Pilgrim's Progress, from the Indians' Side

Pilgrim Turkey


The ruffians had me by the throat of my inner throat–that place of simplicity and credulous cheer; not satisfied with choking my decency they squeezed the optimism from my fibrous tissues, leaving me dry in the muscles. “Who are these ruffians?” I wondered. Then I thought: “How can I feed them?” I’m just enough of a non-Christian to think such things as the hope is being sucked right out of me. And so I waved a turkey leg before their eyes. (I just happened to have a spare turkey leg in my pocket.) I waved that leg for all it was worth, waved it like a truce flag, short and long arcs, up and down, and all the while they kept choking my better nature. “Look! I’m offering to feed you you dumb bastards!” Eyes bugging out. I mean, my eyes were bugging out. I could see clearly that things weren’t going so well. So I reached in my other pocket and produced a head dress of feathers. Well that stopped them cold. Who would have guessed it? The ruffians loved feathers! And one could fair imagine why: they dressed all in black and not just during a lunar eclipse, they dressed that way every day. And so they grabbed those turkey feathers, all burnt orange and pure white and they began jumping up and down and gesticulating wildly in a code that no right minded individual could ever understand and then they ran away.


Fast forward: the Pilgrims took those feathers and made them into writing quills and wrote nasty stuff about the natives which of course furthered their cause but what the heck, they didn’t publish the material til after the famous first feast.

Moral of story: I should have clobbered them with the turkey leg. Kept the feathers. Stayed home on Thanksgiving. In general terms, when dealing with religious zealots, generosity should be your second option.



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