The Indian's gift

My First Day in America


The Indian's gift
by Feshangi

I think my first impression of America was when I landed at Chicago O'Hare Airport and I had to walk what seemed like a fifteen-mile hike to my next plane. But the impression that has stuck with me all these years is what I saw in the second airport where I was waiting for a connecting flight to my final destination, Oklahoma City.

There, in a waiting hall no larger than my grandfather's living room back in Iran, I saw something that simply stopped me breathing! In the corner of the hall stood a statue of an American Indian. A tall, handsome, and muscular man, with long black hair cascading over his broad shoulders. He must have been at least six and half feet tall. His eyes looked directly forward, as if focused over the tops of some imaginary rocky mountains miles away.

He was wearing the full Indian costume. It was a magnificent sight! The light and dark suede and leather garb draping his imposing physique. The blue and brown beads and occasional ruby red ones matched his weather-beaten tanned skin and made his face glow as if he were a holy man sent to earth by God himself. His full feathered head gear looked majestic and ran down his back all the way to his waist. It was made from colorful feathers of all kind, meticulously arranged to make it look as if a male peacock were sitting on top of his head.

I could not stop looking at this spectacular scene. I had seen American Indians in the movies and they had fascinated me to no end. Now for the very first time I was in the presence of a fully dressed statue of one in technicolor, merely inches away from me. I was waking around it like a little boy looking at his first bicycle, in awe! Many times I thought I should take out my camera and take a few pictures. But first, I wanted to satisfy all my senses by just looking and looking and get closes and closer.

After about five minutes of close examination of the statue, trying not to touch it, something happened that made me freeze. The statue had not moved a millimeter, but to my horror I saw its eyes leaving the mountains and rolling to the corner staring at me. I was transfixed. He held his look for a mere two seconds and then rolled his eyes back gazing at the imaginary mountains again. In the first second of the stare he clearly told me, "you little iranian boy, stop looking at me", and the next second he told me, "if you don't, I kill you and then I eat you." Well, it took an American Indian only two seconds to make me appreciate what exactly it means when someone says, "zard kardam."

I was embarrassed and scared at the same time. I wanted to go home. I wanted to live. I did not want to be captured by Indians and tied to stakes and burned alive. Suddenly the Indian did not look as magnificent as before. He was a human being like me. I tried to keep my distance as far away from him as possible. I sat in the other corner of the room and tried not to look at him any more.

I had not slept in many hours and I was tired. My imagination was running wild. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. But the Indian was never too far away. I saw him suddenly drop to the ground and put his right ear to the floor. People in the room gathered around him. I stayed away. With his ear still to the floor he said in broken English, "Tonto can hear plane coming. UA365. 5:46 from Topeka. Two mile from North West." Everyone was happy to hear this good news and all clapped.

The Indian got to his feet. He had a victorious smile in the corner of his face. His eyes were shining bright. There was suddenly a commotion outside the the hall. I could not believe my tired eyes. It was the Lone Ranger on his horse approaching the Indian. With him was Scout, Tonto's horse. The Indian effortlessly got on his horse and in no time the Lone Ranger and Tonto were riding on the runway far far away from us and soon they melted away in the orange of the setting sun.

The sound of the loudspeaker brought me back to the corner of the hall where I was sitting. I must have dozed off. My plane had arrived and it was time for me to continue my long journey. I looked around. I could not see the Indian anywhere. He must have already left on another flight. I felt sad for not seeing him for the last time. As I passed where he had stood earlier, I paused. There on the floor lay a single colorful feather. I bent down and picked it up. I heard someone behind me say, "this is a gift to you Iranian boy," I turned around and no one was there.

The Indian's gift is now framed and decorates the wall of my study. I look at it often and remember fondly my first impression of the magnificent Indian, as if it were only yesterday.


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references please

by markux (not verified) on

Not that I don't believe you but please provide references like the following quoted from your note.

"Thomas Jefferson who himself advocated the physical extermination of the American Indian...."



by maziar58 (not verified) on

bang man ...thanks for the link;


Dear Kafka

by Feshangi on

Thank you.   When I first came to the United States, I called black people "negro". I thought that was the proper way to address them. That was the polite way everyone in England used to call them. The very first time I used the word negro in a bar, filled with blacks, my brother's face went completely white, showing vivid signs of horror and doom!  We lived to see the light of day, I am happy to report.  But then I was told to call the blacks "African American" which I did until I was informed that now they prefer to be called blacks.   I think it may be the same story with the Native Americans. The younger, more militant ones may feel put down and repressed by the whites and think any name given to them by the whites are not good enough and needs to be changed. They want, in a sense, to go back to their historic roots and somehow rectify the wrong done to them and their peoples.   Isn't it a little similar to the discussion which is currently going on on this site regarding Parsi, Farsi, Persia, and Iran?      


Bang Man

I remembered reading … A Nation Built On A Lie

by Bang Man on

They call this place Fort Apache

By Judith Moriarty

A GIFT from the Matrix (red pill or blue pill? Choose)

America: Land of Denial-Myth-Pharisees - Self-Righteous Elitists - Intolerance-Hypocrisy.

We are a 'People of the Never-Ending Lie' (and the people love it so).


persian westender

It was a great and smart

by persian westender on

It was a great and smart story!






by Kamangir on

Here in Vancouver, there's a very large native community. They live in different areas somehow on their own and segragated. One can notice they have a very different life style and mind-set. Unfortunately they are not like the prosperous and robust 'indians' we use to see in those 'sorkhpoosti' films. There's a very serious drug and alcohol problem in their communities and one can feel and see the effects of what came upon them by the arrival of the European. They were doomed. It's sad because they had a very unique and many ways more civilized lifestyle than the rest of the world.





by IRANdokht on

you captured my attention and didn't let go...  great imagination, wonderful writing.

I enjoyed reading your story.




great story

by Kafka (not verified) on

Feshangi: I loved your great story.

JJ: my Native friend always says "It's Native American NOT Indian American." He says "I've never been to India". He's right. We don't have to repeat the White Man's mistake.



by s1e on

Great story!

Weaved together so fine,

each and every line. It is altogether sublime!

Your story shines, it has rhythm, it has rhythm.

Thank you very much, I had a great time!

You might like this (Internet explorer works best):



The United State

by Anonymousk (not verified) on

The United State Constitution was inspired by the confederate Constitution of Iroquois Indians. The Native Americans have the most spiritual and humanist culture on earth. The concept of ownership does not even exist in their culture. They also don't use any other tense except present tense; no past tense or any other conjugations....It speaks volume about the richness of their civilization.



The United State

by Anonymousk (not verified) on

The United State Constitution was inspired by the confederate Constitution of Iroquois Indians. The Native Americans have the most spiritual and humanist culture on earth. The concept of ownership does not even exist in their culture. They also don't use any other tense except present tense; no past tense or any other conjugations....It speaks volume about the richness of their civilization.


Jahanshah Javid

American Indians

by Jahanshah Javid on

Kafka Joon, molla noghtehee,

American Indians are NOT from India. They ARE native Americans. See the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, which has been largely (if not entirely) established by native tribes:

Sure, the Indian Americans from India may also call themselves "American Indians". There's plenty of cultural and linguistic confusion for natural reason. There's no right or wrong here.

Besides all that, did you enjoy the story?


American Indians are from India

by Kafka (not verified) on

Native Americans are not from India. It is very eurocentric to call them Indian or American Indians. Thank you.

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

So so beautiful. I was very touched. Thank you for sharing. I will remember this for a long long time :o)