well it’s true. Birds used to be the dominant life form on Earth.
You can actually see traces of this in today’s society. Like have you ever heard the expression “To kill two birds with one stone”? Sure you have. We all have.
What you don’t know is that the majority of people are actually misusing this phrase now because it actually, originally, meant something different.
Here’s the story of what it meant.
As I said, at one time in our planets history birds were the dominant life form. Big, 6 foot tall birds. It was well before Jesus, it was well before the Romans. It was somewhere in between the dinosaurs and the Greek empire. Probably about half way. This is where the story is set.
At this time there was a hierarchy of birds, they had jobs, they contributed to society, they paid their taxes. They watched bird films, they ate humans at restaurants the way we eat chicken, without a second thought, and with quite a bit of enthusiasm. Especially when we are fried.
And they also indulged in a bit of human hunting. They called it sport.
But there were humans who fought back.
They wanted desperately to better the standing of their race and just survive in a world ruled by birds. Kind of like how magpies swoop you these days, little gestures to say “we don’t approve, we’re not food”.
One of these such humans was named Rob. Just Rob, people didn’t have last name’s back then. But if they did, his would have been Dickens, and he would have looked like this.
Rob was a free range human, and Rob was being hunted. And to be honest, it wasn’t going well.
They had him trapped in a dead end. The birds had been chasing him for days, and his energy, like the chase was coming to an end.
He was desperate. Backed into a corner. Tears running down his face, mixing with snot as he faced his pathetic destiny.
The birds by then figured they had this won. They’d taken their foot off the accelerator and had smugly queued in order of eating hierarchy. They were going to move in for the kill, gut him, and roast him.
It was a hopeless situation.
As Rob started to come to terms with his fate he backed into the stone wall of the cliff behind him, his hands behind his back, where he felt something solid, jagged, and heavy.
“Shit, a stone!” he thought.
“Fuck it” he said “Fuck these feathery evil bastards who keep most of my people locked up in cages and feed on us. Who hunt us for sport. Who feed us crackers and make ridiculous noises. “Fuck it.”
He spun around, and with incredible pace and accuracy threw the stone at the lead bird moving in for the kill, striking him right in the temple. The bird died instantly, dropping to the floor in a pathetic heap, but not before the stone ricocheted off its head straight into the eye of the second bird, the 2IC, the general. His death was not slow. The general started to scream in agony as blood gushed out of the wound all over the other birds, all over Rob. As he slowly blead out Rob started screaming. “FRIENDS, ATTACK NOW.”
From everywhere free humans started running with spears and rocks, the other birds had nothing to do but to run for it. To head back to town and talk about Rob, who killed two of them with one stone.
Now this story was not the end of the bird oppression, but it was the beginning of the change for humans. It was the catalyst for their will to overthrow the birds, to centuries later eventually even master them, forgetting about their oppressed history and becoming the oppressors themselves.
This should be a cautionary tale, but it wasn’t. We’ve learnt nothing from the mistakes of the birds, and are at risk of too at some point being overthrown again. That’s the message, that’s what we should remember. But we don’t.
We now just use the phrase to mean achieving two things with one action while we really achieve nothing.
Rob’s story will be forgotten, but the memory of his bravery and lifesaving accuracy will forever live on in our vernacular. Or until we are overthrown.