One Little Indian Boy

One Little Indian Boy

Growing up in North Dakota where we were, everyone was pink.  I recall a lot of prejudice against anyone whose skin tone was different.  Even joining a union was very difficult if you were black or brown.  I never became acquainted with any black people in North Dakota and Montana but I did work with a few Indians.

Recently I was in the hospital for a few days with pneumonia.  Of course a hospital comes stocked with a lot of young, pretty nurses.  I admire nurses, old or young, because they have a difficult job.  Rarely do you find one that complains.  To be friendly and get acquainted with them, I ask their name, nationality and how long they have been nurses.

One of the nurses had an unusual name.  I asked her what nationality she was.  She said; “Native American.”  That makes sense!  They truly are the natives of this land.  Just because Columbus was lost, didn’t know where he was or how far from India he had landed, shouldn’t be a reason to pin an incorrect name on an entire people.  The name “Indian” has been widely, and wrongly, spread.

Now for the point of this story.

When I was younger we had a little ditty, a nursery type rhyme as it were, that we would sing.  It went; “One little, two little, three little Indians”.  (Er, … Native Americans.)  You would sing the numbers up to ten and then back down to one little Indian (Native American) boy.  One day I was sent to do some wiring in an apartment house where a number of Native American families were living.

In the yard outside there were two little boys driving stone cars in the dirt.  It reminded me of my childhood when we did exactly the same thing.  One little boy was driving real fast.  He was running on his feet, bending over and pushing his stone car in the dirt.

Suddenly he tripped and did a somersault, landing on his knees.  He looked a little disoriented.  Looking around he spied a white chicken feather, grabbed it, and stuck it in his hair.  Then he started dancing around and clapping his hand to his mouth while yelling; “woo, woo.”

I asked him; “What are you doing?”

He said in a monotone; “I’m a Injun.”

“What’s a Injun?”

He hesitated a second and then said; “They ride horshes.”


I think it’s time we learn to call them by their proper designation!