A Neanderthal grossly misinterprets the meaning of Mars' proximity to Earth over 50,000 years ago

Red Wanderer, brightest of the stars since the last moon,
     what is the meaning of your sudden brilliance?
While others shine white,
     your glow is the color of auroch's blood
     that covers our hunters after the kill.

Your appearance is a portent,
     a warning to the others who have invaded our great valley,
     speaking with strange tongues and wielding new weapons.
We are large and powerful;
     they are weak and fragile.
We kill the lion and the cave bear;
     they run from the gazelle!

Crimson is your cast,
     the blood of the others that we will shed
     unless they leave our hunting grounds.
For we are great and all-powerful,
     taller and stronger than our enemies.

We will surely triumph over them,
     and they will be no more,
so that when you return to visit this sacred land,
     only the pure eyes of our people will greet you.

Editor's note: When this poem was written, Mars was closer to Earth, and brighter, than it had been for 50,000 years. 50,000 years ago, Neanderthals in Europe were first encountering a new species, Homo sapiens. The auroch was a bovine, possibly the wild ancestor of the cow. Like the cave bear, it is now extinct.

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