Snake in the grass

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The editorial "Bishop's deal: Talk must be backed by trust" (Our View, April 19) began by stating: "Utah's veteran Republican member of the U.S. House, Rob Bishop, seems to be, as Native Americans said of government negotiators in the 19th century, talking out of both sides of his mouth."

It is highly unlikely that any Native American in the 19th century ever said that government negotiators talked out of both sides of their mouths. However, after the treaties he'd signed with Washington didn't mean what he'd been led to think, Nez Perce Chief Joseph is often credited with saying, "White man speak with forked tongue."

The animal that Native Americans knew to have a forked-tongue is the snake. The snake hides in the grass, his bite can be deadly, and he moves about by slithering on his stomach. Enough said.

Douglas A. McGregor

Salt Lake City