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A few millions years ago, deep in the heart of Africa, lived an ape.
It was a hungry ape. The rivers had dried up long before it was born,
and with them had gone all the wonderful bushy things. Whatever little
was left tasted awful, but you had to eat. There were the other
animals, of course, but you couldn't eat them, could you? Of course
not. They could eat you, though. You always had to look out for that.
Then one day, out of thin air, a big rock appeared. It was not like other rocks in the valley. For it was black and smooth, and it was not made of bricks. There was another thing about the new rock: it spoke to him.
No, it couldn't be the rock, for rocks don't speak. There had to be
another ape within the rock.
The Other Ape Within the Rock taught him many useful things. He
learned how to hunt. He learned how to cook and eat other animals. (By
mistake, he had almost eaten his friend Barney, but fortunately Barney
got over it quickly.) He learned how to make pasta bolognese. He
learned how to throw most excellent parties, and how to treat a
hangover. He had asked how to mix martinis, but the Other Ape didn't
Then, as suddenly as it had come, the Big Rock was gone. This didn't
bother the ape. In fact, he was quite happy about it, for it allowed
him to build a swimming pool where the Rock had been. It would be a
great way to meet females.
Part II: An Oddity on the Moon
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