In New England, the Indian chiefs and higher-ups were called sagamores; although, by the time I was a boy, the only sagamore I knew was a neighbor's dog-a male Labrador retriever named Sagamore (not, I think, for his Indian ancestry but because of his owner's ignorance). Sagamore's owner, our neighbor, Mr. Fish, always told me that his dog was named for a lake where he spent his summers swimming-"when I was a youth," Mr. Fish would say. Poor Mr. Fish: he didn't know that the lake was named after Indian chiefs and higher-ups-and that naming a stupid Labrador retriever "Sagamore" was certain to cause some unholy offense. As you shall see, it did. But Americans are not great historians, and so, for years-educated by my neighbor-I thought that sagamore was an Indian word for lake. The canine Sagamore was killed by a diaper truck, and I now believe that the gods of those troubled waters of that much-abused lake were responsible. It would be a better story, I think, if Mr. Fish had been killed by the diaper truck-but every study of the gods, of everyone's gods, is a revelation of vengeance toward the innocent.
*********From A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (1990)