The tree was always there, we just didn’t know it bore fruit. Of course, we barely knew what fruit was in those days, but if it had been edible, we would likely have eaten it.
Then one day, it was in bloom, and the scent was heavenly.
That was an exciting day, because it also seemed as if a fog was lifting. We began seeing things around us more clearly. Seeing each other too, for that matter. And we liked what we saw.
Every day we saw more, noticed more, wanted more.
And the tree bloomed, then bore fruit, and they ripened.
The various little animals that had been just sort of hanging around began to act as if they had purposes. Squirrels did squirrely things. Tigers did big cat things. Bears wandered off into the woods to do whatever bears do in the woods.
But if anyone was eating anyone else, they were keeping it out of my view. I probably couldn’t count very well then, but I would have noticed if all the Dodos were eaten. Probably.
A chance lightning strike provided fire, which caused us to realize that we had been cold.
I guess having never been particularly warm, we hadn’t noticed just how cold we were. Then we had fire.
Some of the long, skinny fruits fell in it, and came out transformed from starchy and hard to tender, steaming, and sweet. Suddenly, fire had a purpose, and we were on a quest.
There were always plenty of eggs, and they turned out to taste pretty darn good after some time near the fire.
Then we noticed the fruit of that one tree was ripe.
After that, we knew what fruit was really for. We knew what fire was really for. We knew that food was good. We knew what we wanted to do. And we had the whole world to explore and all of time ahead of us in which to do it.
So we did.