To our Native Brethren:
Friends! Thank you for all your help as we finish the moving process. Trust me, next time someone suggests putting all your stuff in boxes and taking it across the ocean on a rickety boat, say no. But we’re here now, and we’re having a little housewarming party to celebrate. I guess it would actually be more like a “town-warming” party! We would like nothing more than for Squanto and the gang to come over and share our giving of thanks for a good year. Also, maybe you can share in the giving of food!
Obviously, we’ve been having a little trouble with food lately (I think Governor Bradford forgot where he packed his gardening tools), so we decided to do this pot-luck style. Basically, everyone brings a dish and we share the results. We’ve killed a weird bird-animal that looks sort of like an angry chicken, so we’ll bring that. Maybe you can bring everything else? We’re expecting about 200 people. And we’ve really loved all this “corn” you guys are always talking about, but maybe not everything has to be corn-based. Maybe you could bring some be-mashed potatoes and sauced cranberries? Not that we don’t love corn. It’s just that maybe one day a year we can eat something different.
It’s going to be heaps of fun, so bring your party hats! And also, food. Please don’t forget to bring food.
Letters exchanged by members of the tribe suggest that they were irritated the Pilgrims would invite them for dinner, only to ask them to bring wine, bread, sides, and dessert. But as one American Indian said to another, “But on other hand we going to have them over here, with this mess?”
This of course led to the first instance of the now age-old question: how long can we wait before we have to invite our hosts to our place? The Pilgrims sat patiently by their telephone, which was actually an acorn-and-leather string contraption rigged up by their Indian friends, and idly wondered if the phone was broken.
When Thanksgiving came around the following year, the Indians knew it was their turn to host. But at the last minute, some relatives arrived from what would later become Florida (or what the Indians called Land-That-Symbolizes-Everything-That’s-Wrong-With-What-Will-Later-Become-America), and the Indians had to explain, sheepishly, that they’d be doing family stuff this year.
Taped to the back of this letter was a recipe for an early form of green bean casserole, which the Pilgrims insisted they always had at Thanksgiving.