Sonntag, 29. November 2009

An Animal Fable from the Upper Cretaceous

The modern tale "Homchen - ein Tiermärchen aus der oberen Kreidezeit" (Homchen - An Animal Fable from the Upper Cretaceous), was published in 1902 by the German author Kurd Laßwitz (1848-1919), considered a founder of the German science-fiction movement.

Homchen is a highly evolved marsupial of the Kala-tribe, living in a world dominated by the great lizards. In a world ruled by ignorance and oppression, Homchen rebels against the saurian warlords, and is banned from the society of mammals. He then decide to search the red snake, creator of the reptilian world, but the dinosaurs, and especially the "dainty beak's", high priests of the red snake, try to stop him at any costs.

A sketch by Laßwitz of Homchen of the Kala tribe - clearly inspired by a Koala. Laßwitz considered human evolution as a straight forward process from rodents to marsupials to placental mammals and finally humans.

"You know what the red serpent will do, if you don't obey? He will swallow the sun, until it will be small and cold. And the day will be like the night, and all water will be frozen. The trees lost their leaves and the grass will be covered by white ash, so nobody will find something to eat. The reptiles that didn't starve, will be suffer great cold, and finally they will be unable to move. Then the animals of the night will rise, protect by their fur, and they will scratch the eyes from your faces, like Kala did to the hollow-bone. The mammals will eaten your flesh, and your bone they will throw against the sun, until it fall from sky and the eternal night begin."

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