Hiring a Consultant – a Cartoon by Kimberly Koerber-Bauer-Koerber


Louise Erdrich, The Author of “The Antelope Wife” is also the author of many other books including ” “Love Medicine”, “The Bingo Palace”, “The Plague of Doves”, and “The Red Convertible”.  She seems to be very adept at getting to the heart of the story and seems to be an expert in the area of American Indians.  She is a sensitive writer who has insight.  This is the type of person who would be perfect in interviewing American Indian to find out what happened in their areas, and then to recruit some of them to be assistive in various areas – like maybe as teachers to get other states interested in marijuana Legalization, since it was the American Indians who were United Nations oriented and smoked “Peace Pipes” to aid in the facilitation of further discussion. (The cartoon drawing of Ms. Erdrich does not look at all like the picture on the jacket of the book, but an old switcheroo or fraud game that is common could put another person in the seat of a consultant here as pictured in the cartoon, if Ms. Erdrich isn’t careful.)  An excellent passage from “The Antelope Wife” follows.




The Red Beads were hard to get and expensive, because their clear cranberry depth was attained only by the addition, to the liquid glass, of twenty-four carat gold.  Because she had to have them in the center of her design, the second twin gambled, lost, grew desparate, bet everything.  At last, even the blankets of her children.

     She won enough, just barely, for the beads.  And then the snow fell.  Gazing into the molten hearts of the ruby-red white heart beads, the children shivered, drew closer, chewed on the hem of her deer hide skirt.  First one, then the other, plucked up the beads from behind her hand.  Even knowing that they were not food, it was the look of them, bright as summer berries, that tempted their hunger.  When her fingers finally closed on air, she turned, saw her youngest quickly swallow the last bead.  The mother looked at her children, eyes dazed, fingers swollen, brain itching.  All she could think of was finishing her work.  She reached for the knife.

     Frightened, the children ran.

     She had to follow them, searching out their panicked trail, calling for them in the dark places and the bright places, the indigo, the white, the unfinished details and larger meaning of her design. 


The book chapter ends there and leaves the reader to draw conclusions.  As preoccupied as this Indian mother was, the book never talks about the ‘finished work’, or the reason for the mother to be acting so eratically instead of in a protective way toward her children, but even in indian cultrues, the hint is that extreme narcissm is present.  Nonetheless, American Indians were the original occupants of the North American continent and some are still around.  Despite being ignored and having many types of Aid and relief which are specific to American Indian, the same types of problems appear in these ‘endangered populations’ for the rest of us to have to deal with, ignore, or find pallatable solutions to.


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