Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cowboys and Indians, Quaker-Style

Today after meeting, we were all standing around and talking like we usually do. One of the other mothers of young children stopped by where I was chatting, and let me know what the kids were up to outside. She looked a little bemused, and not entirely comfortable:

"They're all out there playing Indian Wars. I wonder if I ought to break it up."

I made some vaguely sympathetic comments, and she continued, with a little smile:

"The Indians are the good guys. And two of the girls are out there playing negotiator. They told me, 'We're not on either side. We're negotiating a treaty.'"

We decided to let them keep playing. Bless 'em all, and bury my heart at Wounded Knee.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Kids are something else aren't they? sometimes wise beyond their years.

Shawna said...

Kevin is part Cherokee. My kids are the last generation with voting rights in his family (seventh generation out from the last Cherokee ancestor). Ask Kevin about Andrew Jackson sometime if you ever want to hear a U.S. president vilified. So I wasn't too surprised to hear that the Indians were getting a fair shake.

But I have never in my life heard of kids negotiating treaties while playing Indian Wars. It won the Most Charming Thing I'd Heard All Week award!

Peggy Senger Parsons said...

In 2003 in my compound in Bujumbura, I found the children one afternoon playing "rebels" vs."soldiers." They were making improvised RPG launchers. If their father, the recorded Friends minister had caught them they would have been doing chores for a month. I decided to hang a sign on my door that said "Arusha Peace Talks" I introduced myself as "friend Mandela" and invited them in. They hanggled out the terms of a peace agreement and then we all played Gin Rummy.

Children need to play our conflict. These same children had witnessed helicopter gunships over their house just months before. We were treated to mortar rounds many nights while I was their. But they also need a way out of the play. I am sure they went back to "rebels" shortly there after, but They had a model for ending the game.

Did your kids eventually build a play casino? :)

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