Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Little Bit Thankful

He was a Patuxet Indian, and his name was Squanto. When he was a young man, he went to England on a trading ship. He was made part of an Indian Exhibit on a London stage, he worked as a servant, was tricked into going on board a slave ship to Spain where he was sold.

Luckily, he fell into the hands of a group of friars at a Catholic monastery. They freed him and turned him into a Christian. By the time he located a ship captain that would agree to take him home, twelve years had passed. When he returned home, there was no trace of his family or friends. They had all been struck with a great sickness. Every one of them had died. He was the last of his tribe, but at least he could speak English, that was the important thing.

Squanto was the one who showed the Pilgrims how to build warm houses. Then, taught them when and where to plant. He showed them how to plant and use fish for fertilizer to grow corn faster. He taught the women how to cook the corn. He acted as an interpreter, guide, and gave advice on bargaining with the natives. Without him, the pilgrims would never have survived the season. In fact, half of them had already died in the harsh winter weather.

To me, this was a true act of forgiveness. To be enslaved, beaten, mistreated and stripped of his pride, and still be willing to offer life-saving help. Now that's being thankful!

This year, we have decided to celebrate an authentic Thanksgiving. Our menu will include cod fish, steamed clams, eel wrapped in sea weed, pease porridge, a variety of dried fruit and hardtack.

There is no indication that there ever was a second harvest celebration. We had to wait 280 years for the food to improve before we could truly celebrate.

We're actually having Lasagna this year, along with the usual. But what would Thanksgiving be without, cheeseballs, nutballs and footballs?

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