April's Peace Gathering, The Origin of 4/20

Reads: 62  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Origin of the widely celebrated holiday 4/20.

Submitted: April 20, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 20, 2012

A A A

A A A


April's Peace Gathering, The Origin of 4/20

Tsa-La-Gi (chaw - la – gee), The Principal People, or as they are mostly known today, Cherokees. Long before the White man counted them so, and placed rules and measures upon their lives, they were dwellers here, in these mountains, hills and valleys. Uku Pipe Dreamer, or Chief Pipe Dreamer, was a village elder, and his status was known by all. His name was derived from his almost constant action of smoking his pipe while harping upon ideas, wherever his mind should wander. There was wisdom in his words, though they mostly seemed to consist of daydreams draped over reality. Uku Pipe Dreamer's stories were legendary. As was his daughter, Running Still. In their genes ran strong jawlines, and deep caves for eyes. Their skin was adapted to the sun in a beautiful manner, their hair as dark as night. But Running Still was the epitome of her name, as most Principal People, and her disposition was quite vicarious. She dreamed larger than her father and his pipe combined, a child's mind is a blissful place, but Running Still was growing, as all things do.
She had met a boy, a white boy, and his name was typical. Johnny and his family lived on the Green Plantation, just northeast of Running Still's village. His family owned and ran the plantation, they produced Marijuana and hemp, which have more useful purposes than I could ever interest you in. Uku Pipe Dreamer showed them how to grow the plant, and they prospered from it.
Prior to the smear campaign of the 1930's, Marijuana's uses were well known and it was engrained into the American culture. George Washington himself grew the plant on his plantation, and I have always thought it only a small stretch to assume that the documents our nation is based upon were written by men who engaged in smoking the Peace Plant. Hemp paper was used, after all. John Hancock was simply stoned, thus his bloated signature.
Johnny and Running Still met one day while their fathers talked and smoked over the issues of two diverse cultures clashing. Their fathers never argued or transgressed, and their conversations were always civil and constructed, with many layers being explored, and all layers being understood individually and together. But not all Natives and Europeans smoked during their discussions, as history has starkly shown.
Johnny was mischievous, and quite rude, as his parents didn't pay much mind to their son, they simply prayed on every matter, strict to their faith, yet blinded by it's limits. Johnny chose a white name for Running Still, one that he found beautiful and she found unnecessary.
“Mary Jane” Johnny shouted in his English accent. “How do you like that, Indian?” 
Running Still hated it, but she played along with a smile and ignored his obvious ignorance. She hardly understood the boy, but she found him vastly interesting. His clothes were fashioned oddly, and they seemed more for style than comfort. Running Still found both qualities in her clothes, but she would never ask Johnny to change his clothes, or his ways. She accepted him wholly and was only interested in learning about his alienist differences. . “Let's go to your village, Mary Jane. We shall see how your mother decorates.”
Running Still accepted Johnny's invitation, and they headed south. Arriving with much energy to spare, the two ran around the village, Johnny being obnoxious as Running Still followed and giggled. Before long, the pair stumbled into Uku Pipe Dreamer's private smoking room, and the smell that met them at the door was one recognized and delightful. 
“Wow. Have a look at that. That must have taken someone months to carve, years!” exclaimed Johhny as he picked up Uku Pipe Dreamer's prized smoking pipe. It was his favorite, as he had whittled its wood until his hands bled and ached. But the result was more than satisfactory. Its bowl was deep, and its base sturdy. Uku Pipe Dreamer had carved a buffalo into its exterior and its resemblance was uncanny. It was meant as a gift for his lifelong friend, Buffalo Spear, but his friend was gunned down by the white man in a battle over power, which is to say, nothing. So, he kept the piece for himself, to bring him peace when he smokes from its hollowed and hallowed chamber.
Johnny slipped the pipe made of art and love into his pocket and implored that they leave at once. Running Still knew what Johnny had done was wrong, but she allowed his foolishness to continue, for she was not one for confrontation. Once outside, dusk was upon the camp, and Johnny was asked home by Uku Pipe Dreamer. Johnny obliged, with an evil grin.
Running Still and her mother, Singing Rain, were cooking and conversing, and as Running Still never hid the truth from her loved ones, she told the story of the Buffalo Pipe to her mother. Halting, Singing Rain instructed Running Still to continue stirring as she was going to investigate the matter. As revelations usually go, Uku Pipe Dreamer was discovering the absence of his pipe just as Singing Rain was listening to her daughter tell her story, and the two met in the field, the sun's redness foreshadowing the looming interaction. 
“My pipe has been taken.” Uku Pipe Dreamer recited in a monotonous way.
“By Johnny Green” said Singing Rain, changing her husband's confused sentence to an understood thought. They fetched Running Still and headed to the Green Plantation. The Green family was just settling down for dinner, and Johnny was running normally behind. Uku Pipe Dreamer and Singing Rain knocked on the Green familiy's door, and Mr. Green answered. 
“Hello friend,” Mr. Green said as he smiled. “What is the purpose of your visit so late in the afternoon?”
“I apologize, my friend.”
Uku Pipe Dreamer's voice was strong and steady.
“Running Still has informed us that your son, Johnny, may have something of mine.”
“Johnny, come here, son. Is there something you would like to confess?”
“Um, no? Johnny replied in a quivering tone.
“I will ask again, with this preface. If you are lying, your punishment shall be ten fold. Now, is there something you would like to confess to our neighbors and I?” Mr. Green's voice was thickening.
Johnny slowly revealed the pipe from his pocket, his head bowed in shame.
“I'm sorry, Mr. Indian. I just thought it was marvelous.”
Johnny's confidence was rising as the truth finally spilled over.
Uku Pipe Dreamer knelled, took Johnny's hand, and replied, “I understand, Johnny, young boys and marvelous things are often drawn to one another. Please understand, child, that as marvelous as you find my pipe, I find it just the same. It has great meaning to me, and only when one understands its meaning shall I pass it on in my old age. Until then, could you return it to me?”
“Of course, sir!” Johnny blurted with great excitement.
Mr. Green was amazed by Uku Pipe Dreamer's words and character and an idea struck him immediately.
“We shall bring our food to your village, and combine it with yours, and we shall all smoke and dine in a celebratory feast!”
Both families bundled all of the cooked food and packed up the uncooked food separately. Together, they headed to The Principal People's camp with full hearts and empty bellies. They announced their feast and word spread like wildfire. In not time at all, Natives and Europeans alike were collecting by the hundreds. The children herded around the teepees, and told stories, in both languages, about whatever entered and exited their innocent minds. The adults consummated their newly found friendships with many a toke of Marijuana, from the Buffalo Pipe, among countless others. It was then that the Munchies would be proven as a universal concept. 
Uku Pipe Dreamer stood tall and addressed the people prior to the feast's beginning.
“Let this twentieth day of April stand as a peace offering to our brothers, those we see and those we don't.”
Cups banged together and the crowd roared with exuberance. Hearty laughs and scrumptious food were had by all, and the Peace Plant's quest was once again justified. Carry on the dream, become its reality.

Happy 420 Everyone!

Nathan Vinson


© Copyright 2017 Vin Son. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Historical Fiction Short Stories

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Vin Son

We Are All One

Miscellaneous / Non-Fiction

Prolonged Sickness

Poem / Poetry

Creeping Mortality

Miscellaneous / Non-Fiction

Popular Tags