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The Wooden Indian

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  • The Wooden Indian

    Posted by KevinRoach

    Bob and Emily Parker, 30-somethings with their home in the suburbs, their SUV, and their yearnings for identity stumbled on a Great Mystery in the vast northern forests.

    The couple owned a timeshare in a condo/cabin at the UpNorth Resort. Every fourth weekend they would load up the SUV and spend time canoeing, hiking, golfing, and gathering with like-minded couples in the UpNorth’s Saloon and Supper Club. It was their chance to forget the nine-to-five workweek and commune with nature’s majesty in the peace and solitude of the northwoods. This weekend coincided with the peak of blueberry season and they hoped to gather enough to last the cold suburban winter.

    Bob and Emily left the resort bright and early Saturday morning and following logging roads and fire lanes arrived in the woods east of Big Lake by eleven. These old clearcuts and burnt over areas were known to be thick with blueberries. Swabbing themselves liberally with Skintastic insect repellent and armed with pepperspray in case of black bears, they entered the forest with their LLBean collapsible berry buckets.

    Two hours later, it was Bob with his head down, lips and fingers purple with berry juice who first discovered The Great Mystery. Glancing to his right he saw a nightmare from his childhood. Like an image straight from Bonanza or Little House, the bloodthirsty savage of Bob’s youth with his scalping knife and tomahawk stood over him. Arms crossed, head held high, dressed in loin cloth and bowie knife, the penetrating stare of the Indian gave Bob a considerable fright. Spilling his berries and cowering on the ground he gave a frightened squeal.

    "Bob," called Emily from several yards away, "you OK?"

    "Whoa, Emily come here, you gotta see this," replied Bob as he recovered from his initial fright."

    It was a large, seven-foot tall wooden Indian. Standing in the bush, paint faded and chipped, an old bird’s nest in his feathered headdress, he looked like he’d been standing there for centuries, his glass eyes stoically staring into the forest.

    "How do you suppose it got here," Asked Emily?

    "I don’t know," replied Bob, "but I bet the Indians put it here. Maybe to mark their boundaries or as a grave marker or something. This was probably a sacred site to them a long time ago."

    "I thought they worshipped Nature."

    "I read someplace they had lots of gods. This might have been Grandfather Nature or someone."

    "He looks so noble, They must have worshipped him," Emily said. "Maybe we should call the police or tell a museum or something."

    "You might be right Em. But if we tell the authorities they’d probably come out here and trample around, maybe even bring a truck back here and haul it off. If it really is a sacred shrine do we really want them to do that?"

    "Well let’s at least tell the others and see what they think."

    Bob and Emily returned to the resort and that evening over drinks in the lodge (wine coolers and micro-brewed beer) they told their story to the other guests. Many of the patrons volunteered theories as to the Wooden Indian’s origins. Books of local lore were produced from the lounge. The discussion continued late into the evening but finally they decided to form a fact gathering expedition to the site the next morning.

    A dozen of the UpNorth’s patrons trekked through the woods to view the mysterious monument. A respectful silence fell over the group as they approached the wooden marvel. No one wanted to speak first and break the magic. Finally, one longhaired blonde woman removed her crystal necklace and placed it around his neck. Another burned incense in his clenched fists. Others began to clean the statue of its decades long accumulation of dust, dirt and bird droppings. Some of the men cleared an area around the figure of brush and fallen branches.

    In the weeks that followed other improvements were made to the site. Bob and Emily hired a pair of lesbian carpenters from the cities to build an arbor over the shrine. Rustic log benches purchased from a local craftsman and an iron fire ring, with silhouettes of moose and pines, provided seating for visitors. The proprietor of the UpNorth Resort printed maps so his patrons could easily find the sacred Indian shrine.

    Go there today and you will find him standing yet. A beaten path leads you there. You’ll see crystals hanging from the trees. Incense sticks like a porcupine’s back sprout from his fists. Candle stumps and dripping wax cover his feet and pedestal. Marijuana smoke often hangs in the air and on certain nights naked worshippers chant and sway to the beat of tomtoms around the flower laden Cigar Store Indian.


    <<<change to tuffy wiggens, charlie whitebird, and Bobby marteneau>>>>

    The powwow ended with the last intertribal of the night. People were scattering, leaving the grounds to the campers and their noisy teens. Tom Wiggens and Parker Feathers were on the way to the 49 but first had to make a quick trip to town to pick up some brews.

    A 49 is pretty much an all night party. There’s an old tradition of 50 men going off to war and only 49 returning. Each of those returning warriors receives a song. But nowadays by the time the singers reach a dozen songs pounded out on the hood of a car everyone is too pissed to keep count. Still, it’s a good time and beats listening to that disco crap or "BBBBenny and the Jetts" on the gawddamned AM radio.

    The guys were almost out of the parking lot when Charlie Whitebird approached the driver’s side.

    "Oh ****, here comes Bird," moaned Parker.

    "He ain’t riding with us," said Tom, "not unless he’s got some weed anyway."

    "Hey guys, let me catch a ride to the 49 with yas, I got some weed."

    Charlie squeezed into the cab of the pickup just as an opening appeared in the mob of vehicles and the boys sped off in a whirl of dust, taking the road less traveled toward town.

    "Hey where the hell you going?" screamed Charlie Whitebird. "The party’s the other way, up east of Big Lake."

    "We ****ing know where the 49 is, Charlie. We need to go to town and get some beer. Now shut up and light that weed you mentioned."

    "Aw, I ain't got no weed. I just said that so you’d give me a ride."



    The boys made their way into town, parking in front of Toni’s Bar and Grill. During the day vacationers from the cities crowded downtown, shopping at Ye Olde Fudge Shoppe, Minnetonka Moccasins, the Big Lake Trading Post and the other tourist traps of Main Street. But tonight only a few cars parked in front of Toni's.

    Tom Wiggens, the only one with an ID card, entered the bar while Parker and Charlie waited in the truck.

    "Will you look at that big dumb chief standing there," said Parker, pointing at the giant cigar store Indian standing in front of the Trading Post. "Kinda looks like your daddy in this light."

    "Sheeeet, looks more like your mama to me," laughed Charlie. "You know I hate that damn thing. It don’t even look like us. Looks like some Hollywood idea of an Indian. Big ugly nose and skin red as a tomato. Just another goddamned stereotype Indian for the white folks to gawk at."

    "Ya, and that ****ing crook that owns the place says he put it up there to honor us. Bull****."

    "Hey, I got an idea."

    When Tom Wiggens comes out of Toni’s bar and Grill with his two cases of PBR he sees his truck backed up on the sidewalk of the Trading Post, his two friends rocking a giant Indian back and forth. With a resounding spring jarring crash it topples into the bed of the truck.

    "I think we better get going now Tom," says Parker as he and Charlie take seats on the reclining chief.

    "Right." replies Tom, before climbing behind the wheel and easing the truck out of town. Lights off, back streets, eyes wide until they slip out of the town and reach the safety of the rez.

    The giant wooden Indian makes a big hit at the 49. The boys repeat the story of his liberation many times that night. He stands in a place of honor, beer bottles clutched in his fists, a joint in his mouth. Some say he even had a smile on his face. Charlie Whitebird swears to this day that he saw that Indian dancing.

    As the rising sun dissolved the festivities the old wooden Indian was left standing there, alone in the woods. The years passed and the bush grew up around him. His paint faded and peeled. Cracks developed in the wood. His once rugged features weathered through the years to a gentler, perhaps wiser visage. And his glass eyes continue to stare stoically at his tiny view of the great northern forest.
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  • #2
    5/5 stars. I giggled like a madwoman. XD
    Last edited by NightshadeTea; 12-19-2006, 02:12 AM.
    ~Like a true ninja, you'll never see me working~


    • #3
      I think I was at that "9" !
      I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !

      They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

      There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

      Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
      It's not me....I think you're an idiot !


      There's a chance you might not like me ,

      but there's a bigger

      chance I won't care


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