Katherine Atherton Grimes
Tolmi of the Treetops

This is a story about a little boy who lived a long, long time ago. In those days things were not at all as they are now. People did not have any homes such as we do, but lived in the branches of tall trees. They slept just wherever they happened to be when night came on. They had not learned to build houses, or to cook their food. They knew nothing about fire, so had to eat their food raw, and could not warm themselves when cold weather came.

In the summer they got along very well, but in winter many of them died of cold and hunger. They did not know how to weave cloth, so they made their clothing of the skins of animals. They had not yet learned to plant seeds, or to care for crops, so they lived on wild roots, fruits and berries.

There were many large wild animals in those days. They lived in caves and dens in the hills, or wandered about on the wide, grassy plains. Some of them were very fierce and dangerous. Among them were the cave-bear, the hyena, the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, and the urus which was something like the cattle we have now. The people could not hunt these animals, because they had no weapons. So they were very much afraid of them.

They did not know how to make any sort of tools for work. They had not even thought about digging for roots with sticks or stones. They used their hands for everything. It was because they had no weapons that they had to live in the tree-tops. They would have been caught and killed by the fierce wild beasts if they had tried to stay near the ground.

What kind of a time do you think the little boys of the Tree-Dwellers would have had ? Would you like to have lived in such days as those ?