We’ve got a lot to get to tonight, but first, I want to tell you a story. It’s a story that begins 12,000 years ago with an invention that sparks the Neolithic Revolution and ends with a home invasion and a bear attack.
Imagine this: you’re a bear. One of three. And like all bears, your territory—also known as your “home range”—is where you find food, drink, and a mate. You seldom wander outside your home range, which is why it’s so unusual that you lumber into your home one night, with your mate and baby, and stumble onto a mystery.
Someone has been in your house. How do you know? Because something… isn’t… quite… right.
Things are… out of place. The furniture is disheveled. And that invention? The one from 12,000 years ago? It’s missing.
What is wrong with this picture?
Now, let’s go way back to the Neolithic era—the era of the hunter-gatherer. Families seldom had more than one infant at a time. Babies typically breastfed until the age of four or five because the staples of the hunter-gatherer diet were roots and berries, which were very difficult for babies to digest.
But all of that changed with the advent of farming. Suddenly, the population could grow and harvest cereals, mash them to a pulp and make them digestible for infants. This invention—which came to be known as porridge—allowed for more flexibility in the diets of babies, and soon, the population began to skyrocket.
And it’s this porridge—resting on the dining room table—that you, the papa bear, find alarming. It isn’t unusual for some of the porridge to be too hot, nor is it particularly mysterious that another bowl is too cold—but what raises a red flag is that the smallest bowl of porridge—the baby’s bowl—is completely empty.
And that isn’t the only mysterious thing. The chairs have been sat in. The beds have been slept in. If you’re the papa bear, at some point, you get a feeling of déjà vu. You think to yourself, “First the porridge, then the chairs, and now the bed. We have been in this place before.”
History may not always repeat itself, but sometimes… it rhymes.
And then… THEN… you get to the final bed. Baby Bear’s bed. There you find the answer to one mystery, before falling headfirst into another.
Now let’s talk about prostitution in Ancient Egypt.
It was big business. And while prostitution became more common because of travelers and merchants from Greece and Mesopotamia, the creation of brothels—the component that allowed prostitution to become a regulated trade—took place in Egypt. And there was a rule—a law—that all prostitutes had to have golden hair. Because of the rarity of such a thing in the region, prostitutes were legally required to dye their hair using henna prepared from the plant Lawsonia inermis.
So… you’re a bear. You’re in your house with your mate and your child. And the appearance of your home has been disrupted. The landscape has changed. There, in the baby bear’s bed, is a young girl with yellow hair. Who is this mysterious girl with the golden locks? And why is she here? Is she a prostitute?
You’re curious about all of this, yes, but remember… you’re also a bear. Your home has been violated. For all you know, this “Goldilocks” is a threat.
A brand-new threat.
A threat unlike any you’ve ever faced before as part of a bear family.
So, what do you do? You attack.
And at that moment, a new mystery begins. Because the young girl—who should have been no match for a trio of bears —wakes up, screams, and leaps out the window. Your bear family gives pursuit, but you lose track of her in the woods.
And the girl? The one with the golden hair who slept in the bear beds and sat in the bear chairs? The one who ate all the porridge?
She vanishes, never to be seen again.
We’ll be right back.