Let me tell you guys a story. This is a story of some antiquity among the forager group I studied, told to me over much raucous laughter, even from the children who joined our party by the fire.
This is the story:
The creator looked down one day and saw a party of young women going gathering. He wanted to see more of the last one, for she was beautiful.
So the Creator materialized into a human male child. At first he was very small, no more than the size of a preying mantis. He ran after the women, keeping himself hidden and watching the girl he liked and lusting after her. (the story teller at this point put his hand to his groin and made a rising motion with stiff fingers and everyone roared with laughter.)
He followed for hours, trying to get bigger but needing food. He watched as they gathered wild nuts and berries, and swallowed these. When they dug up wild onions and other roots, he followed their example. He ate and ate, and began to grow bigger. It was very tiring. He saw a solution. When the girl he was watching put down her sack of gathered vegetables to dig out a large morama tuber, he crawled into her sack.
He began to eat the vegetables and beans and nuts and tasty melons and other fruit in the sack. After some additional digging, the girl dropped a huge root on his head without noticing him, and picked up her sack again, slinging the whole burden behind her back and putting the tump band across her forehead to balance the load.
The little man was knocked out. He came to as the women arrived back in camp. He was bigger now, the size of ten year old boy. The girl slung her gathering sack down, drank some water from her ostrich egg, re-stoppered it, and made the coals of her fire glow with blowing, adding some wood, and cooked up the big root and two small onions. Her hand reached into the sack and the man quickly held these things up to her hand so her hand did not feel him.
The root cooked slowly with the onions in the hot ashes, bubbling. The girl left them to cool beside the fire and went to speak to one of the other campers, who had arrived earlier in a bigger family group. She asked to join them at their fire, and offered to share that big root. (note: these are some of the most wonderful tasting tubers I have ever eaten.) The man, meanwhile, helped himself to the huge root and the onions. He grew to adult size, and hid behind her blankets as she returned to her hut, to find the root gone. She was very angry, and went looking for the thief. She roused up the whole camp but no one was found to have the root. Finally she came scowling back to her hut, having eaten some other things with the family party.
She sat down weary on her blankets and dropped onto her side, pulling her kaross of furred jackal skins over herself as it was nightfall in the early dry season and the chill was in the air. At this point the man saw his chance, lifted the blanket and placed himself on her body, enflamed with lust. The girl pushed him off with one hand, while reaching for her knife. You are not !N/kai she said… what do you think you are going to find here? Still he tried to force her to spread her legs. (!N/kai was her “betrothed”, absent from that camping party on that day.) She cut off the Creator’s testicles with one stroke of her knife. God felt such pain he disppeared immediately, leaving the two little balls behind to feel her wrath.
She called upon the bees to wake up and sting them, as they made their escape. (I mentally pictured this as a kind of sac race). The bees obeyed her, for all this happened in the days of the beginning of time, when all animals still talked to the humans. A vast swarm of bees went after the balls. The two testicles, still together in their bag, disappeared into the distance… hopping frantically higher every time a bee stung. Each ball was soon covered in stings, and the seed of the deity ran from every sting, leaving a trail of drips behind them.The balls decided that their only hope was to bury themselves deep in the sand, which they managed to do with their last strength.
In the morning the girl told her story of the man who came to her in the night, and tried to take pleasure with her by force. After the fiasco of the root, no one believed her. “I will prove it”, she said, and went to follow the trail of the testicles. She found them finally, but in the night they had died. They were both hard and soft.
Everyone was amazed to see these strange objects. Everyone smelled them. they might make a meal, they thought. So she cooked them in the ashes and everyone had a taste and they were the best thing anyone had ever received from the earth. They were the first truffles, and others grow to this day, spawn of the deity’s seed.