- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 23, 2008

We all know the story about the first Thanksgiving, but only from the settlers’ point of view. The Indians probably had a different view, but there were no interpreters back then so we can’t be sure.

So here’s what I think the Indian leader might have said at that first Thanksgiving:

Indian chief: “Hey, how you doin’, settler chief? Looks like you’re packing up.


“Yeah, me and the guys were betting you wouldn’t stay long. Your animal skins are too thin. … And that hole in the ground over there isn’t a latrine. But it looks like you know that now. How’s that snakebite, by the way?

“You know, not everybody in the tribe was happy about you settlers moving in. You scared off a lot of game. A LOT of game. And you managed to burn most of our maize. … But now you’re going, and things’ll get back to normal in no time.

“Just to show there’s no hard feelings, we made some food for you on your journey home. Just a few things we’d been saving and … Wow! I didn’t know you could move that fast! Kinda hungry after chasing away or burning all the food, huh? Well, don’t eat it now.

“No. … No. … No, don’t eat it now. … No. It’s for your trip. … No. Put down that turkey leg! … Stop putting it in your mouth!

“No, don’t … don’t … don’t eat it now. … Wow, I’ve never seen anybody eat an ear of maize like that. Hey! You’re not supposed to eat that part. You’ll find out why later. … No, you can’t eat that! That’s my hand! What kind of people are you?

“Don’t eat it now. Haven’t you people ever heard of ‘saving’ anything? … No, don’t — oh, OK, eat a little now and save the rest for your trip. I’ll bet it’s a long —

“No, just a little. … Just a little! … That’s three weeks worth of food! You can’t eat it all now. … So eat a little now and save —

“No, don’t eat all — … No, not all — … “You’re gonna eat all that food right now, aren’t you? … You are the hungriest bunch of — … You should really try chewing some time.

“Well, that’s OK. Fill your bellies and take off, eh? … You’re still going, right? You’re still leaving, aren’t you? … Get in the big boat and go, right?

“You’re not gonna leave now, are you?

“Well, it’s a big land. Plenty of room. … And there aren’t that many of you.

“What? … No, we will NOT clean up after you!”

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What is the one thing that makes Thanksgiving the most memorable meal of the year? (Besides the fact that you’re expected to overeat, that is.)

Turkey? Nope. People eat turkey all year round. Sometimes on purpose.

Yams? Nah. There’s no good reason to remember a yam-based meal.

I’ll tell you: It’s the cranberry sauce.

And when it comes to cranberry sauce, I’m a purist and a traditionalist. It’s not cranberry sauce unless it slides out of a can and sits on your plate like a cylindrical Jell-O mold.

•••


It must be amazing to some developing countries that we have a holiday dedicated for overeating.

And napping.

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Story Continues →