Monday, February 25, 2008

Coyote Droppings

History does repeat itself, often in the strangest ways—especially when dealing with the most gullible of dupes—the misinformed humanoid. Let me give you a pithy example from the pages of Western lore.

On an early spring morning in 1874, a thousand painted warriors gathered on the high breaks of the Canadian River, in the upper reaches of the Texas Panhandle. They were there to scalp the “white eyes”; the twenty-eight buffalo hunters camped below. The place was called “Adobe Walls,” nothing more than several crudely thrown together sod structures in a open flat - surrounded on three sides by flat topped bluffs. Waiting for the early light, hidden behind the surrounding ridges were close to a thousand Comanche, Arapaho, Kiowa and Cheyenne braves, eager to surprise the buffalo hunters asleep in the valley below.

The painted savages were extremely confident and excited at the prospect of having a scalp dance that night and why not? They had been convinced by Ishatai, the Comanche medicine man, that victory was assured because his “medicine” was great. The Indians believed he had great puha [that’s power]. The Comanche prophet had predicted that no harm could possibly come to any of them. His medicine was so strong that bullets bounced off of him and he, the great Ishatai, would give his “medicine," his protective power, to each brave.

The highly superstitious braves believed Ishatai, whose name by the way, translated into English, means Coyote Droppings or Wolf’s Rear End.

However, things didn’t quite go as expected. The buffalo hunters were not asleep and as soon as the attack began, there were dead and wounded Indians scattered all around the mud dwellings. Coyote Droppings, covered with yellow war paint, sat on his white war pony nearly a mile away, observing the fight, not once venturing near the battle. The father of a downed brave taunted Ishatai to rescue his wounded son. “Why not ride into the fray since you said that bullets couldn’t hurt you?” The medicine man didn’t move a muscle, that is, not until Billy Dixon, one of the buffalo hunters, cut loose with his 50-caliber Sharps rifle from over 1500 yards away, knocking the Indian next to Coyote Droppings off his horse.

It was a bad day for the Indians and for Wolf’s Rear End’s “medicine”. The “white eyes” survived.

You would think that the medicine man would have been run out of the tribe for being such a lousy prophet but Coyote Droppings had someone else to blame. He explained that it wasn’t his fault. Some dirty Indian killed a skunk on the way to the fight and that nefarious act broke the spell, jinxing his magic thereby allowing the bullets to kill.

Believe it or not, the superstitious Indians bought this whopper. Ishatai continued to be a respected Comanche chief and medicine man until his death, many, many years later.

Primate lore is filled with examples of witch doctors and medicine men that claimed to possess puha. This “power”--- the medicine men acquired from dreams. More often than not, their ticket to dreamland was through fasting or chewing the drug peyote. They would then tell the tribe their dreams, saying they had just had communion with the gods. Such men will always succeed whenever you have superstitious, primitive and gullible natives who believe such things.

Little wonder such primitive customs and beliefs were dumped in the trashcan of history by Americans -- or were they? Has much changed from the 1880’s? One wonders when we view our fellow Americans gullibly swallowing the newest “spin” dished out by the modern day medicine men posing as a “consensus of scientists’ backed by the United Nations and hawked by “objective” reporters, TV commentators, and led by left-wing politicians who see another great way to enlarge government. These “spin masters” don’t need peyote to dream up images for the masses to consume, all they need is enough gullible uneducated fools who believe “it can happen here.”

“Global Warming” anyone?