The Wooden Indian and the Shaghorn Buffalo
One night a milk white moon was shining down on Main Street.
The sidewalks and the stones, the walls and the windows all stood
out milk white. And there was a thin blue mist drifted and shifted
like a woman’s veil up and down Main Street, up to the moon and
back again. Yes, all Main Street was a mist blue and a milk white,
mixed up and soft all over and all through.
It was past midnight. The Wooden Indian in front of the cigar
store stepped down off his stand. The Shaghorn Buffalo in front
of the haberdasher shop lifted his head and shook his whiskers,
raised his hoofs out of his hoof-tracks.
Then—this is what happened. They moved straight toward each
other. In the middle of Main Street they met. The Wooden Indian
jumped straddle of the Shaghorn Buffalo. And the Shaghorn Buffalo
put his head down and ran like a prairie wind straight west on Main
At the high hill over the big bend of the Clear Green River they
stopped. They stood looking. Drifting and shifting like a woman’s
blue veil, the blue mist filled the valley and the milk white moon
filled the valley. And the mist and the moon touched with a lingering,
wistful kiss the clear green water of the Clear Green River.
So they stood looking, the Wooden Indian with his copper face
and wooden feathers, and the Shaghorn Buffalo with his big head
and heavy shoulders slumping down close to the ground.
And after they had looked a long while, and each of them got an
eyeful of the high hill, the big bend and the moon mist on the river
all blue and white and soft, after they had looked a long while, they
turned around and the Shaghorn Buffalo put his head down and ran
like a prairie wind down Main Street till he was exactly in front of
the cigar store and the haberdasher shop. Then whisk! both of them
were right back like they were before, standing still, taking whatever
This is the story as it came from the night policeman of the Village
of Cream Puffs. He told the people the next day, “I was sitting on the
steps of the cigar store last night watching for burglars. And when I
saw the Wooden Indian step down and the Shaghorn Buffalo step out,
and the two of them go down Main Street like the wind, I says to
myself, marvelish, ’tis marvelish, ’tis marvelish.”