Yes, here I am, with the promised embarrassing reveal.
Without further ado, I give you Chicken and her fondest childhood fantasy.
As a kid, I had an obsession with Native American culture. I raided the North Jay Library every week for biographies of all the American Indian Chiefs. I absorbed everything I could find. My hero was Sitting Bull.
My greatest fantasy was that in the woods behind my house a lost Native American Indian tribe lived off the land with no knowledge of the outside world. This tribe, in my fantasy, would discover me wandering through the woods one day and would adopt me as one of their own.
It is important to note here that my fantasy did not involve being a girl Indian. No. I was sure I was meant to be a boy. While girl indians did get to do some cool stuff, like beading neat designs onto leather, I was sure my destiny involved hunting buffalo, riding horses bareback, and fighting the Crow.
To that end, I felt it was very important that when wandering through the wood looking for lost indian tribe kidnappers that I be dressed in the appropriate apparel lest they be confused as to my gender. So, guided by my reading, I designed myself a native American BOY costume of moccasins, loincloth, bow and arrows.
So during the summer that year, on any given day, I would walk into the woods dressed as a girl, in my shorts, t-shirt, and keds, follow the babbling brook for about a mile or so, and then change into my fierce warrior outfit. And wait to be kidnapped. While I waited, I terrorized the neighborhood squirrels with my bow and arrow; we are talking hand chipped arrow heads tied on to sticks and a sapling branch bent into a bow with some twine attached end to end. I do not believe (now) that the squirrels were in any real danger, PETA, so do not come around my house with your red paint. I also made a canoe that year out of white birch bark, and built a wigwam (although I would have rather had a teepee but buffalo skin was scarce in my region).
Eventually, I realized that being a boy indian was a bit out of reach and in truth, I was a little frightened by the Sun Dance ceremony, which involved ritual piercing of the breast tissue.
And then I grew up and became Chicken.
A Vision Quest was involved.
Grown Men can learn from very little children
For the hearts of little children are pure
Therefore the Great Spirit may show to them
Many things which older people will miss
-Black Elk (Oglala Lakota Sioux Medicine Man who participated in the battle of Little Big Horn at the age of 12)
Sometimes I miss that little Indian. Please check the Chicken crossing the road for a Dar Williams song that does not mention Indians even once but does talk about being a boy. I was a boy, too. And a girl.
Take care of the child in you, World.