A Mess Of Pottage

Through the Ages : A Mess of Pottage

Tribal Hunter-Gatherer of the time

Moving around in groups travelling and hunting.

This is the life for real men! Travelling, hunting, gathering – oh the words just roll off your tongue, they exude masculinity. I know – you’re thinking ‘butch’ aren’t you? You’re thinking I’m ultra rugged and – I don’t blame you.

A travelling hunter is irresistible and everybody knows this. How could any female huntress resist a big sweaty, hairy hunter covered in animal skins and carrying a spear? “Oooh Oooh” all the maidens say back at the camp – “Here comes Esau back from the hunt – the long hair, the big muscles, the charming aroma of dead animal on his person – yes he’s the one for me.”

What? Did I hear you right? Farming – How dare you mention that word to me – you may as well get an office job. What do you think I am? – a sissy, a Jessie, a big girl’s blouse – I’m a hunter like my father before me and you certainly won’t see me tending to goats. I mean what’s the point anyway? All they do is bleat and carry on endlessly, producing that rancid sour milk.

They do produce feta

Oh la dee da – yes Feta – very chic, very continental- pah! –give me red meat any day of the week The only good animal is one that is hanging on the tent wall or adorned to my person. The exception is my good old ass, which is reliable and good for sitting on during long journeys.

A day in the life of the time
Find a nice spot. Get the whole tribe to put up tents and then immediately say “Whoops, it’s that time again. I know- let’s pack up all our tents and move onto the next valley.” The rest of the tribe will jest and josh, pretending that they are annoyed. One or two will make mock suggestions – putting on sissy voices and saying that they’d rather be putting their feet up in a reclining chair watching a few goats being tethered, doing a bit of ploughing and threshing, inventing the combine harvester – that kind of thing. That really makes us a laugh, a pack of pranksters these hunters I can tell you.

Food of the time
What? Weren’t you listening? I said red meat- preferably rare enough that it’s still mooing. Any other food turns you into a big poof like like my brother so watch out.

Pottage – confound it – how I tire of pottage every day – what’s even worse is that we call it pottage. Why can’t we call it stew like everybody else? And a mess of pottage – it’s a bowl, mate, a bowl of stew.
“Who’s been eating my pottage?” asked baby bear. Not me replied the rugged hunter –I’ve been pigging out on roasted animal flesh you powder puff agriculturist.

At least somebody could have invented some brown sugar by now – I mean what are they spending all their time doing for goodness sake?


It’s a rhetorical question actually so pipe down.

Problems of the time
Bandits – they’re absolutely everywhere. It’s a big social problem. Many are fundamentally agriculturists who feel like they have no value in the nomadic tribal lifestyle. The tribe has recognised the problem and has been keen to help, offering bandit counselling and even our “helping hand’ courses which introduce the bandits to basic hunting techniques using lame goats.

But as we speak the bandits are growing more violent towards hunters. They’re cottoning on to a new technique of terror, known as ‘Drive by Donkey slayings.’ The idea is that the bandits target sleeping enclosures in well to do areas. They sneak up at night whilst sitting upon a donkey and get it to gallop (well it’s actually more of a lazy trot) past while they shoot arrows in through the doors of innocent victims’ tents. Luckily 9 times out of 10 the stubborn old donkey refuses to even move which leaves the bandit red faced, cursing and hollering at his animal.

Architecture of the time
Essentially arabesque portico, in fact pseudo peripteral with a touch of Gothic thrown in for good measure.

Come again?

OK actually just tents made of canvas with a few smelly animal skins pinned to the sides.