written by Rosa Morgan Lockwood
Thanksgiving Day became an American national holiday in 1863, and much of the activity of the day is centered around the meal. From it's early days, the menu has not altered from its roast turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, potatoes and pumpkin pie. I shall present the following vintage Thanksgiving images with perhaps an altered interpretation from their original intent; ever mindful that poor Mr. Turkey wants to enjoy the day too.
My name is Thaddeus Turkey, and there was a time when I was thought of as a great noble bird, even considered by Benjamin Franklin to be a representative of America. In the beginning, I was a wild animal; eating, mating, and flying freely through the forest.
One day, while contentedly foraging for breakfast, I was startled by the appearance of two little boys. They were ever so kind to me, offering sweet bits, I dare not refuse.
To my astonishment, I found a rope soon tied round my neck and I their unwilling captive. From that day forth, Iwas subjected to forms of humiliation, too embarrassing to elaborate upon.
Having lived amongst people for nearly a year, there came a chilly morning when one of my companions was gathered up and unceremoniously slaughtered. That very night, the whole family feasted on the unfortunate fellow, stuffing his innards with bread and apples.
Henceforth, I set out to be a most unpleasant farm animal, chasing the children till they cried out in fear, and gobbling at ungodly hours to everyone's dismay.
A full year passed and it was soon another chilly morning when one of the boys came to the coop with his sharpened ax. There was no doubt the murderous glimmer in his eyes was directed towards me, and I was intent on evading his plans.
Lo and behold, it was my good fortune that Miss Charity arrived on the scene in her corncob automobile, and with a gobble gobble gobble, we turned our tail feathers and drove away from those, who so single-mindedly wanted to rob us of our lives. That dreadful day turned into my most cherished, for my love and I came upon a justice of the peace, and an impromptu wedding was performed. I, too, shall celebrate Thanksgiving Day, giving thanks for my life and happiness.
Benjamin Franklin's Letter to his Daughter
“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure (representative of our country) is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”