Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

April 12, 2011

Cowboys and Indians

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

The generation of my boyhood spent its energy of free time by playing Cowboys and Indians.  It may have been the result of the Saturday afternoon matinée that was almost, without exception, a movie about Cowboys and Indians.

We had plenty of space for roaming — the neighborhood, the vacant lots, and the dirt alleys made for  ideal locations for attacks from Indians and the defense staged by the Cowboys.  Of course, you could not play Cowboy and Indians unless someone played the part of the Indian or Indians.  The Indians were considered the enemy.  Why?  I guess because that was the portrayal in the movies.

But would you be surprised if I told you I was always an Indian.  It was not because I was not a “fast draw” Cowboy.  It was not because I was the youngest or smallest and was relegated to that role.  No, I was an Indian by choice!  I always had an affinity for the Indians!

Why, I even tried to walk like an Indian when he was hunting or seeking to surprise the Cowboy.  You know the walk!  Toes and the ball of the foot going down first with the heel to follow.  Just the opposite of the normal walk!  That was to prevent the stepping upon some stick on the ground that would crack with the heel.  But the toe going down carefully gave you the feel and touch and you could avoid the snap of the twig.  Of course, that only works if you are barefooted or wearing moccasins.  But in those days, even the Cowboys in our neighborhood were barefooted! 

Perhaps some of my deep love and respect came  from a grandmother who was part Cherokee.  She definitely looked like a Cherokee.  I have always desired to have enough Cherokee blood in me to qualify for tribal status.  But, I have yet to be able to prove qualification.

There is a legend that has been around for generations about the Cherokees.  The legend has resurfaced  recently.  It is the legend of a young Indian boy and the rite of passage to manhood.  To prove he arrived at that time in his life, he had to spend the night in the woods.  He was taken to the woods and given a place on a stump or log where he was to sit all night.  He had to give his oath that he would never tell another younger boy what occurred.

The hazard of the night came because the young boy was blindfolded.  He could not remove the blindfold or move from the place where he was seated.  One can only imagine the long, lonely, frightful hours.  Many sounds certainly would be heard.  Blindfolded, he did not know if the noises about him were vicious animals or even the threat from another person.  He had to prove his bravery by remaining still until the morning light would begin to penetrate the blindfold.  At that moment he would remove the blindfold, look around, and then make his way back to the village.

The young man was in for a surprise.  Seated a very short distance away was his father!  His father had sat there throughout the night to protect and care for his son.  He would not have allowed an animal or a man to attack his son.  He was the son’s guardian because of the love he had for his son.

Most readers have already jumped to the profound application.  That Indian father represents our Heavenly Father who watches over and guards His children.  From his eternal love toward us, He is always there!

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”  (Deuteronomy 33;22)




  1. As always I look forward to these posts and how all the facets of our lives are connected to the Heavenly Father. Thank you Pastor.


    Comment by Rebecca Emery — April 12, 2011 @ 7:08 am | Reply

  2. Oh, what a comparison! So many times we go along wondering “where is God?” Well he’s always there and when the time comes “we know HE is there”, as safe as a little chick under the wings of mama.

    The other day Johnny observed a mama and papa sandhill crane down by the lake. They worked ever so hard to feed that little one. He depended on them totally and in between he would lie down and rest, but as soon as they found something he would come running. Well a small gator was coming close to the shore, sneaking about and the papa flapped his wings to scare the gator, which he did. The next time he came back and the flapping of his wings didn’t work, so the bird went over and began pecking the gator’s head. Away he went. Next time gator just had to go toward gator and he took off. Reminds us of our heavenly father who is “always there to protect us”. Thank you so much for this story!

    Comment by D. White — April 12, 2011 @ 3:17 pm | Reply

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