29 November 2019

Published November 27, 2019 by rochellewisoff

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Happy Anniversary to Jan Fields, my first husband for 48 years as of November 28!

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.




Genre: Historical Fiction circa late 1800’s

Word Count: 100


“Dear Lord, we thank you for the bounty we are about to receive…for the Pilgrims and their faith…the first Thanksgiving…”

Folding her hands, ten-year-old Wawatseka renamed Victoria by her teachers, shut her eyes while Reverend Prichard droned on.

Grandfather’s stories wafted through her mind—a distant memory. “They feasted after each massacre of our people.”

Wawatseka’s ears ached for Mother’s songs and Father’s drumbeats.  Detesting white gravy and mashed potatoes, Wawatseka longed for savory corn stew.

Thick fingers thumped her head. “Victoria! We’ve finished grace. What do you say?”

She glared at the reverend and, through clenched teeth, whispered, “Amen.”

88 comments on “29 November 2019

  • A fitting truth to counter the myth of the first Thanksgiving told to our children in school. Good writing as always, Rochelle. Happy Thanksgiving for things we should be thankful for. The thought is good even if the first one was a myth. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  • As someone pointed out this week, it’s just as well Britain doesn’t have a day of ‘Thanksgiving’ for every time we colonised a foreign country and oppressed a native people – we would be having turkey every day of the year! A tragic piece of history that has been repeated around the world all too often. Congratulations on 48 years together 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Tanille,

      The Jews celebrated Thanksgiving long before the pilgrims in the form of Shavuot to celebrate bountiful harvests. I agree…Thanksgiving should exist but without the damning mythology that causes Native Americans to declare it as a time of mourning. Okay…I’ll climb off my soapbox now and than you for taking the time to read and comment. 😉 Very much appreciated. 😀

      Shalom…and Happy Thanksgiving,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Wow, I didn’t know that versions of Thanksgiving were that old!
    We have the same problem with Australia Day. Some Aboriginals feel its a day of mourning and want the holiday to end. I see it as an opportunity for the day as an educational tool; celebrate and talk about the harsh reality of our history.


  • Even the thought brings tears to my eyes. How my people were so kind as to feed the starving settlers only to be repaid in death… small pox ridden blankets, massacres, etc. And yet, they still celebrate that. It’s just a wee bit beyond my comprehension. Thank you, God, that I don’t have to stoop to celebrate such atrocities. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Mkwa Kikyshkote,

      It’s hard for me to ever enjoy the story of the Pilgrims knowing the truth. I can no longer stomach the cute little decorations. Not to say we shouldn’t be thankful, but knowing of the massacres and disease foisted upon the indigenous sets my teeth on edge. And I am thankful for you, my friend. You helped me make Ruthie-Bear a three-dimensional girl/woman and not a caricature. Thank you for your affirming comments.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Rochelle. That is a deep-water thanks that looks so shiny on the surface but that goes to the depths of my soul. I often speak of you and your writing to friends and people at the bookstore/library. You are an author who actually takes the time to do the research and to learn the depths of things. We need more like that. Love your writing, and am so tickled that I got to play along with you in the word garden. Can’t wait to see it come out, too.! Shalom, dear one, Shalom indeed! Have a blessed harvest feast – but leave the blankets in the fire. 🙂 Bear – Mkwa

        Liked by 2 people

  • It is always helpful to be able to see the story from the opposite viewpoint. These stories you’re sharing are so strong, powerful, and pointed.

    I believe that if those first celebrants of what has become Thanksgiving Day could have seen what would happen years later, they would be turning in their graves. What they did was simple, open, and sincere. No one was left out. They shared the feast with the natives, with whom, at that point, they were friendly. There is much documentation by those who were present that describes the celebration.

    What we have turned it into, just another shopping day/week/month, is an abomination to me. We don’t participate in it. Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Linda,

      I do enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with the family. And don’t even get me started on Black Friday and the stores opening Thursday evening. So much for a day of rest and thanksgiving.

      Thank you for your comments and perspectives. Muchly appreciated.

      Shalom AND Happy Thanksgiving,


      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Genia,

      True story…that the winners write the history books. I feel for those who’ve had turkey, dressing and lies stuffed down their throats. Nothing wrong with being thankful, but…Thank you for your affirming comments.

      Shalom and happy harvest festival,



  • I recently read that what we thought was the first Thanksgiving wasn’t even the first. And the word it’s self, Thanksgiving, was in the eyes of the beholder, i.e., the winner. History, it seems, is always being re-written. We should have a Thanksgiving Day but it should be for all the things we are thankful for. Good story based on what is most likely a true story in time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      It does seem that history is written by the victors, doesn’t it? I don’t find fault with a day off to be thankful. Although ours is all about overeating and watching football. 😉 Thank you, m’luv. Happy Anniversary! ❤


  • Another beautifully written story, Rochelle. I particularly liked “Wawatseka’s ears ached for Mother’s songs and Father’s drumbeats. Detesting white gravy and mashed potatoes, Wawatseka longed for savory corn stew.” Making use of the other senses greatly increases our appreciation of Wawatseka’s sense of dislocation and cultural alienation.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Thank you, Rochelle, for the reminder of the realities of oft-untold history, and of the cost so many don’t know or prefer forgotten. The stories of so many that were silenced deserve telling, and you do it well.
    May we give thanks for truth. For memory. For the victimization that is not often taught – yet should – and for the gift of story and narrative. For it keeps history alive.
    I am thankful for YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Na’ama Y’karah

      As I am thankful for you.
      This subject of Native American genocide has become as near and dear to me as the Holocaust and persecution of my own people. (Yes, I could list a few more.) When I am with my husband’s family enjoying turkey and trimmings I’ll also remember the what it cost the First Nations.

      Shalom, my friend,


      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. You and me both. I think we resonate on that topic (and perhaps on a few others, as well). May we all be thankful for all we have and remember all who don’t, then and now, for all reasons, justified and not.


    • Dear Bjorn,

      My beef isn’t with giving thanks. It’s something we should do every day. Nor do I think there’s anything wrong with setting aside a day for it. The friendly Indians and Pilgrim story is what irritates me. Thank you for reading and for commenting.




  • Every Thanksgiving I remember the cost that Native-Americans paid for our bounty. We did things we cannot be proud of. I like to send a little prayer of apology along with my thanks. Great story to remind us our our origins, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      I’ll never be able to swallow the thanksgiving story with my turkey again. My thanks will always be tinged with a bit of indignation and sadness for what it cost the First Nations. Thank you for your wonderful comment.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Abhijit,

      The Native American children were taken from their families, forced to abandon their traditions and given new names. Her family wouldn’t have had a thanksgiving ceremony. 😦 So you could say none of it was to Wawatseka’s liking.




  • Dear Giblets W(T)F,

    I love the facial expressions in the wedding photo.
    It’s like you’re saying “Oh no, did I agree to THAT?!?”
    And Jan’s grin looks almost sinister. 🙂 Does this mean there’s about to be a new guitar in the family?

    In regard to your story, I read in the paper where a group of Native Americans are holding “A National Day of Sadness” today in commemoration of the way our European ancestors stole their land and massacred them. And all the while referring to the Native Americans as “savages.” Boy, if that ain’t the pot calling the kettle . . .

    Happy Tofu Day,
    Wattles, the Gravy Stalker

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Wattles,

      I once had a teacher in junior high who made the statement that the “Indians” were pagans so what the white man did was okay. I think she also thought slaves were happy. And she was my Spanish teacher (with a lousy accent, I might add).

      As for the photo…you might be right about what I was thinking. 😉 Thank you for stalking by. Don’t stuff yourself too much. Happy harvest day.


      Giblets W(T)F

      Liked by 1 person

  • congrats on your wedding anniversary. i could see that the groom was a very happy man.

    as for your story, it reminds me of a thanksgiving joke where the settlers invited the natives to a feast and then guided them back to the reservation. as always, the victors got the upper hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations Rochelle. I discern from the photo that you are not the only one in your marriage with a bit of spunk!(great photo!)

    I am very fond of traditions, and find it sad, that so many holidays and practices have an unseemly underbelly of cruelty or oppression.

    You may appreciate, if you havent seen it yet, the PBS special on The Warrior Tradition.

    It talks about how Native American have served and still serve in the US military, far out of proportion to their actual numbers.

    The beautiful part is the way they celebrate their vets and prepare and consecrate their young men and women going off to serve, and the way they explain the importance of serving their community as a warrior.

    Your character, hissing through her teeth (another great image) made me think of how, despite all that these valiant people have endured, they are still willing to give sons and daughters of their own to serve the same government, that oppressed and slaughtered them. This question of “why?” is posed many times during the documentary, and the answer seems to be, to care for the land, which no arbitrary politics can take from them, and to protect those who cannot fight, themselves. Beautiful, and sad, like your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Andrea,

      Another great resource to learn of Native American Heroism in the military is “Code Talker” by Chester Nez. Han it not been for the Navajo Code Talkers in the South Pacific in WWII we might never have won that war. Ironic, isn’t it? These brave men could serve in the military but couldn’t vote for the politicians who sent them overseas. I’m afraid Thanksgiving will forever hold a tinge of sadness and indignation for me.
      I will have to look up the PBS special.

      As for the wedding picture. It might just be that spunk that’s kept us together all these 48 years. 😉

      Thank you for your wonderful comments.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Congratulations on your anniversary. I love that you call Jan your first husband, like, even after 48 years, you’re not quite committed to him being the only one. That’s good. Keep him on his toes.

    I’ve never been a fan of Thanksgiving. Even as a teenager, I refused to celebrate it. I called it the “celebration of the molestation and decimation of the original people of this nation.” I like rhymes. As I’ve matured (slightly) I’ve grown to appreciate what it’s become. I still have to agree that its roots have forever tarnished it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      You were definitely ahead of your time. Love the rhyme and so true. Nothing wrong with being thankful…that should happen 365 days out of the year.
      Glad you noticed that Jan is my first husband. Most people miss that or think it’s some kind of a typo. 😉 Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • In much the same way war is glorified in the news (past and present), the myth of the first Thanksgiving is perpetuated. “They feasted after each massacre of our people.” Powerful writing, Rochelle.


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