© 1990, 2001 c.e.
words by Isaac Bonewits
music trad. ("The Dying Cowboy/Streets of Laredo")
Hey nonny, / hey nonny, / hey nonny, /
Hey nonny, / hey nonny, / hey nonny, / no!
As I was out riding the plains of the astral
I spied an old codger a-walking my way.
His clothes were of leather with fringes all beaded,
His face it was covered with symbols in clay.
"I see by your feather that you are a
These words he did say as he slowly drew nigh.
"Come down from your high horse and hear my sad story,
My spirit is broken and I want to cry.
I once was a young man both healthy and handsome,
My heart filled with bright love, granola and peace.
I yearned for a true path both Native and New Age,
So I joined the tribe of the Wannabees.
The way that it happened was really quite
I went to a lecture my school did present.
A Native American teacher was talking
About the old ways and what they all meant.
Well after the lecture I walked right up to
And boldly to him I said out of the blue,
'I see by your feather that you are a shaman.
If I buy a feather, will you make me one too?'
His face it went through a dozen expressions.
The people around us all stared angrily.
Then he smiled and he said, in a voice oh so cheerful,
'Sure I'll teach you kid, and I'll do it for free!'
He took me back home to his condo on Main
And made me apprentice for over a year.
I cooked all his meals and I did all his laundry,
And when he was horney, he buggered my rear.
He taught me to speak in the Wannabee language,
And all of their customs, though I must confess,
Although 'twas authentic, I always felt stupid
Doing the shopping while wearing a dress.
After a year of this I got impatient,
I was sure I knew all that I needed to know.
So while he was out at a pow-wow in Jersey,
I stole his peyote and went with the flow.
Well first I threw up for a couple of hours,
And found myself wishing that I would soon die.
I grabbed for my feather and prayed to my crystal,
The next thing I knew I was starting to fly!
I flew out the window and far from the city,
I knew that my spirit guide I would soon find.
And sure enough floating high over the forest
I met a coyote of the spirit kind.
'I see by your feather that you are a shaman,'
These words he did say as he hovered quite near.
'No doubt since you've learned all the Wannabee secrets,'
The coyote he grinned, 'You've got nothing to fear.'
Then an ominous screetching did grab my attention.
A dozen black eagles were flying around.
With sharp beaks and talons they tore me to pieces,
And I fell down screaming all over the ground.
Soon foxes and wolverines tore at my entrails,
And ripped off great hunks of my poor bleeding meat.
Then a huge swarm of hornets came stinging and biting,
And polished my bones all so shiny and neat.
Now I felt every tooth and I felt every stinger,
My consciousness through the ordeal was clear.
I kept right on screaming, though I had no throat left,
Until the coyote again did appear.
'You still have your feather, young shaman,'
he told me,
'So I must assume that you really know how
To remake your spirit self better than ever.'
Coyote he grinned, 'So let's do it right now!'
I took a deep breath, though I had me no lungs
And started to chant every Wannabee prayer,
To summon back all of the parts that were missing,
My bone and my muscles, my skin and my hair.
'Hey, Kemosabe,' my spirit guide told me,
'You're doing quite well with those first year chants.
'Course you know that to get yourself all back together,
'You're going to be needing the seventh year dance!'
'Uh-oh,' I said, 'I think I'm in trouble,
'Could you possibly give me a little hand here?'
'Sorry, young fella,' Coyote laughed softly,
'The rules against that now are really quite clear.'
"So here I am walking, the plains of
"Stuck here forever, or so it would seem.
"Hoping to find me a genuine shaman,
"Who'll know how to help me recover my dream."
"Sure thing, Kemosabe," I told the
"I know where to send you to fix up your vibe.
"Just go through those trees there, and down to the meadow.
"You'll find a whole village of the Wannabee tribe!"
I bid him farewell and returned to my saddle,
And soon I was riding back out on the prowl.
'Twas hard, but I waited, till he couldn't hear me,
Before I let loose with my Coyote howl!