I had no idea. And all this time I thought I was Cherokee. My dad told me I was Black foot for many years. You can imagine my pain when I realized that I just didn’t get it, that he was talking about my dirty feet. He laughed at me and said your’e no Blackfoot, you are Cherokee. From when I was a toddler he had told me the stories of when he spent all his extra time as a boy at his grandfathers cabin. Cradled in the Y where two rivers came together in the state of Missouri they hunted and fished. He took me there when I was 7. The cabin was long gone, But the tree that stood right outside his door still stood. As I stood looking up into the branches he told me the story about how every morning his grandpa would walk out with his shot gun and shoot a squirrel out of that tree for breakfast. As he finished the story he pointed his gun to the top of the tree and shot. A moment later a squirrel dropped to the ground in front of me. I peed my pants. It at once made the story of my great grandfather, the full blood Cherokee, real to me. The next we we ventured to the “Y” I was a teen. He had told me the story over and over about throwing in a line and pulling in big cats as fast as you could reel em in. I half expected it to be true. I was half wrong. We were bating, throwing, and reeling for all of 20 minutes, and took 30 nice cats to my grand ma to fry them up. It was fun for a few minutes, that turned boring, and finally to work. I assumed that only a real Cherokee would know how to respect the land, and the animals enough that they made the willing scarifice for you to live in harmony. But I have no proof, no pudding. My dad was proud to a fault. He would never take a hand out. Nothing ever from the government. Our blood line was never talked about outside of his grandpa’s cabin stories. Maybe I am, Maybe I’m not. I think it’s time to paint the picture with a DNA sample. I’ll let you know.