A different turkey dinner
For days, I’ve been hopping around in this forest for food. Even though we have enough (uncle Jim brought his famous bushels of corn and Dad picked up a little cornucopia) I was looking for something, anything, to finalize my dinner. I always felt like I wasn’t contributing much at these dinners. But that was ages ago! That was when I was too young! I’m all grown up now. I could just envision my family gathered around the table, jumping in glee, after I brought home something like a bouquet of flowers or breadfruits for the cornucopia.
It was pretty cold out here though; waves of snow washed away the tiny tracks I left behind. The white water would splash all over my face, bringing with it a shower of ice. Even though I’m used to the snow (I’ve lived in Maine for years now) I’ve never been slapped this hard by the wind before. Almost as hard as the time I fell on the ground.
It was in this whitewater that I saw a glimpse on the horizon. I first thought it was sunlight finally coming to greet me with its warm face. Instead, it was an equally warm glow coming from a small wooden cabin between a break of trees. I slowly approached the cabin (what a creep, I know you’re thinking, but you know how hard it is looking for warmth in a Maine winter) making sure to make sure to hide my feathered coat.
Looking in the cabin, there was a family of four, quietly praying at a dinner table. It was a lavish ordeal, with ruby cranberries, plump corn and pine cones crackling upon the fire. I could feel the warmth seeping out of the closed window, melting the snow on their porch and my coat.
The biggest person (the father, I think) went into another room as the two children looked, bounced up and down. Their eyes glowed like starlight trickling through winter branches, or like the fireplace that misled me. Though it was only minutes before the man returned with something in his hands, it seemed as though the kids waited for months. Their faces were etched with hunger, with spit dripping down from the gaps in their teeth. The man placed the object in the middle, which was stilled shrouded by a cloth. I knew how they felt, sitting down on a warm Thanksgiving dinner with family. Sure, on Thanksgiving, food is delicious and the fireplace is warm, but what is truly warming about Thanksgiving is the warmth of your family gathered around the table.
At the table, I could see my mother’s chestnut eyes gazing lovingly at me.
Then I watched the family eat her, piece by piece, taking the time to dip bits in gravy.