The iceberg floated past the coast, white and blue reflecting onto the sea from its mountainous heights. This was by no means the first iceberg that 'En had seen. Indeed, they were a common sight, particularly in summer, but she had no idea what they were. It occasionally snowed in winter, but 'En was not able to associate the sight of the huge white floating islands with the white dusting across the dry winter plains. But these were just one of the many strange things in a world populated by mysterious spirits and large mammals.
There were no large mammals here on the beach facing the sea, apart from the seals sunning themselves on a rock not far out to sea. The big game was scattered out on the great plains: elephant, rhinoceros, deer, antelopes, even the occasional lion or hyena. Without a hunting party this game was just to be watched and admired, rather like the floating iceberg gradually melting on its long slow journey south. 'En loved to sit by the sea, even though here, like everywhere else, she had to be careful of those dangerous animals that would see her as just food. Not at all as a young, growing girl on the verge of adulthood, looking for a husband.
Of course, it wasn't a husband that she had expected to see on the long sandy beach. She had always thought he would be one of the men from her village not many strides away, just by the river, and visible from the sand dune where she was sitting cross-legged and brushed by the warm sea breeze. Smoke was rising from the many fires that blazed in the village. Even though it was summer, she could remember the cool of the winter when mammoth and bison would come down from the north bringing with them the warm fur skins that kept her and her people warm. She pulled together the leopard fur that draped around her neck and shoulders at the memory of those cold, snow-free nights. And then she looked out across the sand, hoping to see some small animal she could hunt and kill and take back to her village. It was then that she saw Nuna'en. Of course, she didn't know his name. Nor even that he was human. It was just a bundle of fur sprawled on the sand. It was only as she approached and could see his strangely pale skin that she was persuaded that it was a human.
As she rolled over and examined the body, there were many things she found extraordinary, not the least of which was that here was someone who was not from her village. In all her life, nor in the lives of the village elders, had anyone ever met someone who did not come from her village. Then there was his pale skin: so odd in contrast to her own light brown skin. A face that was pinched and drawn, with ever such a long nose and a ragged mess of dark brown hair in which small bones had been threaded. And his attire. Thick fur. Perhaps from a mammoth. Or a bear. And strangest of all, it covered him from neck to ankle. This puzzled 'En. How could she even be sure that this was a man, even though he had a beard? How would the man be able to properly speak? And why would anyone choose to hide his or her sex? Nobody she had ever met, in either winter or summer, whether male or female, had ever hidden their genitals. It would be like hiding the mouth or the eyes.
Almost the first thing 'En did, after she had established that the man was unconscious and would not wake to her repeated shakings, was to uncover his genitals. And what a sight met her eyes. Not only was it bizarre that he should hide his penis in the first place, but that he should hide such a fine one. In all her life, 'En had never seen such a huge penis on a man. On a horse or an elephant or giraffe, she had seen many much larger ones. But never so considerable on a man. And this penis was not erect. It would be even bigger if it had been. She was tempted to stroke it into life there and then. And to take it into her mouth. To compare its taste with the many others she had tasted. Perhaps from a bigger penis, there would be more sperm. 'En shivered with delight at the thought of all that hot warm creamy goo on her face and breasts. But 'En was a good girl, as befitted a well-brought up daughter, and she knew that her first duty was to her village.
And so she dragged the man to the shelter of a rock, hopefully out of sight of any predators, and then ran back to her village, her brown legs and buttocks flashing against the pale fine sand of the beach.
When Nuna'en awoke he was astonished to find himself lying naked on a huge deerskin rug surrounded by more penises and vaginas than he had ever seen before. What was this? Why were these people so indecently dressed? The young, as well as the old, were not so much naked as half-dressed. And so many of them. Light brown skin. Flattened faces. Long straight black hair. And barely hidden by the thick pubic fur was an array of vaginas. He hardly knew where to look. Had he not felt so weak, his penis would surely have sprung to attention and he would once again be victim to the animal urges that had so often overcome him in his own village and had ultimately led to his ignominious exile.
His head fell to one side. His thoughts and memories overwhelming him, even amongst these strangers. He remembered so clearly the day when the men in his village discovered him making love with the chief's daughter. A dangerous sport, but Nuna'en was known to be a man who chased after the bigger game. Mammoths, mastodons, woolly rhinoceri, giant elk. He had hunted them all. And this contributed to his undoing. But why had the spirits blessed him with such a large prick if he hadn't been born to use it? Not an argument the chief would understand.
However, the chief was merciful. It was recognised that Nuna'en had served the village well on the hunting parties. No one could forget the day he heroically threw the spear that killed the mammoth whose meat fed and whose fur clothed the village that winter, and who by his bravery and courage had ensured the survival of the women and children of the village. Had he been a lesser man, his fate would have been castration or a stoning. The chief chose instead to banish him. He was sentenced to exile, in the traditional manner. He was taken to the shore-side onto the crumbling glaciers that were crashing into the sea, and left on a mountain of ice that was about to break away and become an iceberg.
And so it was, for how many days or even cycles of the moon, he didn't know, as the iceberg drifted away from the dry steppes he had known all his life, he was left to eat only what fish he could spear from the sea or birds from the sky, drinking only the melting water of the ice, as his home became an island of white and blue floating across the waves. It was a long lonely journey enlivened only by the sight of strange beasts in the sea: whales, sea cows, great auks, dolphins and giant otters. And on the way, Nuna'en was astonished to see that the world was changing too. Not as in the seasons, when the mammoth herds retreated south in the winter or the mosquitoes ruled the dark forests in the summer. But in more curious ways than that. The sun was higher in the sky. The trees along the shore had broad thick leaves. And the mountain of ice that he and his village believed would be his home forever became steadily smaller as the sun shone more brightly.
Until the day came when there was no mountain. There were other icebergs floating by, but his had shrunk so quickly to the size of a small rock. And then it was gone and with horror he was thrown into the sea, at the mercy of the huge strange swimming beasts he had watched from the safety of the once much larger iceberg. He couldn't swim. No one in his village could swim. The ocean was far too cold where he lived for that to be possible, although here the water was almost pleasantly warm. His survival depended on the few branches he had taken with him to make into spears and onto which he could cling to stay afloat.
And now here, surrounded by these peculiar people. He opened his eyes again. They were talking to each other. But Nuna'en had no idea what they were saying. They were making noises that sounded so mysterious to him. Clicks, lisps, grunts, growls, and sounds that he recognised but were assembled totally differently. How could it be that people could speak but not speak the language of his people? And all the while, their hands were touching their genitals. This puzzled him at first. Why were these people masturbating so freely in front of him and each other? In his village, masturbation was not something that a man or a woman would admit to. It was shameful to touch oneself. The only correct use for a man's genitals was to be inside a woman's, and then only within the sanctity of marriage. But Nuna'en noticed that the genitals were only gestured, felt or shaken when a person was speaking. Even from the haze of his exhaustion he was able to see that this strange genital manipulation was actually part of these people's language. Rather like people in his village might punctuate their speech with gestures in the air.
And then his eyes closed. The effort of concentrating on these strange people was tiring. What he needed was food and drink. And his tiredness overwhelmed him again. Even the welcome, but rather forward, stroking of his penis that one girl was so keen on doing was not enough to keep him awake, even though his manhood stirred from the attention.
.... There is more of this story ...