Last week, I had the honor (though I would rather write it honour for my mother’s side) of showing my nephew the gift of Prometheus.
Let me backtrack: I have for the last several weeks wondered about teaching my young relative matters concerning basic survival. You see, the BSA is effectively dead (thank you wierd child touchers and perverts). Only a few places are safe and, growing up in the BSA and seeing the effects of these weirdos firsthand on my classmates and friends gives me pause to not approve him joining. That leaves me with less options: teach him some myself, find an alternative group that espouses my values and isn’t tainted, or teach nothing.
So I opted, for the time being, on teaching. I bought him a survival book, a survival wrist band, and soon to arrive, a k-bar style survival knife. As these come in, I give him lessons on their use and demonstrate that the skill I am teaching are real and not magic.
So back to the beginning of this post: I showed my little nephew how to gather dry tinder to make a bird’s nest. I showed the little guy how he could take the survival wristband and use a tiny blade to strike sparks into it and make said tiny fire, and how to feed this fire and use it. And then, I showed him how to put it out.
During this period, we talked about the importance and responsibility of proper fire use. He learned the story of Prometheus and how mankind would not have many things without fire and the innovation that it sprung. Naturally the child soaked up this wisdom like a little sponge.
Finally, today showed the boy how to use animal fat to make a fat light like an eskimo would use in an igloo, the precursor to oil lamps of antiquity.. predating candles by millenia.
Life for the child, like all others, is a discovery. It is wonderment and new. He loved this time, he loved doing history and learning a new skill. Slowly becoming a man, a hunter of the modern world yet with the skills to survive anywhere.
All this, thanks to that Prometheus.