A Pilgrim’s diary entry at the end of the first Thanksgiving Day

A Pilgrim’s diary entry at the end of the first Thanksgiving Day November 29, 2014

Thanksgivingfirst_slideshowDear Diary,

My good wife really put herself out this time! I can barely loosen my gargantuan belt buckle. Mashed wheat, grass salad, softened cinnamon sticks, potatoes with tallow sauce … . And that wonderfully delicious bird! Who would have ever thought that a creature bearing a visage so idiotic could taste so heavenly?

The Indians were jolly company today. I wonder, though, if we should have made them eat at a table separate from ours. I know the village elders decided that was best. But the village elders also decided that chimneys gave Satan a way to get into our homes. And we know how that ended up. Half of us are still sound like we have whooping cough.

The elders are wise, though. They were certainly right about burying our crop seeds a little instead of, as had been our practice, simply leaving them atop the ground. They were also right about giving alcohol to our babies. Our babies sleep so much better now! We all do.

Yet my doubts persist about having the Indians eat at a separate table. I can’t help but think of the way our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ dined with the highest and lowest of sorts. Would He have sat and cracked bread with the Indians? I think he might have.

Of course, the Indians seem to prefer their own table. For one, they have no use for our dining utensils. And, in truth, we’d have done well to master them ourselves before trying to persuade the Indians to use them. If only Wallace hadn’t stuck himself in the cheek during our demonstration—or if Smith hadn’t cracked his tooth on that spoon. How the Indians laughed. It was kind of funny. I didn’t know brother Smith could curse so prodigiously.

Sometimes, though, it seems like the Indians aren’t laughing with us so much as at us. I am certain an Indian brave today was making sport of my shoes—since he was pointing at them while nudging his companion and laughing. And I know I heard him say the word “buckle.”

Such impertinence!

Like the “moccasins” they wear are so great.

Actually, they are. I confess to desiring a pair for myself. It would be a fine thing to make less noise in the forest whilst attempting to hunt. An Indian can pass through the woods as silently as a shadow.

The Indian man who snuck up on me today scared me half to death. But I guess he was just curious about my musket. They’re such an ignorant people. When I let the fellow hold my gun, he didn’t know what to do with it. He kept pointing the barrel straight at me! He didn’t even realize that’s the killing end of the thing. And he kept laughing. What a crazy laugh he had. And I wasn’t even telling a joke!

Oh, well. Patience is a virtue that all we “palefaces” are called upon to cultivate. One day, surely, the Indians will come to appreciate that we are, after all, their betters, and will bow down in gratitude to God for all that we have done for them.

 
P.S. I heard a new word today: satire. I have asked many about me, and curiously few seem to comprehend its meaning.


I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • The master of satire strikes again.

  • Thanks, Allegro. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  • Bones

    Do you guys still have Indians over there?

  • Yes. Of course.

  • Bones

    Oz. We have the impressive James Cromwell (the actor) over here talking about how the Native Americans are largely ignored by American society. He did say that within the context of Rupert Murdoch and Fox. There are similarities with our Aborigines.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, Native Americans are still around this country, quite a bit. There are numerous reservations upon which many of them live, and there are some social issues which seem to be especially problematic for them – alcoholism, extreme poverty, etc.

    They are, by and large, ignored by the larger American culture, and with many of the reservations being isolated communities, it’s somewhat easy to see why.

    However, having grown up in Oklahoma, I was fortunate enough to be around a noticeable Native American presence, though they were/are still definitely societally pegged as “other.” Native issues are more at the forefront of discussion in that state, though there isn’t always agreement between the distinct tribes, so a united front isn’t present to perhaps impress upon the white people in power what that culture needs/expects.

    (I say this being a tiny bit Native American/Asian, though unknown until this year, so as far as my upbringing, I’m white white white. So, no intent to imply me suffering in any way – this is all from my outside observation. I’ve been lucky to have several Native American friends, so they aren’t “invisible” to me.)