THE NAVAJO'S DILEMMA

Day Seven had been chosen
for the blast off back to Earth.
The day before they were to go,
Terry, Rip and Rabbit Stalker
took a walk together
that would be their last on Kroh.
Suddenly the Navajo,
looking terribly distressed,
stopped and turned.
I've got to quit the army,
he confessed.
It stands for everything I'm not.

Well, hey, said Rip,
if you want out, I know a way.
Just tell the General you're gay.

Laughed Rab, I never thought of that.
And then the laughter left his face.
But I can't lie, he said. In any case,
I think she'll find a better reason,
something that the State calls treason.

Rip and Terry plainly saw
this wasn't meant to be a joke.
Was Rabbit under some delusion?
What had happened to provoke
his frightening conclusion?

Yesterday, he told his friends,
I happened to receive a message --
quacks and shrugs and other motions
sent by Sam to all the Krohtians --
telling about jobs and riches,
loans and armies, hogs and glitches.
But then it told them something stranger:
To avoid their being shot,
they mustn't riot or cause hitches.
Judging from the feedback that I got,
the Krohtians understood the good,
but not the danger.

That litany of greed I intercepted
wasn't master-minded by the Duck.
Most of it was cooked up
by the General and Carter.
And now the latest polling figures show
their gambit did succeed;
it killed the 50-50 split,
for every Krohtian bit, and voted pro.
If that vote is allowed to stand,
Earthlings will usurp this land.

Then Rab went on, I had a word
with blacker Mike, and we agreed
that only those
who know how to communicate with Krohs
can turn the vote around,
and that means me.

And so today I plan to drum my message
to the ground and sky,
holler, dance, and slap my thigh
and tell the Krohs
that if they follow
where the white man leads,
they'll lose their land and die.

Then Stalker chuckled bitterly,
I'm sure that when
the General sees I've undone
the strategy that she's begun,
she'll call it treason.

But Rab, said Ter,
she can't declare an open season
on all Indians who dance,
or ask a jury to convict a Navajo
for drumming. You'll leave
no paper trail, and so
what judge or jury possibly could know
what messages your thumping sent,
much less what that Duck's shrugs
had meant?

I hope you're right,
replied the Navajo.
I'd hate to spend my life
inside a cell. But what the hell?
There's nothing better
that I have to do today
than dance and shout and holler,
and tell a billion Krohs
about the evil Yankee dollar,
and warn this native people
that the white men have the guns,
and shoot,
have the poisons, and pollute,
and Krohtians shouldn't give two hoots
for all the promises they give.

For if those teddy-bearish creatures
want to keep their land and live,
they can't keep quiet.
They have to tell their story
on the prime time news,
stand in front of TV crews,
and riot, riot, riot.

 

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