Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hail to the Chief by Ray Bradbury

A government official is awoken in the middle of the night and told that thirteen senators have lost the entire U.S. at the Pocahontas Big Red Indian Casino to Chief Iron Cloud. The President of the United States arrives at the casino and scolds the senators. Chief Iron Cloud enters the room and through an interpreter offers the President one last game of chance to win back the U.S. His terms: Lose, Iron Cloud keeps the U.S. and the President must build casinos, schools, and colleges in all fifty states throughout the Indian Territories. Win, and the president gets back the states, but must still build on the Territories. They play blackjack and the President wins, although he never sees the Chief’s cards. The Chief asks for $26.97 for Manhattan and tells the President that he hopes he will build many ships for his journey to wherever he came from. When the President says that we are not going anywhere, the Chief replies, “Oh no?” The President and his senators sneak out, tales between their legs.

Great satire. I love this story. Smart, funny, and piercing critique of the harsh treatment of Native Americans. Expertly titled as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment