Modern human: Who the heck are you?
Neanderthal: I am a Neanderthal. Who are you?
Modern human: I am a modern human or Homo sapien.
Neanderthal: What is that? Some kind of new species?
Modern human: Nope, we’ve been around for a while. But you guys went extinct about 40,000 years ago.
Neanderthal: 40,000 years ago? That’s a long time! What happened to us?
Modern human: Well, there are a few theories. Some scientists think that we outcompeted you guys for resources, while others believe that climate change played a role.
Neanderthal: 40,000 years is a long time to be gone. I’m glad we’re finally meeting!
Modern human: Aren’t you upset that you’re extinct?
Neanderthal: Of course not! I’m just happy to be meeting new people. And besides, 40,000 years is a long time. Who knows what could happen in that time to you guys! (laughs hysterically)
Modern human: Okay, I have a few questions for you. Actually, I have always wondered how did you guys invent fire? I mean, sorry for this, but you don’t appear to be so intelligent.
Neanderthal: Oh, that’s a good one! (laughs) We actually didn’t invent fire. It was a natural phenomenon that we discovered and harnessed.
Modern human: Really? How did you discover it?
Neanderthal: Well, one day, I was hunting and foraging with my tribe. We were in a dense forest, and it was getting dark. Suddenly, we saw the light in the distance, and we went to investigate. It turned out to be a fire!
Modern human: And you just decided to start using it?
Neanderthal: Of course not! We were scared of it at first. But then we realized that it could be used to keep us warm, cook our food, and ward off predators.
Modern human: That’s amazing! I never would have thought of that.
Neanderthal: Well, you have to be resourceful when you’re living in the wild.
Modern human: I can imagine. So, what was life like for you guys?
Neanderthal: It was tough, but we managed. We lived in small tribes and were constantly on the move to find food and shelter.
Modern human: That sounds exhausting.
Neanderthal: It was, but we had to do it to survive.
Modern human: I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be insensitive, but didn’t you guys ever get bored?
Neanderthal: (laughs like a maniac!) Of course not! We were too busy surviving!
Modern human: Okay, I see your point. But still, it must have been hard.
Neanderthal: It was, but we had each other, and that made all the difference.
Modern human: I see. So, if I may ask, how did you guys get married? Did you even have the concept of marriage or….
Neanderthal: Well, it wasn’t anything like you guys have now. But we did have rituals and traditions that were similar.
Modern human: Can you tell me about them?
Neanderthal: Well, when a man liked a girl, he’d offer her free food. If she liked him back, she’d accept it. Then, they’d go off into the woods and spend some time alone. Like you guys go on a date. If everything went well, they’d make a new shelter or find an empty cave to raise a family of their own.
Modern human: That sounds… actually kind of sweet.
Neanderthal: (laughs) It was! But it was also hard work.
Modern human: I can imagine. Well, before I leave, I want to ask what you like and dislike the most about the modern world.
Neanderthal: I like that there are so many people! It’s nice to be around others and have someone to talk to. I don’t like that everything is so loud and busy. It’s hard to think straight sometimes. What about you? What do you like and dislike about us?
Modern human: I like that you’re so straightforward and open-minded. I wish more of my people were like that. And I don’t like that you’re extinct. I wish you were still around today.
Neanderthal: Me too! (both laugh)