Prelude to a Super Airplane (Chapter 17)

(The following is an excerpt from my book, Prelude to a Super Airplane. It can be purchased by clicking on any of the roughly 400 banners adorning this site, or by clicking here. It’s also available on Amazon.

I’ve posted the first 20 chapters (roughly 55 pages of PTSA) on this site. Links to each of those are at the end of this post, or you can download all of them as a pdf by clicking here.

“Big Daddy Paleface get that part wrong. Hrrggg.”

Mudjukee needed to shift his weight. He’d been squatting in this tree for several hours, and his left leg had fallen asleep, to the point of total and complete numbness.

This made him distraught, because Mudjukee knew those prickly feelings would be coming as soon as he got his circulation going again. He didn’t understand the prickly feelings, because he was an honorable and traditional Cherokee Indian, and refused to become wise to the medicines and terminologies of the paleface doctors.

Below him, a father was camping with his two sons. The boys were close in age – perhaps fraternal twins, Mudjukee reasoned.


Mudjukee had been making this sound of frustration a lot the past three nights, listening to Big Daddy Paleface tell Mudjukee’s now legendary story to his two paleface sons.

Mudjukee scraped another note into the tree with his axe – he’d been keeping a detailed list of all the liberties Big Daddy Paleface was taking with the narrative.

Before they went home, Mudjukee planned to invite the three of them up into the tree to go over, point-by-point, where Big Daddy Paleface had perhaps misunderstood Mudjukee’s tale.

He could’ve done this earlier, but Mudjukee was fed up, and wanted to get every single piece of misinformation in chronological order, so that he could make a reasonable, organized presentation, and have a healthy exchange of ideas with the palefaces. Mudjukee had no desire, unlike his Cherokee ancestors, to get into a confrontation.

Besides, he liked this particular family – they seemed sensible, even if one of the boys had an eerie fascination with the palefaces’ big, loud, metal birds.

This was something that had been happening for the past several years now – fathers bringing their sons out to these woods, telling them the tale of Mudjukee. The details, of course, had now gotten so twisted that it didn’t resemble Mudjukee’s story at all, beyond the name.

“Hrrggg…” Mudjukee rubbed his temples – now Mudjukee’s wife was dead, too? Where did Big Daddy Paleface get this stuff?

Mudjukee had had enough for one evening. He gathered up his things, swung his axe over his shoulder, and hopped down out of the tree, into the shadows.


He’d landed awkwardly on his sleeping leg, at the exact moment when the prickly feelings were sweeping in.

Mudjukee signaled to his horsey, Pencils, to quietly follow him. Because Pencils, whose name had also been tarnished by the palefaces, was an intelligent and loyal horsey, he did as Mudjukee asked, and walked on his tippy-toes.

Mudjukee nodded his thanks to Pencils, and walked away as carefully as he could, taking one step, and then dragging his sleeping leg behind him, hoping it woke up sooner rather than later.

The prickly feelings were bothering Mudjukee so badly, for a moment he was actually able to forget about this latest, bastardized adaptation of his life story.

Brad Radby’s Foreward, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 31