Thanksgiving Shopping

November 16, 2004

I was looking for the missing item for our Thanksgiving table, but I can't find one for sale.

The traditional Thanksgiving story, the one celebrated in school plays and popular culture, involves pilgrims in big hats with buckles and indians in feather hats getting together to eat a feast of squash, venison, game, and corn, with the turkey standing in for the venison and game.

That story leaves out the crucial third participant in the Pilgrims' settlement, their starving time, and their rapid turn from starvation to prosperity - the smallpox virus that had wiped out the New England Indian tribes shortly before the Pilgrims landed. Prospective European colonists knew of this virus, and both the Pilgrims and the Puritans who followed them a few years later took the epidemic as a signal sign of God's Providence, a signal that God wanted them to settle on this land for He had thoughtfully cleared its inhabitants and left their farms and sometimes houses for the new migrants to take over.

Anyhow, I want to get a plush smallpox to put on the table as part of the ritual - it has as much right to be there as the silly hats.

But alas, both ThinkGeek and Giant Microbes have no smallpox plushies. They have other goodies - including ebola, sleeping sickness, bookworms, and ulcers - but no smallpox. I had really wanted a smallpox.

Perhaps I can find someone artistic and commission a smallpox and perhaps also a cholera and some typhoid or polio?

Posted by Red Ted at November 16, 2004 01:36 AM | TrackBack