27 November 2015

Published November 25, 2015 by rochellewisoff

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FRIDAY FICTION CONCRIT SUBGROUP

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

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Here in the States Thursday, the 26th, is Thanksgiving, a day set aside to count our blessings and remember the Pilgrims who came here in 1620 supposedly seeking religious freedom. Alas, it’s also one of those times when history has been candy coated to make it easier to swallow. So today I serve a healthy helping of my favorite subject. 

Genre: Somewhat Historical Fiction

Word count: 100

KESHAGESH

            “The Pilgrims stepped off the Mayflower onto Plymouth Rock,” Matthew read aloud. “Friendly Indians helped them plant corn and—”

            “They should’ve been called Pillagers.” Rita fumed, snatched his paper and ripped it apart.  “We’re indigenous and this is not India.”    

            “Mom, that’s my homework.”

            She handed him another sheet of paper. “Write this, Matthew Thundercloud, not what you think your teacher wants to hear.

            “They robbed graves, stole our land, enslaved us, murdered our children, forced their Christian religion upon us and gave us smallpox.”

            “What if she gives me an ‘F’?”

             Just smile and say, ‘Happy Turkey Day.’”

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This should explain my title:

111 comments on “27 November 2015

  • This reminds me of the saying “When they arrived we had the land and they had the bibles. They taught us how to close our eyes and pray. And when we opened them again, they had all the land and we had all the bibles.” Good story Rochelle. I was googling the origin of Thanksgiving this week, and as you say, candy-coated. Nice touch of bitterness and irony in your piece – you do that with such a deft touch. Good job.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Dear Sandra,

      I’ve heard that one, too. Mind you, I’m not against Christians or Christianity. I am against those who oppress and murder in the name of religion.
      Thank you for your compliments re my writing. It warms this cold November day.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 5 people

  • Written with your usual potency, this is especially appropriate in the light of the hypocrisy surrounding the current refugee situation, and not just in the USA.
    Power to your pen.
    And we have discussed previously the wonderful Ms Sainte Marie.
    Great song, great performance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear CE

      Some things make me angrier than others. Your comments make it worth the write.
      As for Ms. Sainte Marie, I’ve become a Buffy junkie. She’s not only an incredible songwriter/singer, she’s an amazing woman.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Good piece, Rochelle. I was reading a piece about things we’ve always been told were true but are not. The pleasant Thanksgiving meal with pilgrims and Native Americans was one of them. There was no such meal. It’s total myth that society and the schools perpetuate. Well written as always. — Suzanne

    Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      The history surrounding this holiday is truly appalling. The more I read, the angrier I get. Having grown up with myth as fact, I feel a bit duped. And even sadder is that instead of being about giving thanks the holiday is about stuffing ourselves with turkey and watching football. Nonetheless, I’ve many things to be thankful for. Friday Fictioneers is one of them.
      Thank you for being part of that.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear J Hardy,

      Obviously I graduated high school long before you did. 😉 However, in the 70’s there was a growing awareness of true history. And we point our fingers at communist countries for rewriting history. Hmmmm.

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I’m afraid the colonization of all newly discovered lands by the so called civilized world also involved exploitation of the native inhabitants. It was a matter of..they have, we want. Sorry to say that the English who colonized my country of Australia committed genocide of many people groups and exploitation and depletion of many others. It happens everywhere by all conquering, for want of a better word, people’s over native inhabitants.
    George Orwell speaks of it in his short story called killing an elephant. This tells of his time as a policeman on the subcontinent.
    We can look back with regret, or we can look forward with hope. Hope that future generations will treat each other, and newly discovered people groups on other planets with some degree of civility.
    Thank you for your story

    Liked by 2 people

  • It’s amazing how history is created, isn’t it? I saw that by going to both English and French schools. I always jokingingly (read sarcastically) say I never remember who the “bad” Indians are as each side (English and French) tells their story. And we all know there were no “bad” Indians, only bad white folk who came and took, took, took.
    Great choice of music using a Canadian Native singer 😉 as the same thing happened in Canada as in the U.S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Of course there are good people in every race, nation and religion. There were good people in Nazi Germany who took a stand. Maybe my next novel will be a First Nations story. These seem to be my two soapboxes.

      As I told CE, I’ve become a Buffy junkie since I used another of her videos before. She’s an amazing woman.

      Thank you for swinging by to read and comment.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • THANK YOU! I can’t shout that loud enough, Rochelle! THANK YOU for speaking the truth behind this holiday. People ask me why I don’t celebrate it, and I usually respond: “Would you celebrate the subjugation and virtual annihilation of your family?” They usually shutup, then. Thank you for being honest, and you are correct, we are not “indians” we are Native Americans.
    For you, my full name: Howesha Mekwa Halaakwa Shkote Mienele Kikyshkote (Beautiful Bear Dancer of God’s Medicine).

    hehe…you can just call me Jelli.

    Liked by 2 people

  • So much truth in this.. pillagers seems to be a heritage we should bear with heads lowered but one way would be to use the day to show hospitality to the refugees of today… Today it was suggested that we should introduce Thanksgiving in Sweden to celebrate with today’s refugees coming here.

    Like

  • Great story and history lesson. I was a Buffy fan way……back in the day. We can still celebrate Thanksgiving though, by being thankful for what and who we have in our lives. Oh, also, by turning off the football game. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      Turn on the football game and I’ll hurt you. I’m pretty sure you introduced me to Buffy. I’m definitely thankful for that and thankful for a husband who wholeheartedly supports me. ❤

      Thank you, dear.
      Love,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I love this story, especially the ending. History–I was once naive enough to think that there is one world history, told the same everywhere. Hah. Now I know that it is a mosaic of many different little stories. The more of these pieces we can collect, the clearer the picture gets.
    Love the Buffy song, it was never truer.

    Like

    • Dear GAH,

      There are so many facets to history. And then much of it’s about perspective and point of view. However, overwhelmingly my heart aches for the First Nations.

      Glad you liked the Buffy song. I just love that woman’s music. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • A great story, Rochelle, really well written. Not at all preachy, and nice to have some humour in it.

    C – if I were a reader who didn’t know about the Pilgrim fathers and American history (and I suppose we shouldn’t assume everyone does), then because Matthew ends his first couple of lines talking about the ‘Indians’, and Rita then starts by saying they should be called ‘pillagers’ – it rather suggests she’s talking about the Indians and not the Pilgrims. (A very minor point though – in a great story.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Claire,
      I’m taking your critique under consideration. However my thought was that Pilgrim and Pillager were close enough in spelling that the meaning would come across.

      At any rate I’m pleased that you like my story as a whole. 😀

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • All history is slanted in one way or another, as you point out so well. I liked this a lot and even though I have no criticism (hurrying to read and then get ready to leave for Ohio), I do wish you and your a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, no matter which story is told around the table. 🙂

    janet

    Like

    • Dear Janet,

      No need to dig for criticism for the sake of criticism. 😉 I’m glad you liked my story.
      Safe travels and a Happy and blessed Thanksgiving. There’s always room to be thankful…365 days a year.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Tracey,

      Rita Thundercloud is one tough cookie. Woe to the teacher if she dares to give Matthew an ‘F.’
      We have many things to be thankful for, twisting of history isn’t one of them.

      Happy Thanksgiving and Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Querida Rochelle,
    Where has my time gone? I missed last weeks challenge. I had a good one but never completed it.
    Now, here we are in the midst of a holiday. Everyone celebrating overindulgence, a parade of commercialism, football and a dog show.
    I like the way you gave another fact for pondering. Yesterday, I saw a documentary on the real 1st Thanksgiving. It brought out many of the facts you talk about. Sadly, this line: “They robbed graves, stole our land, enslaved us, murdered our children, forced their Christian religion upon us and gave us smallpox.” – touched upon the same issue that occurred in Puerto Rico when good old Christopher Columbus decided to reek havoc on the native Taino Indians of whom I am – 3rd generation – related. YUP … history isn’t always written accurately.
    I suppose I don’t have to say much about the video except: touching.
    Gracias for writing about this historical time.
    Con Carino,
    Isadora

    Like

    • Querida Isadora,

      It seems that the Europeans spread their bad news and disease throughout the ‘New World.’ I’ve always been fascinated with the indigenous people. You do have a most fascinating history, querida amiga.
      I’m cringing as I watch commercials for Black Friday and now we’ve added Orange Wednesday to the mix, the modern form of blankets and beads for your land, perhaps?
      I think that Native American history has become my favorite soap box next to Jewish history. Injustice is the same the world over and it’s getting harder and harder to tell the good guys from the bad, isn’t it?
      So I’ll smile and say, “Happy Turkey Day.” con abrazos.

      Gracias para tus palabras dulces.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • Haha! We can only hope there is one. It is hard to tell anymore. It’s so important to know how to research yourself. You can’t even count on the news to give you the straight story.

        Happy Thanks giving to you too! 🙂

        Like

  • well, as hard as these truths are …. this made me smile! And in that spirit, I’ve decided this Thanksgiving Day to avoid all news, no tv, no radio, no newspaper, and just concentrate on the love of family and the joy of the laughter and conversation we shall share today. There are some times when the world can be too intrusive and slap you on the face with its harshness. Not today.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wow! Very powerful post! Well written, and amazingly in 100 words or less. You are so good at making an interesting story with so few words …but the words you choose are well used. Thanks again for being our wonderful host. I love participating! 🙂

    Like

  • this reminds me of a story i read about the first thanksgiving. i’m not sure if it was true or not. the settlers invited the friendly indians for dinner and then sent them to the reservation. 🙂

    Like

    • Dear Plaridel,

      A bit of time lapse in that story. There were no reservations back then. But the settlers certainly took from the Native Americans without asking.

      Thank you for coming by and taking the time to read. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Happy Thanksgiving, Rochelle! Miss Buffy was born in a reserve in Saskatchewan. We saw her in concert last year. Still very spry and politically active which I should strive for to make the world a better place. I’m not bent that way but my partner is. He’s a strong supporter of the aboriginal cause. He helped tend the fire lit for the murdered aboriginal women the past weekend. He talks alot about all these issues in the world. I listen. Your story reminds me of all the conversations. 🙂

    Lily

    Like

  • Dear Alice Roker,

    I’ve never really trusted men who wore leggings and buckles on their shoes. That should have tipped the Native American’s off right there. Even now, the phrase, “Don’t trust whitey,” echoes across our land. We’re a selfish and greedy lot and will do whatever it takes to keep from going to the opera.

    Stay-at-home Bob

    Like

    • Dear SAH Bob,

      I read in one article that the indigenous trusted the Pilgrims because they had women and children with them. The Wanpanoag would never put their women and children in harm’s way. Go figure. Selfish and greedy indeed. You should try the opera. You might like it. 😉

      Shalom,

      Alice Roker.

      Like

  • The defiant and proud tone of the mother in the story, and the name “Thundercloud,” are perfect.
    Reminds me of a story floating around in my school (back in India) about the Head Girl two or three years before I graduated. It was an ICSC board school in my school at that time, and some of the papers were apparently graded in the U.K. (I don’t know this part for sure, I was just told this.) The Head Girl wrote a scathing indictment of the British in Colonial India, and was given an F.
    How much of this is apocryphal, and how much of this is real, I cannot say.
    It just reminded me of your story.

    Like

    • Dear Vijaya,

      I’m pleased that you liked my story so much. Thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes it’s tough to accept the truth when a person has believed the truth to be something else.

      I’m glad you had a good visit with your family.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ain’t that the truth, Rochelle! Well said. Tell it like it is. It’s hard to swallow this whole holiday and can’t believe I was fed that whole story growing up. I try to concentrate on the gratitude part only. Great story to raise awareness.

    Like

  • Hi Rochelle! I feel so ignorant about history. But thanks to you I always learn something new here. The truth about The Thanks giving. It really pains me the way religions are thrust upon others. Great story with a great impact.

    Like

  • Well done!! A few years ago I visited a residential school next to a reserve our youth service was visiting. It was so sad and eerie walking on the grounds. Villagers say at night sometimes they hear children crying. Our First Nations People are still trying to heal from the damage we have done.

    Like

    • Dear Joseph,

      Ironic isn’t it? I consider the Puritan’s religion to be one of the most backward and cruel blots on American history. I wonder at people who witness by spewing hell fire and brimstone and then wonder why their faith isn’t accepted by their victims. 😉

      Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • While I cannot discount the whole of the faith (it did give rise to a Great Awakening and eventually spun off into the Holiness movement of which I am a fan) I find that one of its greatest drawbacks was its sometimes extreme view of Calvinism with its held on the idea that certain men were destined to Heaven and others to Hell. This in itself gave permission for certain segments of the population to be discounted and trampled because they were already predestined to damnation.

        Like

  • Dearest Rochelle, to think that all ideas (divergent as they are) of the multiplicity of lines of thinking somehow fit together, much make things “clearer” is naivety. All people of the earth search for meaning, for truth, some so bold as to recognize that it is Truth we seek, not just truth. But to think that our Creator would leave us without access to Truth would be illogical. Clearly he loves us. The problem comes in one of two ways, either we misunderstand what He is saying (bad doctrine, wrong theology) plus, we cannot bear the thought of saying that something (and he/she who believes it) is wrong. Or, we refuse to live with a mystery which is the Achilles’ heel of those who have to know every answer. Accept finiteness! How can the painting understand the painter? It cannot! Marvel in his glory! All peoples search, each religion has its own explanation, but that does not mean each explanation as a whole is equal. There are bits of truth even in the words of Satan — that is how he lures us — but his whole message is wrong (and deadly). So it is with spurious religions and theories of the world. Just because all worldviews have some truth in them does not make them equally true. Unified truth does exist. There is A true faith. It is misguided naivety to embrace everything, for one reason, they contradict. What if one of the Truth leaders said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” that would make him exclusive. You cannot logically mix his ideas with that of others. You either accept or reject him as a whole. In regard to all of this, He would be the logical one to seek first. Just be sure not to assume all your answers can be answered (leaving room for mystery) and avoid misunderstandings of his words. God bless you!

    Like

    • Dear Steve,

      You’ve heard the term “preaching to the choir?” Do not mistake my writing a POV from a people savagely treated by so-called Christians for a lack of faith. I know the One who is the way, the truth and the life.

      Shabbat Shalom,

      Rochelle

      PS I would ask, that in the future, you would refrain from leaving sermons on my blog. Thank you for your sensitivity and understanding.

      Like

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