I will start the story at the beginning with my proposal to the Department of Biology for my recent sabbatical leave and notes from my journal on my successful search for the Lost Ten Tribes. I feel rather guilty that I told everyone that I was going to Vienna to study tsetse flies. But the time for the truth as come.
Proposal to the Biology Department of Brigham Young University:
I have, through the use of powerful mathematics, located the secret entrance to the hollow center of the Earth wherein the lost Ten Tribes dwell. Furthermore, sophisticated models suggest they will have evolved in slightly different directions than humans. I propose to travel to this location and make contact with our long lost brothers and sisters.
April 12, 2008
The department has accepted my proposal and funded an expedition to the Canadian Shield. For security reasons I cannot be more specific than to say the secret entrance lies 300 miles northeast of Yellowknife, Canada near the eastern border of the Northwest Territories. I cannot imagine what it will be like to make contact with these long lost tribes. What will their culture be like? What records will they keep? My excitement and enthusiasm are high.
June 14, 2008
Contact. I had the bush pilot drop me at a lake near the cave entrance. It took most of the day to reach it, but with a GPS to guide me, I was able to locate this passage to the underground cities of the lost Ten Tribes! It was guarded, of course, but I explained who I was and what I was doing and they received me with joy. They’ve started learning English by watching Canadian TV. I can tell because when they bump into me and say ‘sorry’ it sounds wrong. But otherwise we can communicate.
Their appearance was shocking. My sophisticated models had indicated the broad direction of their evolution, but nothing could have prepared me for the astonishing reality of that change. Being separated from other humans and living underground has changed the trajectory of their evolution. Of course, they are still human, mostly, but would I have recognized them as human if I met them on the street? Would the fact that they were members of the church been apparent in their molish rodentness? They fed me on various fungi and grubs. Nourishing but hardly tasty. I am tired and am going to bed. I am in a small room with a strange lichen stuffed mattress. The lighting is poor. These
creatures fellow saints see very poorly and seem to use their large noses to assess the information in the cave. I think they find my scent distasteful and they seem to gag when I get close.
June 15, 2008
I met the Queen of Issachar. I can only describe her as Hobbsian, i.e., nasty, brutish and short. However, she has an earthy smell that I find quite fetching. Apparently, they have evolved along the lines of naked-mole rats (although they are clothed in a homespun hemp-like cloth) in which a ‘queen’ releases a pheromone that suppresses the reproductive inclinations of the other females and attracts the males. I’m having trouble fitting this system into my worldview, but these are the Ten Tribes, and I must make some allowances for these differences of
June 16th, 2008
The queen explained that because there are so many males in heaven they have started preparing now by embracing this mole-ratish polyandry. As you will recall in real mole rats, the ‘queen’ takes three to five males. I wonder if it is the same down here? Could humans evolve to use pheromones so effectively? I find these
beastssaints repulsiveinteresting. Yet, the queen is beginning to grow on me, her smell is enchanting and I’ve noticed her eyes sparkle delightfully in the dim light . . . what am I saying? I’ve got to get back to my family.
June 17th, 2008
They found out I was from Ephraim an it’s caused a little fracas, it seems some of the worker-
molespeople are still a little bitter about some divisions back in the day. Suddenly one called me an Assyrian sympathizer, at which I didn’t quite know how to respond. The queen smoothed things over. The queen, ah the queen, her scent is like pure ambrosia, her short, badger-like hair rests so calmingly, enchantingly on the hidesurface of her thick gray scalp; it is as soft as baby hair and the light dances off it like spun gold. Enchanting. She stood next to me, only rib high, and I almost stroked the top of her head, but realized the impropriety. I’ve got to get back to the surface soon.
June 18th, 2008
Something familiar! Baptism for the dead! Of course, to symbolize burial it is held in a structure above ground. Apparently bodies are not buried but rather tossed on the surface for the scavengers to eat—it being considered sacred to reenter the ecosystem. The font rests on the backs of 10 big badgers and 2 little badgers and is beautifully carved from granite. I’ll ask about the symbolism. They dress in brown to symbolize holiness—white being seen as the color of death, since in the winter the world is covered in white and the surface of the Earth is considered the land of the dead. When I told them we baptized in white they seemed scandalized.
The queen laughs so delightfully! As she entered the room I felt dizzy and my breath filled my lungs with joy unfathomed, raw and earthy. I am in my small cell resting and it seems like I can still feel her presence in the air around me. Must leave soon.
June 19, 2008
They showed me a scale model of the highway they plan to build. Wow. Sixteen lanes (in each direction!) running from the Beaufort Sea to the Gulf of Mexico. With global warming opening up the Northwest Passage this is going to be a major transportation corridor. There are still some ice fields they are going to have to break up, but I think it will flow before them like it was nothing. It’s good to see prophecy in action. The queen . . . no I will not speak of her. When she is around my head seems to swim in a haze of irrational delight. Is there a more beautiful creature on Earth? . . . Except my wife! I meant except my wife!
June 20, 2008
Scriptures! I asked them to translate their sacred records recorded their strange script called ‘Reformed Assyrian.’ While similarities of theme are clearly present, differences abound, mostly adaptations of their life underground. For example the Queen of Issachar shared this one from Genesis 49:14-15 that relates to her people:
Issachar is a strong marmot
Lying down between the gopher corrals
He saw that the resting place was safe
And that the cave was pleasant;
So he bowed his nose to the task,
And became a digger to the Queen.
(What power and magic her voice conveys. Like listening to an angel.)
While I have arranged for copies of their scriptures, a sampling gives a feel for the sorts of changes we might expect when they are fully translated:
Beware of badgers in mole’s clothing.
A digger that digs in the air cannot do good,
dig therefore in the ground, where people can see your good earthworks . . .
Having noses they smell not . .
Some attempted to dig in rock, others in sand, another team tried to excavate in sticky clay, but a few dug in good Earth and of such miles and miles of good shafts are brought forth.
I will go and tunnel where the Lord commands for I know that the Lord giveth no command but he prepareth the ground whereby one may dig.
Earthworms are not for the belly, but see that ye eat wholesome grubs, pale and white, of your own rearing . . .
June 21, 2008
Things are not as they seem. I am confused. The Queen has asked me to become one of her
maleshuspands. I explained that I had a wife, but she just shrugged and said everything would get sorted out in the next life (this ‘sort it out’ is kind of a doctrine with them, I noticed that they didn’t have any names of their ancestors and so just had labeled a genealogical tree with numbers and used that number for doing their work for the dead, sort of like a numerical ‘Jane Doe’ approach).
I have been selected as her next consort, the scent she is producing is overpoweringly rich and nuanced, and I can’t help but think what a pleasant life it would be with this beautiful creature, skipping through the tunnels, happy and content—forever caught in the embrace of this stunningly ravishing creature. She is faultless. Gorgeous. Breathtakingly, spectacularly, indescribably attractive. Her small beady eyes are like small red jewels in the night sky. Her skin is like precious, polished saddle leather. Her long and spritely
snoutnose sniffing the air in sensual and affecting ways. Her ragged and pointed teeth disclosing the diversity and unevenness that typifies the wonder and variety of life on Earth. How can I refuse when she defines an aesthetic that defies human imagination and longing? Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I will be hers!
June 22, 2008
I awoke in the night with my wits about me—barely. I knew I must escape or be forever trapped in this subterranean maze. I grabbed what things I could gather and fled toward the surface. They soon discovered I had escaped and to the sound of braying and growling badgers, I popped into the above ground world just before I was about to be captured. They did not follow.
There it is my brothers and sisters. You have always wondered about the Lost Tribes. Now you know.