In "A Good Story," Sherman Alexie highlights the diversity of the Native American experience.
In the beginning, the narrator's mother gently points out that the narrator's stories are too sad. She laments that people cry too much in his stories and suggests that he tell a "good" story for once. Although the narrator insists that his stories are well-balanced — that people cry as much as they laugh in them — he acquiesces to his mother's wishes.
He begins to tell his mother a story about a tribal elder named Uncle Moses. In this story, Uncle Moses lives in a seemingly dilapidated home on the reservation—the house has no foundation, its thin walls have no insulation, and the bathroom appears to have fallen in on itself. Despite this, Uncle Moses appears content with his circumstances in life.
Perhaps because of his sanguine nature, Uncle Moses is highly popular with the children on the reservation.
The narrator continues by telling of the strong friendship between Uncle Moses and a young boy named Arnold. By all appearances, Arnold is lonely. He's often teased by the other children because of his size and pale skin. Despite this, Arnold is graceful in his movements and is the best basketball player at the reservation grade school.
Arnold often visits with Uncle Moses, who makes him sandwiches during their time together. On one particular day, Arnold skips attending a baseball game in Spokane to spend time with Uncle Moses. This "unplanned kindness" touches Uncle Moses, and he tells Arnold that he has "done a good thing."
By telling this story, the narrator makes his mother happy. His story highlights the resilience of the Spokane Indian people and the strong social ties that serve as the underpinning of stability in their community.