Cowboys

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Three strangers strike up a conversation in the passenger lounge in
Bozeman,
Montana, awaiting their flights.

One is an American Indian passing through from Lame Deer. Another is a
cowboy on his way to Billings, Montana, for a stock show. The third
passenger is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly arrived at Montana
State
University from the Middle East.

Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon the two
Westerners
learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim. The conversation falls
into an uneasy lull.

The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his boots on a magazine
table,
tips his big sweat-stained hat forward over his face. The wind outside
blows tumbleweeds, and the old windsock flaps, but no plane comes.

Finally, the American Indian clears his throat and softly, he speaks:

Once,my people were many… now we are few.

The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans forward, "Once my people
were few, he sneers,and now we are many. Why do you suppose that is?

The Montana cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his mouth and
from
the
darkness beneath his Stetson says in a drawl, That’s ’cause

We ain’t played Cowboys and Muslims yet