The Native American and the Woodpecker

Crying Indian

The Native American was on cloud nine. He had just received the results from Ancestry DNA ® which claimed he was truly 99% Native American, and 1% other. He planned to use this data to substantiate his bragging rights at the local saloon. Granted, it wasn’t 100%, but he thought about how Hitler is truly remembered. No one gives a shit about the 1% philanthropist in him, he is known through history as the 99% asshole.

Everything was coming up Native American. Earlier in the year, he overcame his inability to use pronouns correctly. Through heavy doses of self-improvement, he could now spout complex sentences like, “He said, “it is what it is,” as if it still had relevance.” Previously, he would have been tongue tied and said, “Him say what is is is, much meaning squandered.” This is what happens when your education comes from television. I blame his parents.

As he donned his favorite headdress and well-worn Metallica t-shirt, he hummed a strain of his favorite rain dance, followed by, “I’m getting so laid tonight.” He dabbed some cologne called Cedar on his thick neck.

A woodpecker eyed the man with brooding silence. Its eyes focused on a single plume in the showy headdress. It was once among its own flock of feathers. It knew it anywhere. If the woodpecker could make a fist, it would surely be shaken in the general direction of the unknowing man. The woodpecker laughed maniacally, hovering in the air, before pecking the crap out of the tree trunk. Splinters and chips flew this way and that, and when the wood storm cleared, there was a message: A Walter Lantz Production. Too specific for happenstance, yet too trivial to have relevance in what happens next.


The Native American was ready for his biggest and greatest moment of comeuppance. He stepped out into the woods all hi-ya-ya-ya, beaming with well-deserved pride. The moment he took another step forward, the woodpecker swooped down upon him. He instinctively shielded his head with his arm. The woodpecker intermittently hovered and attacked savagely. The Native American swatted wildly at the slightly larger than normal red and blue bird.

The woodpecker cackled, which enraged the Native American. He lunged at the bird snarling, “Me kill you bird! Me so horny with anger!” He heard his own words and felt deep shame that all his lessons were unlearned and shattered by one annoying woodpecker. This became personal.

After a squirmish that involved punctured skin, lost feathers, beak bending, mild bloodletting, and miscellaneous yelps of the human and avian kind, the woodpecker found itself gripped around the neck in the steel hands of the Native American. They stared each other down.

The woodpecker glared and saw a gigantic piece of steak with a headdress on. The Native American returned the glare and saw a chicken sub. The woodpecker in an act of complete desperation gurgled, “Truce?”

Dumbfounded by the vocal ability of the woodpecker, he slowly nodded. A single tear rolled down his cheek as he experienced forgiveness for the first time in his life. The woodpecker farted a little cause that’s what happens when you’re being choked out. Slowly and vividly, they melted into each other, all their life and color swirling around, melding into one like a wax fight at an old school Grateful Dead concert when Jerry was barely alive. Spinning red and blue and red and white and red, white and blue, pausing for a moment as an American flag, then speeding up, accelerating until the eye only perceives black and white, like a hypnotist’s wheel, like the yin and the yang rolling and wrestling. Then stillness. Upon slow awakening, they had discovered they had been merged and transformed into a red raven. This is what they had become.


MORAL: Peace, love, understanding and forgiveness leads to spectacular transformation.


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