This little piggy


Roast beef toe is having a hellish week.

I inherited my mother’s flat feet.

And I can’t blame my Indian ancestors.

My Rez relatives have the most beautiful, most slim feet you have ever seen.

It is as if Samuel Morton’s pronouncements of race spark a cinder of vérité. In 1839 he wrote:

Notwithstanding the general custom of going barefoot, the American Indians possess remarkably small feet, and their hands have the same delicate conformation.

But Morton misunderstood: not all Indians are alike.

First daughter (Wak-o-apa) and I have sad, sore pancake feet.

We’d win the Daisy Duck-foot look-a-like contest in a heartbeat.

I blame my French and English forebears.

Doctors tried to change my gait by prescribing old-lady shoes and giving me foot exercises when I was a lass.

Instead I went barefoot and forgot the exercises.

My mother just shrugged.

Perhaps she gave up on the strong-willed girl.

In July, my honey and I spent 2 weeks in London and surrounding areas walking.

Well, he walked and I waddled.

Turns out we trekked 140 miles in 12 days, according to his iPhone.

Roast beef toe came home and groaned and complained.

Seems the metatarsal is spent.

But I ignore the complaints: forget the toe, the ball, the heel.


That’s what I do best.






About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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