Yes, sonny, this is sure enough Indian summer.
Don't know what that is, I reckon, do you?
Well, that's when all the homesick Indians come back to
play. You know, a long time ago, long afore your granddaddy was
born even, there used to be heaps of Indians around here -
thousands - millions, I reckon, far as that's concerned. Regular
sure 'nuf Indians - none of them cigar store Indians. They
was all around here - right here where you are standin'.
Don't be scared - ain't none around here now, leastways
no bad ones. They been gone for many years.
They all went away, so there ain't no more left.
But every year, 'long about now, they all come back,
leastways their spirits do. They are here now. You can see um
across the fields. Look real hard. See that kind o' hazy, misty
look out yonder? Well, that's them Indians - Indian spirits
marchin' along an' dancin' in the sunlight. That's what makes that kind
of haze that's everywhere - it's just the spirits of the Indians
all come back. They're all around us now.
See off yonder; see them teepees? They kind o' look like
corn stocks from here, but them's Indian tents, sure as you're a
foot high. See um now? Sure, I knew you could. Smell that
smoky sort o' smell in the air? That's the campfires a-burnin'
and their pipes a-smokin'.
Lots o' people say it's just leaves burnin', but it ain't so.
It's the campfires, and them Indians are hoppin' round um to the beat.
You just come out here tonight when the moon is hangin'
over the hill off yonder and the harvest fields is all swimmin'
in the moonlight, and you can see the Indians and the teepees
just as plain as can be.
Did you ever notice the leaves turn red 'bout this time of year?
That's just another sign of those redskins. That's when an old Indian
spirit gets tired of dancin' and goes up and squats on a leaf to
rest. Why, I can hear 'um rustlin' and whisperin' and creepin'
round among the leaves all the time; and every once in a while
a leaf gives way under some fat old Indian ghost and comes floatin'
down to the ground. See - here's one now. See how red
it is? That's the war paint rubbed off an Indian ghost, sure as you're born.
Soon, all the Indians will go marchin' away again, back
to the happy huntin' ground, but next year, you'll see um
traipsing on back - the sky just hazy with um, and their campfires
smoldering away just like they are now.
Indian Summer written by © Joe McCutcheon