How The Caveman Completely by Coincidence
Discovered The Rumanian Kabab


By: Meir Shalev (Biography)

Translated by: Dori Medini & Yotam Medini

Preface with credits

One day grandpa Yakir came to visit Michael.
Michael was very happy.
Grandpa Yakir would do anything grandchildren wish.
For instance: he would dress up and roar, he would play and crawl.
But most of all, he would tell wierd stories.

Grandpa roars

``Which story will you tell me this time?'' asked Michael.
``Today I will tell you about the cow that used to dance at night.''
``You've already told me about her'' said Michael.
``In this case I will tell you about my brother Elijah,
who used to wear dresses''
``You've told me about him too,'' said Michael.
``In that case I will tell you about the turtle from Bulgaria,
that knew how to sing the national anthem''.
``What's wrong with you, grandpa!?'' Said Michael. ``you told me that as well!!''
``If so,'' said grandpa Yakir,
``I will tell you a story that I haven told anyone yet, not even myself''

Patriotic Turtle

Many years ago, not too far from here, lived a caveman.
His hands almost touched the ground,
he had a low forehead, and he couldn't read or write.
In short, Michael, the caveman was similar
to grandma's brother, great uncle Jacob.

Strange caveman

In those days, there was no T.V. yet,
They didn't invent the computer yet,
and they still didn't publish books.
There wasn't anything for the caveman to do,
so he would eat all sorts of things:
in the morning he ate root pouridge,
at noon he ate lizard soup, on Saturday he ate thorn compote,
and at the end he jumped and screamed:
``I'm tired of all this garbage!!''.

Lizard soup

``Woman''! (that's how cavemen talked,
like grandma's brother, great uncle Jacob),
``Woman! something's missing in my life, something new and good.''
``You hear, woman?, something different, special and tasty!''.
``Go catch yourself a newt'', said the cavewoman.
``NO!'' he said, losing his temper,
``I don't want newts! Now I want something different, something juicy, hot and fragrant.''

Hot, juicy, tasty something

He didn't calm down all day,
he didn't fall asleep all night,
and in the morning he suddenly jumped and shouted:
``I know exactly what I want,
I want a Rumanian kabab!''
He didn't even know what a kabab was,
he didn't even know how a kabab should look like.
And you know, Michael, in those days they didn't have Rumanians
and not even restaurants.

No Rumanians or restaurants

And the caveman started to search in every corner and every place.
He looked under rocks - and didn't find the kabab.
He climbed the trees - and didn't find the kabab.
He dug deep holes - and didn't find the kabab.
He dove into the water - and didn't find the kabab.
He found all sorts of junk and tossed it over his shoulder.

Future junkyard

He didn't stop thinking about the kabab.
He thought about it when he walked,
he thought about it when he sat.
He thought when he stood and thought when he lay down.
And in the end he said:
``If the kabab doesn't come to me, I will go to him!''

Imagine that

And he started to try many different experiments.
He cut wood - and no kabab came out.
He hit rocks together - and no kabab came out.

``I invented the wheel, not the kabab''

He spread lots of different spreads on the wall - and no kabab came out.
He connected boards and threw them into the air - and no kabab came out.
All that came out was just a lot of junk.
So he tossed it over his shoulder.

Useless art

Meanwhile the time moved and gone.
Summer and winter and spring and fall,
and another year passed, another summer came,
because time doesn't care if someone must have something
no matter what, even kabab.


And the cavewoman started to shout:
``All the neighbors are making dishes out of stone,
cutting trees and preparing fur,
and only you sit and think about kabab
and not going to work!''

Mad woman

But the caveman just thought and thought
and thought and thought and thought and thought
about how wonderful it will be for him
when he will have kabab.
And he gazed at the sky, from star to star
may be he would see the milkibab way.
He asked the bear and he gossiped with the grasshopper
may be they saw footprints of kabab.
He asked the lion and nagged the cricket:
``Would you happen to know where kabab lives?''
And no one knew and nothing helped.
Winter wintered and spring sprang,
another year and another one, and no kabab.


And the caveman already had kids
and they were all so small and ancient.
and they said to each other:
In the cave that's on the hill they already domesticated the dog,
and in the cave that's in the valley they have bow and spear,
and our dad thinks all day what the heck, a Rumanian kabab is.

What the caveman missed out on

And fall fell and summer summed,
gee, Michael, how time flies
and above the cave, once again birds are migrating,
rain comes again and the leaves are falling.

Again and again

And the caveman had already white hair all over his body
and deep wrinkles covered his face.
``Woman, how time passes'', he said,
``and how everything is the same,
and everything that was before, returns again,
and in the end I will die without eating kabab.''

Committing suicide

And suddenly, one day, as if a miracle happened.
The kabab was invented completely by coincidence.

Suddenly what?

Someone accidently dropped some meat with some garlic on the ground
and by coincidence some onion rolled by
and by coincidence someone bent over
and some parsley jumped from her basket,
and after that a mammoth came and with its giant foot - squish -
turned everything into a patty.

God's recipe

Suddenly, a storm started by coincidence,
and a lightning struck the tree that
by coincidence grew by the cave,
and the flaming branch, by coincidence,
fell right on the patty.

Mother nature's cooking

Then, oh boy then, suddenly the smell rose, said grandpa Yakir.
A smell that has never been there before and nobody knew.
All the people smiled and wondered:
``What is this great smell? what is this scent in the air?''
And the caveman said:
``This is my kabab, friends, the kabab I've been looking for
since I was young''.

Short trip to heaven

And he ate every bite very slowly
and he didn't open his eyes so the smell would not disappear,
and joy filled him so much that
he couldn't tell if he was dreaming or not.
And everybody came there immediately and shouted:
``Kabab Now'' and ``God is Neat''
and ``Give us TOO Kabab to Eat''.

Feeding frenzy!

And they made BBQ and blew over the charcoals all day,
like grandma's brother does in the yard with a cardboard.
But no kabab was ever so tasty as that first kabab,
the mother of all Rumanian kababs,
that he, the caveman, completely by coincidence
invented many years ago.

YUMMY!! I mean, uh, Goodbye! heh, heh...

Last change: February 26, 2000.
Got hits - Ouch!