Miko Kings by LeAnne Howe

Miko Kings by LeAnne Howe

Author:LeAnne Howe
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Aunt Lute Books

Wild Buck Taylor continues staring down the soldier from Fort Riley. “Mister, the rules are the game in baseball,” shouts the private.

Wild Buck doesn’t move. “No they aren’t,” he says. “Baseball is a game with no limits!” The two men stare at one other and finally the private rolls up the sleeves of his uniform making ready for a fistfight. Then the Indian agent-turned-umpire haggles with both men, but no one can hear what’s being said. Finally, Wild Buck shouts, still glaring at the soldier, “Andrew, grab some grass! Hope, you’re up.”

The makeshift ballpark erupts. The sight of Jones Academy’s best hurler walking off the field to sit on the grass with the other Indians causes the Perry crowd to scream catcalls or whistle the Irish tune “Garryowen.”

Others chant, “Perry wins! Perry wins! Perry wins!”

Someone blows taps on a bugle as Hope Little Leader, the sixteen-year-old Choctaw who’s not a whit over five feet, six inches, jumps up off the ground and comes running onto the ballfield.

“Perry wins! Perry wins! Perry wins!”

For the white people living around Perry, Hope Little Leader represents just another sissy Indian boy who’ll mature into a cattle thief. Many of Perry’s townsfolk still hold grudges against the Comanche and the Osage for raiding their cattle herds. The Indians leave nothing behind but the dead carcasses of heifers as evidence of their moonlight marauding. It’s another reason why Perry’s players need a shave. They skip school each fall to try to protect the cattle herds from coyotes and Indians. Many of their players can’t read or write, but the signs posted in town are spelled correctly: R-E-D-S-K-I-N-S NOT ALLOWED IN PERRY AFTER SUNDOWN.

Hope steps onto the mound just as a muscular white boy on third lets loose a war whoop. The white boy dances around the bag as if it were a fire. His mockery bolsters Perry’s fans to greater insults.

Blanket butts go home!

Blanket butts go home!

Blanket butts go home!

Hope can see the game is over as far as Perry’s team is concerned. But he isn’t afraid of them, nor does he listen to their taunts. He’s fixated on not letting his team down, or the old warrior Wild Buck Taylor.

Like every other boy at Jones Academy, Hope knows the stories about Wild Buck. There are rumors that he once rode with Buffalo Bill Cody, and that he finally had a bellyful of shooting dumb animals on the plains and came home to Choctaw Country.

There are other stories—that as a young boy, Wild Buck had ridden with Pushmataha against the Osage during Hash Bissa, Month of Berries. Pushmataha and the other Choctaw chiefs had offered a bountiful feast to the Osage if they would sit down and talk of peace between the two tribes. The Osage refused. So Old Push rounded up the bravest warriors, including Wild Buck, and they plundered the Osage buffalo provisions. Many warriors were killed on both sides, but the beleaguered Osage sued for peace with the Choctaws.

Supposedly the aging warrior still


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