LAKE STEVENS — From recess buddies to towering trees, Mount Pilchuck Elementary School kindergartners can rattle off a list of things they’re thankful for this year.
Ask them about the very first Thanksgiving, and a hodgepodge of answers and guesses offers an alternate history of the colonial feast.
It was about six years ago. Pilgrims came over in camouflage suits and tall hats. They spoke Spanish on a ship maybe named “Europe Boat,” and upon arriving they quickly got to work cutting up turkeys. Turkeys, if you haven’t heard of them, are speedy animals from Africa that sometimes let out screeches like a pterodactyl. They’re delicious, but you only eat the skin.
When was the first Thanksgiving?
Mason, 6: “When I was a baby, I think it was.”
Myles, 5: “I think Oct. 5.”
Andrew, 6½: “A long time ago.”
What is Thanksgiving? Why do we celebrate it?
Mason, 6: “Um, because we’re kind?”
Myles, 5: “Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate Christmas.”
Robert, 5: “It’s where you eat turkey and cranberry sauce. … And also you don’t eat the bones of the turkey. You just eat the skin of the turkey. And when you’re done you can eat pumpkin pie. And when you’re done with that, um, is there any more Valentine’s — I mean — is there any more Thanksgiving food?”
Andrew, 6½: “It’s when we thank things what we’re thankful for.”
Nixon, 6: “Because there’s turkey and they need them to survive, but it’s hard for us to eat them … but we also want to survive, so it’s a hard choice for us to do those things.”
Ella, 6: “So, why we celebrate Thanksgiving is because it celebrates being thankful for stuff.”
Gemma, 5: “It’s a year that you celebrate like a lot of things.”
Ryan, 5½: “I never had a Thanksgiving since I was born, and never known what Thanksgiving was. Until now.”
Do you know the story of the first Thanksgiving?
Ryan, 5 ½: “Sort of. That pilgrims came and took turkeys to the place where they cut it up. That’s all I can remember.”
Ella, 6: “Yeah, but I don’t remember.”
Myles, 5: “I think the only thing they ate was turkey. I think they didn’t have much food where they were.”
What were the pilgrims like?
Ella, 6: “The pilgrims look different than our ones. They even speak different … they speak, like, in Spanish or something.”
Gemma, 5: “They ride ships … some of them wear suits that are just green and brown. And they’re kinda like camouflage suits.”
Mason, 6: “They were people who came long ago, after the presidents.”
Ryan, 5½: “They’re wearing black and then the middle they’re wearing white. And they have a black hat.”
Robert, 5: “A pilgrim is where they came from Europe to our state, and they drove four boats.”
What was the name of the pilgrims’ boat?
Nixon, 6: “I thought it was called the ‘Europe Boat.’ But nope.”
Mason, 6: “I don’t know. Just pilgrims.”
What will you do this Thanksgiving?
Myles, 5: “My favorite part is when people come over and come see me.”
Nixon, 6: “My dad usually just goes hunting for deer sometimes and then when he’s done we have turkey for dinner.”
Mason, 6: “I play an animal game I got for my birthday party. It’s an animal card game.”
Ryan, 5 ½: “Have a sword fight with my paper swords and ninja stars.”
Have you ever seen a turkey? What do they look like?
Myles, 5: “They’re kinda like a chicken, but with bigger feathers. And they say ‘wobble’ instead of ‘bakaw’ … and they’re wilder. Chickens aren’t wild, they’re just pecky.”
Ella, 6: “They live somewhere in Africa, I think … It’s like a peacock, but it’s kinda different.”
Andrew, 6½: “I’ve seen one at the zoo … they kinda sound like a bird because they’re a type of bird.”
Can you make a turkey sound?
Ryan, 5½: “I can’t make it, but daddy and mommy can.”
Andrew, 6½: “Raaah!”
Ella, 6: “Gobble gobble gobble gobble!”
What are you thankful for?
Myles, 5: “I get to see my grandpa, because normally he doesn’t get to see me a lot. And today we’re spending the night at his house, so he’s actually really thankful for that.”
Robert, 5: “I’m thankful for giving people food.”
Andrew, 6½: “My family.”
Nixon, 6: “I’m thankful for my Mom and Dad … What is it called? We’re all doing tie-dye together. My whole family is.”
Ella, 6: “I’m thankful for Earth … I just like exploring. I like exploring a lot. Sometimes my Mom and me go to the woods and we ’splore the woods.”
Gemma, 5: “My family.”
Ryan, 5½: “That I know how I can make a paper sword.”
Mason, 6: “My friends at school and my family … they treat me really nicely. I like them. And I play with them at recess.”