Cowboys and Indians
Three strangers strike up a conversation in the airport
passenger lounge in Calgary, Alberta, while awaiting their
One is a native Indian from the Sarcee Reserve; another is a
cowboy on his way to Lethbridge for a livestock auction.
The third passenger is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly
arrived at the University of Calgary from the Middle East .
Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon,
the two Albertans learn that the Arab is a devout, radical
Muslim and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.
The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a
magazine table and tips his big sweat-stained hat forward
over his face.
The wind outside is blowing tumbleweeds around, and the old
windsock is flapping, but still no plane comes.
To break the silence, the Indian clears his throat and
softly speaks:"At one time here, my people were many, but
sadly, now we are few."
The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans
forward:"Once my people were few, he sneers, "and now we are
many. Why do you suppose that is?"
The Alberta cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his
mouth and from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a
"That's 'cause we ain't played Cowboys and Muslims yet . . .
but I do believe it's a-comin'.."
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