COWBOYS AND INDIANS
by Susan Black
The lung punching minus forty degrees temperature and frozen tundra of Thompson, Manitoba was a playground for our family. Nothing could prevent Cookie from hauling Marc, Andy and me, into the frosty air.
At five years old, I was deliriously nearsighted and saw the mining town through the eyes of my siblings. One day we played at a construction site. Cookie hollered to me from across a narrow board.
“Come on, Sam!” she shouted. “Don’t look down. Just step on and go!”
Suddenly, Andy ran across the slippery plank. Marc shoved me and I wobbled across the narrow drawbridge into the arms of my older sister. Marc hopped on one foot across the board toward us. When he stood close, Cookie plucked the feather hat from his head and pushed him away.
“Let’s play cowboys and Indians,” she said. “I’m the Chief!”
“Sam, Andy, you’re the warriors. Marc, you’re the cowboy,” she said.
Marc spun around and ran. We lost sight of him. When Cookie spotted the cowboy she shouted a command.
“Stop! I shot you with an arrow and you can’t move,” she said.
The cowboy stood motionless. When we caught up to him, Cookie pulled a pair of scissors from her pocket, pushed Marc against a tree and scalped him. She squeezed the clump of curly hair in her mitten and let out a yelp. Marc screamed and cried. Andy and I gasped in horror. Cookie had taken the game to a whole new level.
Later, in our warm house, our mother trimmed Marc’s hair, sent Andy and me to bed and gave Cookie a licking saying, “You took the game too far and you took my scissors!”