When I was a small child, I somehow got this notion that B.C. meant Before Cowboys. First there were indians that roamed our land. And then the cowboys came and chased all the indians off to the southwestern states where they were corralled into indian reservations or sold arrow heads in New Mexico.
So if someone said, "it was the year 100 before B.C.".. I imagined it being a land of indians and buffalos and colored corn.
When I was between 3 and 4, i played cowboys everytime i had the chance. I used to carry my baby bottle in one of my holsters as I rode merrily through our house on my play stick horse!
When I was 5, I would play at Kathy's house and hop on her rocking horse.. It had a pull-string with a ring attached at the end and I loved pulling that string up toward my shoulder to hear the horse winny.
When I was 6, we tied a shoe-string across our stingray bike's handlebars and maneuvered the string to steer our bikes as if it were the reins on our horse. Other times, we'd loop a rope around someone's chest and under their arms and by holding the ends of the rope, we'd steer our horse from behind.
I remember playing Bonanza when Chucky jumped out from behind a tree and told me to drop my gun and put my hands up. I did. He shot me anyway.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
I leaned over holding my gut. "ooh. You got me!" I gasped and staggered a tiny bit before collapsing onto the grass, directly on top of my toy metal gun. I still wear the scar on my left knee.
And then one morning when I was 7, Terry came running over to my house in her brand new indian suit with war paint on her cheeks and feathers in her headband. And we never played cowboys again.
From that day forward, we played indians.
I loved the way the water color paint would dry out and feel pulled across my cheeks. My indian suit was my old Daniel Boone suit but Terry swore she would never share our secret.
And she didn't.
We'd run around in bare feet. We shot bow and arrows. We carried rubber tommyhawks in our belt. We made our teepee by hanging a large sheet from the clothesline and then spreading out all four corners using books to place it firmly on the ground.
Playing cowboys sure was a lotta fun. But, so was playing indians.
And, then again. So was playing pirates. And pretending to be little people. Or Swiss Family Robinson. Or Lassie. And Harriet the Spy. Or playing army or pretending to be The Monkees. Growing up as a kid back then sure is different than growing up as a kid today. And I'm grateful I was born in such a time as then.