Onga was always asking him to cut his toenails, and it made Thag crazy.
If he cut them too close, then he had nothing to protect the end of his toes. Good nails were especially important when you jumped on the back of an auroch during a hunt. If you didn’t have long enough nails, you might not be able to hold on.
Then again, he had to admit it was not auroch hunting season.
She could get really insistent, making veiled references to how well-groomed Weasel-Scratch-Face-Brother’s toenails were. (The shaman was always trying to one-up Thag in any way he could.)
In fact, it was the shaman’s adroitness with cave art that got Thag started on it.
He couldn’t help it that all he could draw well were aurochs — which were an important religious symbol, of course, and the representation of which got under Weasel’s skin — and toenails.
Actually, it had taken him a while to perfect the representation of toenails, but eventually he got it down, and filled an entire cave with them (and aurochs).
“What?” he asked Onga. “I cut them off; I can’t paint them either?”
Modern long-nailed auroch-lovers exist too.
More about the discovery of Lascaux cave paintings. Originally published in 2005.