Scientists in the region formerly known as Mesopotamia have uncovered a stone tablet that appears to contain a primitive oration. Thanks to the tireless efforts of National Geographic’s translation team, we were able to decipher the meaning. Below is that text, a eulogy for a Neolithic man named “Gorg.”


Gorg, born and raised in Cave, died few suns ago. Gorg was born for long time. Gorg’s story inspiring. Gorg was strong. Gorg brave. Gorg leaves behind cavewife and cavechildren. Gorg contributed to study of fungi. Gorg will forever be remembered. Gorg is hero.

Gorg was normal cavechild. Gorg hunted. Gorg broke gender norms by gathering. When Gorg young, Gorg discovered artistic side. Gorg was good with chisel. Gorg’s cave art was thought-provoking and stimulating. Gorg got sick of eating animals and vegetables. Gorg walked into forest, looking for new food. Gorg searched high but found nothing. Gorg searched medium-high but bark tastes bad. But then Gorg searched low and turned the world on its head. 

Gorg found plant with red circle top with white dots; it was beautiful. Gorg exclaimed, “Mushroom.” Gorg’s mouth liked it. Gorg brought it back to his family. They tasted. They loved. For weeks, Gorg and family ate mushrooms. It was good life.

But Gorg never happy for long. That made him hero. That what killed him.  He went back to the forest, where he saw a mushroom with new colors. It was gray and skinnier. Gorg tasted, and Gorg was changed. Gorg said he saw God. He became wise and thoughtful. After these mushrooms, Gorg collected stones. Gorg used chisel more beautifully these stones. We called him “stoner.” Mushrooms made Gorg calm. Others followed Gorg. Soon everyone was “stoner.” Work in cavetown slowed down, but friendship grew. 

But Gorg never happy for long. That made him hero. That what killed him. One day, Gorg found new mushroom. This mushroom pale white with little bumps. Gorg tasted. Gorg wobbled. Gorg shook. Then Gorg fell. He never got up. 

Gorg was brave. Gorg is a hero. Gorg may be gone from world. But Gorg will never be gone from memory. We miss you, Gorg.

—A. Cramer