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The First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving

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Published by Harris Tobias
It had nothing to do with Pilgrims.
It had nothing to do with Pilgrims.

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Published by: Harris Tobias on Nov 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Harris Tobiasharristob@gmail.com1200 words The First ThanksgivingThe ship came down with the roar of a thousand tigers. This was a trulyfrightening thing. Even Gunn, the old shaman, had no explanation and shookhis rattle without conviction. All day we hid deep in cave among the rockswhere the ceiling hung like teeth. For many hours we hid until the little ones,crying from hunger, would not be calmed. Knees shaking I, Thog, led mybravest men to the cave entrance. It was dark and quiet as it should be. I ledmy men a little ways in the direction of the great noise. There was nothingto be seen. We would get a closer look in the morning.That night no one slept. At daybreak I took two trusted men, brother Ankand uncle Thad, a long way around to the big clearing where the mammothonce grazed. There were not many mammoths anymore. They had all driftednorth following the ice. My clan was soon to follow. We are hunters of the bigbeasts; it’s all we know. The world is warming fast; the big beasts arescarce.Circling wide, we watched the clearing from the safety of the thicket.Brother and uncle were terrified. Ank had watered himself at the first sightof the great thing. It was shining in the morning sunlight. Tall as a tree,
 
shining and still. When a black hole opened in its side, we retreated deeperinto the brush. From a safe distance we watched men-like beings descend tothe ground. The like-men were like nothing we had ever seen. They worestrange furs that shined and objects on their heads that reminded me of hides. After a day of watching we slipped away and returned to our camp.That evening we told of the day’s events. The fire blazed and Ank and Thad sang of how they stood brave against the like-men. How at first theywere afraid, but in the end they were strong. The clan loved new stories andbeat their thighs in appreciation. I did not see any need to correct them. There was meat enough for a few more weeks, but it was time to speakof going north. Maybe tomorrow we would speak of it. Tonight there wasboasting and dancing. Old Gunn, the shaman, brought out his drum. Ank and Thad told their story in dance and made me dance with them; we shook ourspears long into the night.For the next several days the clan kept watch on the newcomers. Dailythere were more stories of puzzling behavior. Nightly we debated what theymight be. Were these beings gods or devils? Maybe we should strike thembefore they strike us; a pre-emptive raid to drive them back into the sky. Wewatched the newcomers point their twinkling things at every plant andinsect. What were they looking for?We grew alarmed when the like-men wandered close to our cave. We
 
prepared to fight them if they tried to enter. Instead they entered the cavelong abandoned by the Haq clan many season’s ago. Haq and his peoplewent north to follow the mammoth. We do not know how they fared. Nonehave returned to tell us.Every day the newcomers wander further from their tall cave. Are theyhunting? We knew it wouldn’t be long before our cave was discovered. Whatwould we do then? Time was short. A council was called.Old Gunn spoke of a time before time, when ancestors roamed the world.Half men, half gods they were. They taught our father’s fathers to hunt anduse fire. Old Gunn said they were strangers who taught these things to us. Itwas hard to believe there was ever such a time.” Old Gunn sat rocking andsinging a song so old it was a language only half remembered. By the end of the meeting the fire was low and in it’s way an agreement was reached. Theclan would leave the next day. The remaining food would be carried, theflints, a burning coal, the weapons and tools, the infants. Nothing wouldremain except the drawings on the wall in Old Gunn’s chamber. Next morning we packed what we could carry and set out to find betterhunting. It was late for such a move, the land was changing, the big treeswere gone, the days were too warm. The big animals were gone. We had noidea what we would find in a new land but starvation faced us here. We had

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