April 28, 2010

Tasalagi Tale (1/9)

   Billy Lightfoot was his name and we grew to be like siblings to one another. It was spring and the Dogwoods downtown were in bloom when I first met him. He was being roughed up by a couple of local bullies, your basic white trash. He was valiantly fighting a lost battle: there were too many of them and they were so much older than he was, heck, he was my age. Come to think of it they were only five of them and they probably weren't that much older than we were, just older teens; but neither Billy nor I had had our growth spurts yet so, to us, these fellas looked mighty big. Anyhow, being the way I was at the time, I heroically jumped headfirst and rather stupidly into the fray. Had I been just a bit older or smarter I would have diverted their attention somehow, pretended that the cops were coming, or screamed bloody murder, or something like that... but hey, I was just a feisty little kid.

   There we were he and I, side by side for the first time. He fought with a wild spirit like an unbroken stallion and charged recklessly at his opponents whooping war cries for the heck of it. I, on the other hand fought quietly, calculating my moves to be as coldly efficient as possible. We were an oddly assorted pair. In the end nobody left the "battlefield" without his fair share of bumps and bruises, in fact we had had more than our fair share and could barely walk but we were proud as peacocks to have scared those bullies off. We decided to celebrate so we bought ourselves a pair of Dr.Peppers and Baby Ruths, and as we had our victory feast, we got acquainted. I asked him then about his war cries and he just smirked, shrugged his shoulders and answered: "I don't know, I saw that on TV... Since they were beating me up for being Indian... it seemed to fit just right." We both laughed heartily and it was at that moment that our friendship really started.