It was just another Oklahoma Saturday, hanging with family in the back yard. Chubby cheek babies running around, wood tick covered dog’s barking and my cousin beating on the back of a 5 gallon plastic bucket. We were doing some chants and the kids were dancing to the beat of the drum, (bucket). Life was good but we were getting hungry.

We scraped together some cash so my cousins wife could go to the store for some chow. No big deal, we do this all the time. My people live from one day to the next, never making to many plans or buying to much food. Course, finances plays a major roll as far as that is concerned.

Lisa, my cousins wife, came back from the store with drink, bread and the exulted Indian Round Steak, better known as baloney. I started the fire so we could cook our victuals. Seems many of my people don’t have natural gas and have not had any for months or even years. So we cook outside most of the time. No big deal.

We got that big black skillet hot and dumped some baloney on it. The pan began to hiss as our ‘steaks’ began to cook. I always liked fried baloney, especially the thick sliced kind. The fragrance began to fill our noses as it cooked. The kids stopped and gathered around the skillet, their eyes wide with anticipation.

The first batch was done in short time. Aunty got out the Wonder bread and slapped a slice of baloney on a piece of bread and started handing it out to the kids. With great joy, the kids snapped up the ‘sangs’ and off they went to chow and play. My heart always sings when I see their chubby cheeks and happy eyes when they eat.

We had just began to cook the second batch when this Pathfinder SUV stopped on the street. We looked at it and I guess the people who were in the car thought it was an invitation of some kind. So they pulled into the drive and came up to us. None of us knew who they were but we were always polite in any event.

Defiantly White Bread or Milk Toast as they say. They were dressed as if they were on some kind of expedition. National Geographic types, so to speak. Defiantly Eddie Bauer. They introduced themselves to us and we all began to chat a bit.

They asked the usual round of questions, “Are you Lakota, are you Cherokee?, We saw Dances With Wolves and love your people, blab, blab, blab”, in spite of not knowing who we actually were. Again, no big deal, happens all the time it seems. LOL, they seemed a little disappointed when we told them we were Cheyenne. They were entertaining though.

As we all chatted, I went back to the fire to save our ‘steaks’ since these folks came during chow time. Crow, my cousin offered them some Indian Steak since we always offer what we have when we have guests. The husband said OK to the dinner offer. Then the wife took a gander at our kitchenware and baulked.

At that moment, the wife went into deep conference with her man. I could hear part of the conversation. “Those poor people, they are eating baloney and cooking it on an old frying pan” The husband looked over at our cuisine and shook his head.

He looked at his wife and they both seemed to agree on something. He walked over to our skillet and kicked it over, tossing our baloney in the dirt. We all looked at each other in amazement as this guy made short order of our meal. We just looked on as these people walked around like roosters.

The husband was ranting about how we were being treated by America. The wife was also trying to show her compassion. My family and I just looked at each other, rolling our eyes. But I was kind of sad because they threw our baloney.

Guess the ole boy felt my disdain and told us all that they were going to go to the store and get us REAL STEAKS. We all liked that idea. So off the couple went in a hale of dust and stones, all over us as a matter of fact.

After they left, we began to cut jokes about this odd couple. But we were excited about the steaks these people were going to bring us. We gathered more wood and prepared for the feast we were going to have. And in no time we had plenty of wood. We were ready eh. I could taste that T-Bone already. I looked like I had rabies, I was drooling so bad.

So we waited, and waited and waited. The Oklahoma sun was about to set when we came to the realization that these do gooders were not coming back. What a scene, five starving men and women looking at one another. You could almost hear the crickets in the back ground as we sat there, waiting.

Finally, I had enough and took after a dog who found the baloney. I grabbed up the slices that fell to the ground. My cousins grabbed the wood and cleaned up the skillet and we began to warm up our baloney, again. My aunt began handing out the ‘sangs’ to us “Big Kids” and we ate with delight, our Indian Round Steak. Course it was a bit gritty, but not bad.

Then we sat around the little cook fire and began to beat the ‘drum’ once again. Chants filled the evening air………………………..