Prehistoric teenager Anthro watches a beautiful woman swimming from behind a tree, when he is hit in the head by his father Ne-Ahn. Ne-Ahn, the neanderthal, reminds Anthro that their job is to hunt, not watch the “rounded beasts;” especially because she may be from a tribe that eats human flesh. Anthro, chastised, follows his father on the hunt. The two spearfish, as Ne-Ahn tells his son he has seen signs of the greatest prey: the serpent nose.
The two return to the family camp, where Anthro finds his grandmother, his mother Emba, and his younger brother Lart waiting for them. Ne-Ahn brushes off the complaints of his mother-in-law, and eats. Later in the night, though, Ne-Ahn awakes with a toothache. He awakes Anthro, and asks him to use their tribes’ tools to remove the tooth. Ne-Ahn offers Anthro the use of some of the “magic water” to increase his bravery. Anthro smashes the tooth out, but Ne-Ahn hits Anthro back out of reflex. Their crises averted, the two go out to hunt again.
After some practice, their hunting takes them to find the “serpent nose:” a woolly mammoth. The two hunters strike, but only wound the animal before it flees. Anthro takes his father’s spear and runs after the mammoth, striking it down. Anthro cheers, and brings a tuft of hair back to his father. His father, though, is furious. By tribe custom, using the chief’s weapon is a symbol for taking control of the clan, and Anthro has unwittingly challenged his father to a fight to the death over head of the family.
Anthro’s mother weeps and begs them not to do this, but the grandmother says that it is tribal law. The two might fight for control of the baton of command, and Ne-Ahn immediately starts the fight by swinging it at his son’s head. Anthro avoids fighting, and when his father falls into a swamp, Anthro saves him. This does not stop his father from continuing the attack. A missed swing causes Ne-Ahn to fall to the ground, hitting his head. He begs for Anthro to kill him, but again Anthro refuses. The family realizes that perhaps Anthro is the wiser, and Ne-Ahn destroys the baton of command. Emba is happy the son has taught the father.