The People Who Invented the Wheel

Posted on April 16, 2013

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The wheel of mesopotamia3Once upon a time there was a guy named George.  He was a real guy.  He really lived.  Maybe his name wasn’t George.

The thing about George is that one day he invented the wheel.  That was the really special thing about George.  He was the only guy who ever invented the wheel.  Not that no one ever could have.  It just didn’t work out that they had the chance.

Everybody else either learned about the wheel from George, or learned it from somebody who learned it from him, and so on.  All the original wheels were made to exactly the same plan, so we know that George was behind it all.

Now the thing with the wheel, it was so useful, after awhile everybody in George’s village who had the need for one eventually got one.  Then when people came to that village and saw the people being carried about in wagons and riding on wheels, they were impressed.

“You ought to be impressed,” said the people in the village.  “We’re the people who invented the wheel.”

“No, you didn’t,” said George, overhearing.  “I did.”

“Yes, you did, George,” said the people of the village.

But they didn’t necessarily say the same to others when George wasn’t around.

“Yes, that’s us,” they whispered behind their hands, “the people who invented the wheel.”

Soon everybody in the whole countryside was using wheels.  And whenever anybody from another country came to their country–the country where George lived and his village was located–the people said:

“Yes, that’s us.  We’re the people who invented the wheel.”

Even people who had never heard of George or the village he came from were now taking credit for his invention.

After awhile all the countries around were using wheels too, and mighty proud of it.  Whenever they encountered people from a new country who hadn’t yet found out about the wheel, they said:

“Fool, you!  You’re pretty dumb, aren’t you?  Look at us. We invented the wheel.”

George wrote letters into newspapers trying to get people to stop claiming they invented the wheel.  “You didn’t all invent it,” he said.  “I’ve never even heard of your country.”  But after awhile he died and people forgot all about George and the village he came from.  He was a spoilsport anyway, wanting to take the entire credit for his invention instead of sharing it around like a good fellow.

But George was more than generous.  You see, the wheel wasn’t the only thing that George set turning.  For thousands of years since, everybody who has ever found out about the wheel before someone else has stolen George’s glory as well as his patent

“We invented the wheel,” they say.  “Did you?”

Some people claim George was also the first guy to ever turn over in his grave, but that might just be a rumour or a pun or something.

Posted in: history, tall tales