Bewildering Stories

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The First Thanksgiving

Thomas R.

No, no, no that's not it. Think for a second you young punk. Do you really think no one had harvest festivals about giving thanks before that deal in Massachusetts? Sure the First Thanksgiving had Pilgrims and in a way Turkey, but it wasn't that one. I had been at that Plymouth Rock one, but they knew they were celebrating a very old holiday. Older than people know.


How old? Well Thanksgiving is probably the oldest holiday there is. I attended the first one over 8,000 yrs. ago.


Oh I did too do that. Don't you be telling me what I did. You saw how I corrected those idiots attempt at Proto Indo-European. Granted I kind of had to as I hung out with the PIE. Not that they called themselves something that dorky. I mean man they had been a fun bunch. They used to have this game that sort of mixed dog racing and checkers. That may be hard to picture, but the way it worked...


Oh alright. Of course I ramble. I'm like 8000 yrs. old. You'd ramble too. Besides since you think this is all lies anyway I'm not sure why you even care.

Anyway this is the story. There's this place you call Catal Huyuk in modern Turkey. We did not call it that, but never mind. Anyway they started having a batch of bad winters. Like real bad. There had been crop failures and the stored grain had been eaten by rats. Things like that. That doesn't get to the heart of it mind you. I mean you haven't seen starvation until you have seen Stone Age starvation. So to stop seeing that this lady over at the Temple said some things that made sense at the time. Thing is they might sound a bit weird to you. She said we should gather the Harvest before winter and feast. Partly on the theory that if you are going to die you might as well die happy. However during the feast we should also find what we could be thankful for and try to appreciate our family. After all we may not see some of them after the coming winter. However her main interest had been the hope it would please the spirits and deities. Being a lady and all.


Sure it was harsh, brutal even. Life in that region can still be pretty brutal. Watch the news some time.

Still it had been good too. I remember the way the town worked you had to climb on roofs a good deal of the time. So even to this day Thanksgiving to me means going up on the roof. We brought our food up there and sang stupid songs. Then some nomads dropped by and the meat they gave us lasted all that winter. Oh sure a few of us died of disease caused by rotten meat, but it could have been worse. Anyway we had a good time with them for the most part. Kind of a shame the next year when they ransacked the place, but what are you going to do? As for the lady statement I'm not being sexist. The title she had translated to "Lady of the Evening" which meant something very different than. I figured just lady would therefore be better.


Oh I don't know about that. There are things I liked about that time sure. However now is certainly a better time to live. I didn't mean to say it wasn't. I think in many ways even the modern Thanksgiving can be a pretty good thing. I mean we did not have turkey back then & that bird's practically my life now. Also you got rid of the whole ritual sacrifice element which I admit I never much cared for. However the spirit, the real spirit of it, is more alive then I could've imagined it'd be. Despite how irritating you all can be, I admit it's a nice thing to see from you.

Well it's been neat, but I got to scoot. The International House of Poultry wants me to engineer a kind of turkey to live on Mars. Happy Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2002 by Thomas R. and Bewildering Stories.