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January 19, 2019

11/20/2011 11:21:00 PM
Pursuit of Happiness
The Real Story of Thanksgiving
About 400 years ago, a group of religious protesters were unhappy with the Church of England so they packed up their meager belongings and moved to Holland. But after a decade or so of living in Holland they became unhappy with the Dutch people so they packed up their stuff and moved again.

The unhappy protesters climbed aboard a little cargo ship named the Mayflower and set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a happy place.

The tiny ship got tossed around on the waves for over two months and the protesters became seasick and puked a lot which made them even unhappier than usual. Eventually, due to high winds, storms, and an obvious lack of navigational skills, the unhappy group of religious protesters landed on the east coast of an area that we now call Massachusetts.

This area of land was home to a Native American tribe called the Wampanoag. These native people had lived in the area for over 12,000 years. The natives had fished, hunted and harvested food for hundreds of generations. They were a happy people.

Even though the religious protesters were grateful to be on solid ground, they remained unhappy because winter was fast approaching and they didn't have any provisions. Also, they were suspicious because their narrow minds couldn't comprehend why the Native American people were so damned happy all the time.

So the unhappy religious people sent Myles Standish, their military advisor, on a mission to gather supplies. Standish and his men gathered corn and grains from the fields that had been planted by the Native American people. They gathered freshly killed game from Native American villages. They also dug up burial mounds of dead Native American people in order to gather pottery and jewelry from the graves.

It was a long winter. The religious protesters suffered plague-like illnesses and many died in their huts. After the winter snows melted, the settlers who managed to survive the harsh winter were unhappier than ever.

One day a Native American named Squanto visited the settlers' camp and offered to teach the unhappy pilgrims how to grow their own food. Squanto said, "I will teach you how to grow your own food 'IF' you will promise to stop stealing our grains and robbing our graves."

The starving settlers decided to accept the offer.

By fall of that year, the settlers had accumulated a bountiful supply of food so they celebrated with a pagan festival. Squanto and his tribe were puzzled. They had never heard joyous noises emanating from the unhappy settlers' camp before, so they went to investigate.

"Hey! What's going on," asked Squanto, "Is it somebody's birthday?"

"Nope!" replied the settlers all at once, "We're thanking God for our harvest!"

"WHAT!? Why are you thanking a god? Aren't WE the ones who saved your lives by teaching you how to grow food?" asked Squanto. "I don't like to complain but it's kind of a pisser that all my people are suffering from influenza, plus, I'm dying of a plague and none of us had ever been sick a single day of our lives until you showed up," added Squanto.

"Yeah, well, the Lord works in mysterious ways", the settlers replied simultaneously,

"But you may join us if you want", added the settlers, "however, this party is B.Y.O.D!"

"B.Y.O.D.? What does THAT mean?" asked Squanto.

"Bring Your Own Deer!" roared the settlers in unison.

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Article comment by: Krazy Kat

LOVE your Thanksgiving series! I laughed, I cried, I hurled--can''t wait to see more!

Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Article comment by: American history

Nice to see the true story of Thanksgiving, Dee. Even though you meant it to be funny, much truth in your story. Accepted American history is a mixture of truth and mythology. It needs to be ALL truth, even if the truth can be disturbing. I''ve heard there''s something in the Christian Bible that says "the truth shall set you free."

Were the American soldiers who rescued the world from Nazi and Japanese domination brave and valiant? Absolutely.

Were the American industrialists, politicians and military leaders who stole land from the Native American Indians and the Mexican people brave and valiant?

Absolutely NOT.

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