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The Story of a Simple People
We were such a simple people
We lived in small villages
Lived off the land
With the land
Built our homes
From mud and straw
And at night
Sat around the fire
And thanked the spirits
For all the gifts they brought us
As we beat upon our drums
Then one day people came
Like us 
But different
They came seeking shelter
Freedom from oppression
We understood 
We knew how important freedom was
We offered to help them
Share with them our land
This is how it began
More of them came
They saw how beautiful it was here
This was the Land of Plenty
It seemed to stretch out forever
But they were not like us
They wanted to own the land
Divide it
Among themselves
We became the heathens
The barbarians
Less than they were
We didn’t count
We saw the way they lived
And could not understand
We didn’t fit in
So we left moved away
Or tried to
But everytime we did
 They followed
This was the Land of Plenty
Just not for us
We tried to live with them
Warn them 
We saw where their path would take them
But we were the heathens
Our spirits didn’t count
They saw the trees as property
The water as property
And put so much value on shiny stones
Wherever we moved
That is where they wanted to be
We could not move far enough away
There became no far away
When we finally decided that we had to fight
For our land
It was too late
There were so many of them
And they were so much better 
At killing than we were
They always wanted to make peace
Sign treaties
All in a language than we did not understand
Just to find a way
For them to take our homes
And move us to places they thought 
That they would never want to live
But never 
Never came
For they always seemed to want 
That land too
Finally there was no land left
They had spread across the Land of Plenty
Divided it all up
From sea to shining sea
This was no longer our land
It was theirs
We had to share 
In their freedom
Their country
If we didn’t 
We would have to move away 
Or die
But there was no place to move to
We took the scraps of land they offered
And allowed them to call them reservations
Even though to us
They were no more than a prison
Which has no walls
We can still live in houses of mud and straw
But most want houses
Built just like theirs
We can still sit around the fires at night
But most have forgotten 
The names and language of our spirits
Things have changed
We have changed
But we are a patient people
For we know how things will turn out
You see 
What they have forgotten is
That in nature there is a balance
The trees feed the sky with the air
The sky feeds the ground with its water
The animals live off the water
And the vegetation that grows on the land
And we live off the animals
They keep poisoning the air
Tainting the water
Cutting down the trees
And killing off the animals
Just so they can have a place to live
What they call living
Even a blind man can see where this road leads
Sooner or later
All will come to an end
They will either change 
Die off
Or find someplace else to go
And we will still be here
Those of us that are left
Living in our houses 
Made of straw and mud
Living again off nothing but the land
And at night
We will still be sitting around our fires
Singing and dancing
And praying to the spirits
As we beat upon our drums
Ed Roberts 4/13/01

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The Story of a Simple People