“Nearly all of what historians have learned about the first Thanksgiving comes from a single eyewitness report: a letter written in December 1621 by Edward Winslow, one of the 100 or so people who sailed from England aboard the Mayflower in 1620…” — Sarah Pruitt, History.com.
GOV. WILLIAM BRADFORD: Tomorrow, we celebrate a bountiful harvest with our Wampanoag neighbors, who will surely never come to regret their friendship with us. But before the feast… I propose a little run.
EDWARD WINSLOW: A run? Are pirates attacking?
BRADFORD: No, nothing like that. It’s just a “fun run.” And before you complain that fun is a sin, I assure you that this race will not be fun.
WINSLOW: So… why are we doing this again?
BRADFORD: Because great and honorable actions are accompanied by great difficulties. And to burn off extra calories from the pumpkin pie.
WINSLOW: But we’ve lost 60 percent of our population to malnutrition.
BRADFORD: Oh, stop being a baby. I’ve decided to call it a “turkey trot” because that sounds dignified. Look, everyone gets one of these cotton undershirts with a dancing cartoon turkey!
WINSLOW: A dancing turkey? Witchcraft! Idolatry! Also, what’s this on the back?
BRADFORD: That’s our sponsor, Dunkin’ Donuts. This is Massachusetts, after all. Entrance fee is three beaver pelts.
WINSLOW: Wait, I have to pay for this?
BRADFORD: Don’t worry, in addition to the shirt, you get a shiny metal blanket at the end.
WINSLOW: Is this a sturdy blanket that will keep me warm for the dangerous winter ahead?
BRADFORD: No, it is lighter than air itself. And… wait for it… I melted down our anvil to make giant medals for all the finishers!
WINSLOW: Um, I think we need that anvil. And what if I have to use the privy along the route?
BRADFORD: We have built a portable outhouse. There will be a line, it will reek of pestilence, and there will NOT be privy paper. Anyway, the race starts at six a.m.
WINSLOW: We were kind of hoping to rest on Thanksgiving…
BRADFORD: Enjoying one’s day off? Now I’ve heard it all!
WINSLOW: It’s just, well, we work like dogs from sunup to sundown, fulfilling God’s plan, many of us losing our lives in the process, blah blah blah. We just thought maybe this once we would sleep until the sun appears on the horizon?
BRADFORD: Wow, you sound just like Chief Massasoit!
WINSLOW: The Wampanoag are against this run?
BRADFORD: They said, “Hard pass. We’ll see you at five for dinner.” Look, you’re overthinking this. It’s only fifty furlongs…
WINSLOW: Fifty furlongs! I haven’t even trained!
BRADFORD: No one trains for these things! That’s part of the whole deal. There is virtue in suffering. It’s the Puritan way.
WINSLOW: We’re Pilgrims, not Puritans.
BRADFORD: I always get those confused!
WINSLOW: I must politely decline, Governor Bradford. You see, if I run, the hat will blow off my head.
BRADFORD: Then make it tighter! What do you think the buckle is for? See you bright and early or no pie for you!