Although, I suppose the social aspect is appealing. It could be fun if you're with the right people. My experience is limited in this regard.
Do you think we'll have an Indian Summer this year?
Yep, sonny this is sure enough Injun summer. Don't know what that is, I reckon, do you? Well, that's when all the homesick Injuns come back to play; You know, a long time ago, long afore yer granddaddy was born even, there used to be heaps of Injuns around here—thousands—millions, I reckon, far as that's concerned. Reg'lar sure 'nough Injuns—none o' yer cigar store Injuns, not much. They wuz all around here—right here where you're standin'.
Don't be skeered—hain't none around here now, leastways no live ones. They been gone this many a year.
They all went away and died, so they ain't no more left.
But every year, 'long about now, they all come back, leastways their sperrits do. They're here now. You can see 'em off across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o' hazy misty look out yonder? Well, them's Injuns—Injun sperrits marchin' along an' dancin' in the sunlight. That's what makes that kind o' haze that's everywhere—it's jest the sperrits of the Injuns all come back. They're all around us now.
See off yonder; see them tepees? They kind o' look like corn shocks from here, but them's Injun tents, sure as you're a foot high. See 'em now? Sure, I knowed you could. Smell that smoky sort o' smell in the air? That's the campfires a-burnin' and their pipes a-goin'.
Lots o' people say it's just leaves burnin', but it ain't. It's the campfires, an' th' Injuns are hoppin' 'round 'em t'beat the old Harry.
You jest come out here tonight when the moon is hangin' over the hill off yonder an' the harvest fields is all swimmin' in the moonlight, an' you can see the Injuns and the tepees jest as plain as kin be. You can, eh? I knowed you would after a little while.
Jever notice how the leaves turn red 'bout this time o' year? That's jest another sign o' redskins. That's when an old Injun sperrit gits tired dancin' an' goes up an' squats on a leaf t'rest. Why I kin hear 'em rustlin' an' whisper in' an' creepin' 'round among the leaves all the time; an' ever' once'n a while a leaf gives way under some fat old Injun ghost and comes floatin' down to the ground. See—here's one now. See how red it is? That's the war paint rubbed off'n an Injun ghost, sure's you're born.
Purty soon all the Injuns'll go marchin' away agin, back to the happy huntin' ground, but next year you'll see 'em troopin' back—th' sky jest hazy with 'em and their campfires smolderin' away jest like they are now.
The Chicago Tribune printed that comic every year for about, no fooling, 100 years. Then people started complaining that it was racist so they stopped.
Where's the racism? It's a fact that there used to be Indians in the Chicago area. Chicago comes from an Indian word (don't know what tribe) meaning "swamp" or something. Illinois is named after the Illini Indian federation. Neighbour Indiana means "Land of Indians".
It's true that there were millions of Indians in the US. They aren't there any more. I never met an Indian in my life, and that includes the time I worked in an "Indian" casino. So what happened to them? As the poem suggests, they were eliminated in a series of genocidal campaigns.
The grandfather suggests that the Indians are to be feared. Again, true. Indians attacked white settlers, perhaps sensibly so.
Red leaves are compared to the skin of the Indians. Indians are darker than white people. The skin tone is commonly described as "red". These are all true statements. No racism.
John T. McCutcheon's Indian Summer is a clear tribute to the Indians. It's a remarkably enlightened poem particularly given that Indian Wars were still going on at the time it was written (1907).
The extermination of the Indians is probably the most appalling act in all of human history. Naturally, it was carried out by mankind's greatest monsters: the inbred English. The weakest and most cowardly of people eliminating the bravest.
When I was a boy, the Sioux owned the world. The sun rose and set on their land; they sent ten thousand men to battle. Where are the warriors today? Who slew them? Where are our lands? Who owns them?
-- Sitting Bull
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