As a young boy, I looked forward to family reunions.  It gave me opportunity to be with cousins of whom I didn’t get to see very often.  

There was another treat that made those occasions very special.  That of course was all of the delicious food.  

The table which included cakes, pies, cookies, and other kinds of sweets always caught my eye.  Usually at home my mother insisted that I eat vegetables and meat before partaking of sweets.  

This reminds me of a young man who along with other members of his immediate family were visiting a great aunt.  His mother warned him ahead of time to not even think of taking out any sweets before eating some of the vegetables.  

After their arrival to the home of the aunt he eyed a five layer coconut cake, which caused his mouth to water in anticipation.  He was quickly brought back to reality when his mother gave him a warning look.  

After all were seated at the dining room table and a prayer expressing thanks for our manifold blessings the food was passed around and a large spoon of peas was dished into his plate.  This young man wasn’t fond of peas.  

He quickly ate the peas in anticipation of obtaining a large slice of the coconut cake.  

It was at that time his aunt came back into the dining room from the kitchen.  She was so pleased that her great nephew liked her peas that she immediately scooped him another plate of peas.

My grandmother Pearl Wilson was more thoughtful.  When we visited her she would catch me looking longingly at the sweets when we first sat down at the table.  

She would then place a large slice of cake or pie in my plate.   Mother was apt to say, “Momma, you’re going to spoil that boy!”

On such special occasions most of us are prone to eat too much.  Some will load their plate to almost overflowing and then say they need sideboards on their plate.  

For several weeks I’ve switched from the traditional three meals a day to six small snacks.  I’ve been rewarded by losing approximately 18 pounds.   

By eating three or less meals a day many consume more food than their metabolism can burn.  The excess digested food will then be stored as fat.  

My doctor approved of me eating six small snacks a day.  He said that some people complain that they still gain weight after eating only one meal daily.  

He further pointed out that they were still eating more food than their metabolism could burn.

The expression:  “He’s got his plate full!” means that an individual has all the responsibility in which he can handle during a given period of time.

Honest Injun

The term “honest Injun” has certainly been around since 1851.  This was when Mark Twain used that phrase in his adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.  But most common sayings were in use long before being used in formal writing and in print.  The term “Injun” is a corrupted form of the word Indian.  It either came about by the uneducated or as a deliberate means of belittling Native Americans.

Many who are descendents of those who inhabited this land long before Christopher Columbus and even the Vikings explored the New World resent being called Indians.  After all, they are not citizens of India.  Nor were they descendents of that nation.  Many tribes want to be known as “the people.”  While other Native Americans have resigned to being called “Indians,” they’d prefer being addressed by their tribal name, such as Choctaw, Cherokee, etc.  Several tribes, such as the two just mentioned, retain certain rights as a nation.  They are nations within the nation of the United States.  

 The term “honest Injun” has various connotations.  One concept was that Native Americans in general were dishonest.  This may have come about by a misunderstanding among Europeans concerning the custom of giving gifts by Native Americans.  When one of them gave a gift the recipient of that gift was expected to give a gift of equal or similar value in return.  If a gift was not given in return then the initial gift was either to be rejected or returned.  White men did not understand this custom.  Thus, in derision the term “Indian giver” came about.  That term implied one was being dishonest by giving a gift and then demanding that it be returned.

To call a descendent of the original Americans an “honest Injun” was to imply he was an exception.  But from the standpoint of those who were native to this land, the white men were the dishonest ones.  They believed that white men spoke with a forked tongue.  This is why older Native Americans up through the 1940s would buy one item at a time, pay for it and then buy another, pay for it, etc.  This would nearly drive a storekeeper crazy.  They were use to customers paying for all the items being purchased after being itemized and the total cost added up.

Many people after making a statement declare:  “honest Injun.”  This is simply a way of declaring that what they have just said is the truth.  This is being used in the same manner as stating:  “scout’s honor.”

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