Wednesday, August 29, 2007


     The Choctaw warrior walked in the clouds. His stride was one of confidence, as if he’d walked this path before. Was this another dream or was he truly in the Big Place his grandmother had always told him about? His robes and feathers dipped down in the cumulous air. He wondered if he would meet up with the Longface again. Would his son be there? The one he had drowned? What of all the whites he had slain? Surely they would not be allowed to walk in this afterplace. By last count, there must have been hundreds, but if he saw them here, what would they do? This was clearly not a place of war. Far from it.

     As these thoughts floated across his mind, he saw a misty form in front of him. The Buffalo God. It stood as high as the Bloodblack Mountains.

     "War has brought you here, my son," it bellowed. "These many days of war were unnecessary in the grand design. You will not win, no matter how hard you fight and no matter how high you soar as a warrior. Your people will fall. Belief in the Buffalo God and an appreciation for the great land will fall. Your future is not in war, my son. Your future and your son’s future and your son’s son’s future is clear. Blackjack. Roulette. Stud Poker. These are not only your future, but these will even replace me as your god as you take back the great land from the whites."

     "What is the meaning of what you speak, oh great grandfather?" asked the Choctaw.

     "Its full meaning cannot be revealed now, my son. It will unfold itself given time. But one last thing before I take my leave of you. One thing you must remember and pass down into the future of our great people."

     "What, grandfather? What?"

     "All-you-can-eat buffet."

     With that, the Buffalo God vanished into the mist. The Choctaw furrowed his brow. The word "buff-fay" spun around like a penny in his head. Beneath him, the clouds began to soften. He sank into the cloud until it no longer held his weight. His body quickly gave way to the sky and he fell at a furious speed. The earth sped towards him. He was not afraid. He did not scream as the ground rushed to meet him. His eyes soon fixed themselves on a spot below. As he got closer and closer, he realized that he was raining down upon a fallen Choctaw warrior on the Bluehills reservation. It was soon now.

     He awoke. His head was heavy and, as he got up, he noticed many whites lying dead, surrounded by charred wigwams and dead, dying friends and kin. Many of his brothers were missing. His home was all but burned away here. He shook many to see if there was life. He gathered the robes and feathers of the ones he recognized and walked away from Bluehills, the thoughts of gambling in his head.

     As he passed the last of the dead whites on the outskirts of the skirmish, he noticed photographs, trinkets and gold coins that had spilled from their pockets. He gathered as many as he could find and separated the wheat and weeds that was so abundant in Bluehills.

     Tomorrow, he would walk to the nearest town, find their casino and put all of the coins on black.




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