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Polar Fish

– a fantasy story “I never wanted it to happen. I didn’t ask to become the most hunted man in British history. The papers call me a monster. The TV news claims I am a traitor to every human being on earth. My friends don’t answer my calls. My parents won’t reply to my emails. So I’m getting the hell out of here. I’m leaving you – all of you – behind.”

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ISBN 978-91-27-42014-4

9 789127 420144

mudmen.indd 1

Andy Coombs 10-06-08 16.28.06


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I

never wanted it to happen. I didn’t ask to become the most hunted man in British history. The papers call me a monster. The TV news claim I am a traitor to every human being on earth. My friends don’t answer my calls. My parents won’t reply to my emails. That’s why I’m leaving. I’m getting the hell out of here.

I’m leaving you, all of you, behind.

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Chapter 1 My name is Erwin Katz. Dr Erwin Katz. A few months ago I was the young star history professor at the University of London. Hundreds of people came to hear me speak every day, and my classes were full of the brightest and best students from all over the world. I specialize in the beginnings of human life on earth. I study evidence of the first people to live in Europe. Humans like us first came to Europe from Africa about 35,000 years ago. But when they arrived, there was already a human species living here – the Neanderthals. Neanderthals also came from Africa but some of them may have migrated to Europe about 300,000 years before we arrived. Imagine that – 300,000 years! That’s twice as long as we humans have even existed. 4

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You’ve seen the models in museums – short people with lots of wild hair, big ridges over their eyes and thick arms and legs. You’ve probably seen them holding stones and cutting up animals. Wild cavemen – alien to us, but close enough for us to see ourselves in them. What we were thousands of years ago – primitive, dangerous, animals. Recently though, historians like me have found new evidence about them. We study fragments of bone. We rebuild them. We have found proof that they painted pictures and decorated their own bodies with art. We have found out that they could talk – and from studying parts of skulls, we now realize their brains were bigger than ours. But they are not us. That’s important to remember. We didn’t evolve from them – we are an entirely different species. We lived at the same time as them. Yes, they came before us, but when we moved into Europe, they were here. And we lived together for about 8,000 years or so. And then, suddenly, they disappeared. They were extinct. There’s been lots of theories about that. Some 5

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people think us and the Neanderthals became one species. Some people think we hunted them and killed them all off. But there is no evidence for this. So for years, no one knew for sure what happened to them. But now I do. I know the truth. And people want to kill me for it.

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Polar Fish

– a fantasy story “I never wanted it to happen. I didn’t ask to become the most hunted man in British history. The papers call me a monster. The TV news claims I am a traitor to every human being on earth. My friends don’t answer my calls. My parents won’t reply to my emails. So I’m getting the hell out of here. I’m leaving you – all of you – behind.”

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

ISBN 978-91-27-42014-4

9 789127 420144

mudmen.indd 1

Andy Coombs 10-06-08 16.28.06


9789127420144