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38 the minnesota review Patricia Edith Stampede Who was to know that it was the hooves of buffalo that coaxed the water from the land that once we killed them all the creeks would go dry and the hills would shrink with the lack of such grand galloping vibrations that we would go crazy from the sight of it all and that once we hacked and plundered the rain would pass us by and the sky would move further away that caves would collapse in Oklahoma every time a wild horse was restrained in Kansas and in Texas the meat would grow tough from beaver traps in South Dakota that the snap of peas being shelled in Colorado would cause a stampede in Montana that our greed would prompt the wind to blow the Oklahoma soil all the way to Massachusetts that when the Sioux and Arapaho were subdued white men in Williams County North Dakota would spend their days in church praying for rain and wringing their hands that a gunfight in Cheyenne Wyoming would poison trout in streams spawned by the upper Missouri that as the first Shoshone rode on horseback a fur trapper started out from Minnesota with infected blankets that the smallpox epidemic of 1837 came up the river on an American Fur Co. steamboat before trains would be robbed against Edith 39 the storm clouds of the Big Horn Mountains that those magnificent machines would bring kernels of Russian wheat before the only silos we had left would hold nuclear missiles while children in Great Falls still search for the arrowheads of 6000 dead Blackfeet and that their reading about the Indian skulls hawked on the streets of Washington D C would prepare them for their own My Lai that we couldn't handle so much space that we would kill each other that we would ruin the earth Your Assignment I will not describe it to you. I will only set the scene. It must be night. Time is my prerogative. There is a woman walking. The woman could be happy or sad but she is probably afraid. Use your imagination. Give her any job you wish. Dress her how you like. A woman of your own choosing walking a way you recognize at night beneath a sky the color of your bad dreams. A man walks up behind her. "Not just any man," you say. Sure, just try it. Any man you come up with qualifies. Believe me. The man says something. Anything. What do you think? The woman is initially startled. Do anything you need to make this so and then complete the story but make us proud and don't let anyone get hurt. ...


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