Nature Notes


Mr. E. C. Solinsky
Mr. D. S. Libbey
Park Naturalist
August, 1933 Vol. VI, No. 3

This publication is issued during April, July, August and September each year for the purpose of recording observations and making known the results of research and scientific investigation concerning the natural history of Crater Lake National Park. It is under the jurisdiction of the Research and Education Staff and is supplemental to the lectures, field excursions and other services. Publications using these notes please give credit to the author and to Crater Lake National Park Nature Notes.


Cover design and illustrations by Ranger-Naturalist Albert E. Long

An Indian Giver
By Ranger R. P. Andrews

(Online Edition Note: Of the hundreds of excellent and informative articles published in Nature Notes, the following article is not one of them. Our apologies for the insenitive nature of this article.)

One hot day some time ago an old model T Ford rattled down the hill from the west and with a wheeze and sigh expired in front of the Annie Springs station. It was a motley menage indeed. The running boards, top, fenders, - in fact every available space was piled high with gear. Wedged into the back seat were two Indian children and an old woman who appeared a hundred years old, at least. But what attracted my attention especially was the driver. He was an Indian of middle age, dirty and unkempt. Such sights are common at Annie Springs and one might be led to wonder why it attracted my attention. However, one who has checked through hundreds of impassive faced Klamaths would indeed be impassive himself were he not startled by that rarest of all Indian facial expressions - a smile. I approached the still steaming remains of what had once been an automobile. Permit book in hand, I inquired his name.

I will not detail the conversation that followed, but I found the driver jovial, friendly, and enthusiastic about the roads and the scenery.

Finally, after obtaining the required information, I tore off the permit and said, "The permit is one dollar".

He swept an all embracive arm from east to wet. "One time", he said with regret but no malice, "all this belonged to Indians, Indians hunted, fished, and traveled this country. It was Indian's land. Then white man came. He cooped Indian up on reservation". He sighed. "Now white man charges Indian one dollar to travel his own country".

His words seemed to carry no conviction. He was not in earnest. He seemed to be repeating his tribe's old, old objection, just to see what I would say. I decided to "kid" him a little.

I assumed a lugubrious expression. "One time Indian had no way to travel. Poor Indian had sore feet". Here my expression brightened. "Then white man came. Now Indian has no more sore feet. White man took Lake - gave Indian Ford".

Immediately he chuckled. "OK", he laughed, handing me the dollar and releasing the hand brake. "You keep Lake - Indian take 'em Ford". And he rattled off as I stood staring after the strangest of all anomalies - an Irish personality in an Indian body - a smart-cracking Hiawatha.

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