This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
Deep in the woods of Alaska, I realized the jig was up. Thorne Bay was a logging camp, an island off the mainland, and remote enough that one can hide out as a part-time Indian terrorist, which is what I did. Cannibalized by coniferous rain forest, eroded by Inside Passage, accessible only by boat and float plane--it is the perfect anonymous archipelago.
"Wounded Knee? Hell, yeah!" I told the FBI Agent--"I ran into a stump!"
Parts of your life will always come back to haunt you. Certain atrocities never go away.
Was it you?--a little voice whispered--Did you break into the Smithsonian Zoo?--Like an egg-sucking weasel?--During the Wounded Knee Siege--And filch the most hallowed of American fowls? Kidnap the national turkey in the name of the American Indian? Like a two-bit terrorist!
"Absolutely not!" I said. "Why would I do that? Besides, it wasn't the Smithsonian--It was called the Washington National Zoo, back then."
"So you are familiar ?"--I heard the accusatory trip wire--"with the turkey case of 1973? Walter Cronkite has been wondering."
"S h*t"--I might as well admit it--it sounds bad--like I know stuff--incriminating stuff--that only an Indian should know." Obviously, the FBI had their antennae up.
"Little known facts pop into your mind, huh , TurkeyMan? All these years later? That's quite a coincidence. You're a regular walking encyclopedia. Regarding turkeys, that is."
TurkeyMan? My eye twitched. Sure, it sounds like I am guilty as sin--I probably did it--Look at the evidence. What else would anybody think? Luckily, guilty but insane is a legal defense--or is it?--I don't know, anymore.
But on a dark Sunday night--April 17, 1973, to be exact--when a terrorist kidnapped the National Zoo's only caged turkey--practically pilfered the Pilgrim's Holy Supper--under the nose of our nation's capital--and held it for ransom in the name of the American Indian--I have to admit--Somehow, I know about that. Every detail. Like I channeled it or something. How is that possible?
"He knows something"--I could hear a whisper--"it did happen at night."
"C'mon, man!" I implored. "What kind of idiot would do that, anyway?"
"Oh, I don't know. Something an Indian might do; you know, turkey feathers, a symbolic statement? Maybe a gobbler goblin?--the voice said with spittle-spewed sarcasm--When we catch him, there might even be a cage waiting at the zoo. Next to Nixon's pandas."
I knew Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were not officially Nixon's pandas. True, the pair were presented to the zoo after Tricky Dick's visit to China, and delivered on April 16, 1972, almost a year exactly, curiously enough, before the day, or night, rather, that the turkey was"
"You say something, Turkey-Man?"
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).