The Lord Giveth (Indian Giver)


“Indian giver” is an American expression, used to describe a person who gives a “gift” and later wants it back, or who expects something of equivalent worth in return for the item.  

It is based on cultural misunderstandings that took place between early European explorers (like Lewis and Clark) and the indigenous with whom they traded. Often the Europeans would view an exchange of items as gifting, believing they owed nothing in return to the Natives who were generous with them, while the Indigenous people saw the exchange as a form of trade or equal exchange, so had differing expectations of their guests.


When those unwanted numbers reach you. They are only recognisable as the unfamiliar and that means that they are after something.

“Is that…?”

If they knew who they were calling, they wouldn’t have to ask.

“Is that Mr …?”

I don’t like to help them out at those moments. A little uneasy silence that is broken from the other end.

“My name’s Rachael and I from BLAH BLAH BLAH INVESTMENTS and I am calling you today…”

That’s when I hang-up.

Nobody gives you anything for nothing.

Life is a little like that at the moment. I have been getting these calls from unfamiliar places that sound oddly familiar. They are promising me things that I recognise as belonging to some ancient want-list. If I let them get to the point when they name those items that I really want, but didn’t know that I wanted, I would be hooked, reeled in, and dragged along until my resistance was gone. Then it would be whole-sale de-scaling, gutting, and filleting.

“Is that you?”

“Yes, it is me. What do you want?”

“We don’t want anything. It is you, sir, who wants what we have got.”

“Do I? And what have you got?”

“You tell me.”

It’s no longer the BLAH BLAH people. This time it is fate, or destiny, or even DOG (Crazy spell-checker). But I am under their spell and I am listening. And I am thinking.  And thinking never did anyone any good.

They’ll be round soon with their bags of swag. A little knock at the door, the slightest of bell pushings, a shadow on the drive.

“You know what they say, sir?”

“No. What do they say?”

“They say that you want what we’ve got, you’ll have to act fast.”

“Can I look inside of your bag?”

“If you must.”

It’s an endless bag. But deep down, deep into its depths, I glimpse something. I am about to put my hand in to touch it.

“Now, you wouldn’t want to be doing that, would you now? It doesn’t even belong to you yet.”

“What is it?” I want to ask, but they have gone.


“What is it?”



2 thoughts on “The Lord Giveth (Indian Giver)

Add yours

  1. Lovely stuff.

    I once answered the phone to a woman from a bank who was most insistent that I should take out a loan. I told her I didn’t want a loan.
    She said, ‘ it you could buy something really big,’
    I asked, ‘Could I buy an elephant?’
    She said. ‘Oh, I think you might need a special license to keep an elephant.’
    ‘I only want an elephant. I don’t want anything else.’ I told her.
    ‘Well, that’s something you’ll have to look into, sir,’ she said.
    ‘But I don’t want to look into elephant licenses,’ I told her, ‘I want you to look into it for me, Oh, and how much does an elephant cost?’
    ‘I have no idea how much an elephant costs, sir.’
    ‘Well, do you think you could look into that as well, then?’
    ‘I work in a bank, sir. I’m not the person to ask about elephants,’ she was getting a bit defensive by this point.
    ‘Look,’ I said, ‘You can’t go around offering people elephants and then make it impossible for them to get one. You go away and sort out the paperwork for the elephant and then I’ll take your loan out.’
    ‘Shall I put you down as a ‘no’, then?’
    ‘Yeah,’ I replied.
    Bloody Indian elephant givers.

    You’ve been missed at work this week, Mike. Lucy asked if I had a contact for you. I said I didn’t, except through this.

    Si thee soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have missed people this week. It has been a little strange. I have not had a touchstone to test my sanity against. A drink needs to be arranged for the most welcome to attend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: