This was like any other school day. It was more about survival since I was the only brownie on campus it seemed. So I was the human pinata. and since I was big for my age, I was the perfect target of older kids who needed to prove their manliness or something. In any event, I was the ‘chosen one’ for entertainment.
Used to eat ‘nutrition’ in the morning next to the dumpsters so other kids would not spit in my food or spray me with ketchup or mustard since it was the pastime for many. “Hey, lets get the Caveman”, they would say. And of course, I was the cave man since I was big and awkward.
Should have seen how the kids where when the history classes discussed the “Indian” problem. Ma Ma Mia!
Anyway, this is the part I want to share with you all. So the scene is set, School was a trial for sure, had to dodge kids when school let out all the time. It was the soul concern of mine when the clock was about ti strike 3 pm. the bell would ring and poof, I was out of there. Had to make tracks home so the other kids would not beat me up and tear my cloths.
On this particular day, just before the bell rung. The teacher wanted to speak to me, gawd not now. So I had to listen to this teacher as she rambled on about math and my lack of concentration, blab blab blab. All I could think of was how the hell I was going to get home without getting stomped to the ground. I hated that.
Finally, she was done and off I went. But there they were, the mob waiting for me to get out of class. So I decided to leave the back way, if the door was not locked. And fortunately for me, the janitor was just coming back in through the back door with a trash can. So I slipped past him and out into the real world I was
I began to run my ass off. There was a longer route that took me over a hill and past a college, then down to my house. So off I went on this mad dash to safety. I was home free, I thought. But as I was climbing up over a fence to make my escape, I heard, “It’s the tree Nigger, he’s over there”
My heart sank as I made my futile run for the woods behind the college. I could hear them as they flew over the wall. All of them were laughing and joking about what they wanted to do to me. and it was no pretty. I could almost feel them as they would hold me and kick the crap out of me, tear my cloths and destroy my school books. One time, they tried to force me to eat rocks and dirt, yuck. I was not a happy camper.
As I made my way into the thick of the trees, I heard a voice. I stopped for a second and heard this voice say, “Come over here, we will protect you Carlos”. I looked around and saw nothing. So I started to make more tracks when the voice almost commanded me, ” Carlos, come here and lay on my branch”. I stopped and looked around and in front of me was a big old tree. I looked again and saw this big branch laying over near the ground.
I made a prayer then asked out loud, “Do you want me to lay on the branch?’, and I heard a loud, “Yes”. So with nothing else to loose and the kids fast on my trail, I laid on the branch. And as soon as I lay on it. other branches wrapped themselves around me and it also looked like the bushes came in and planted themselves around me as well.
Before I knew it, I was in the air and completely covered. Just in time to, the other kids made the landing and were looking all around for me. I could almost grab them as they were looking around. I was that close, but completely out of sight.
After they left, the tree brought me down and the sage plants went back to their original locations. The big branches unfolded from around me and I stepped off the tree. I looked around still worried when I heard a voice say its safe. I thanked the trees and their friends and off I went.
As I got to the house, I kept think to myself, “Did that really happen?’, in my heart, I was sure it did. But I was 12 years old and was loosing the connection I once had with all living things. Think it was because I did not have friends who shared this connection.
Take it or leave it eh. I know it happened and there are other Natives who have shared this kind of experience. But for the most part, we don’t ever share experiences like this since contemporary people don’t buy into things of a supernatural nature. They simply prescribe Prozac or Zoloft since we are considered nuts.
Just thought I’d share this with anyone who might read this. And in some way, remind my brothers and sister of our reality. Just in case they are caught up in the modern world. I know how that is since I spent lots of time there as well.
Well, it’s off to my ma’s house now. She has neck bone soup and fresh fry bread, yum.
See you in the funny papers eh.