Norman Allan
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Short Stories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granny Crow



In 1970 Bill Crow was a graduate student. He shared an office next to mine. Bill Crow was one quarter native: his grandmother was full blooded Cheyenne. After the Indian Wars the army had herded the Cheyenne into two camps. Billís grandmother was eleven years old in the 1880s when the army marched the eleven hundred remnants in the southern camp a thousand miles, in the middle of winter, to the northern camp. Only one hundred of those eleven hundred souls survived the march, and these included Billís grandmother.

Bill was a student during the Vietnam war - he studied psychology at Berkeley - and he was a member of the radical SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). When he graduated he got his draft notice. He decided to come north to Canada to do postgraduate work and to avoid participating in what he saw as an unjust war.

Before going north, though, Bill went home to Mobile to see his family. His Granny was then in her eighties and he wasnít sure whether he would see her again. He went in to Granny to tell her he was going to Canada to dodge the draft. Granny nodded her head sagely and said,"Youíll come back for the war, though, wonít you?"