Thanksgiving Report 3: Pilgrims

It is December 11.  Theoretically, this is a time of preparation for Christmas, not a time for writing about Thanksgiving.  Rest assured, we are preparing for Christmas, and a “White Christmas” at that.  In fact, Western New York weather is so intent on creating a “Winter Wonderland” effect, that the boys were unable to get the Christmas tree today as planned.  They braved the lake effect snow, headed south to East Aurora, and found the driveway to the tree farm under two feet of snow, with conditions deteriorating steadily.

photo by Thomas

photo by Thomas

photo by Thomas

photo by Thomas

They decided to come home.

With no tree to decorate this evening, I decided to finish my Thanksgiving series.  This last post is actually a showcase of Jack’s work.  He read about the Pilgrims this fall, and wrote a report about them.  Concurrently, he worked on an imaginative story.  He calls it “The Yellow Pod and The Green Pod.”  I like to call it “The Pilgrims Go to Mexico.”  It is interesting to me because I can see that he is working with certain concepts, and yet he doesn’t quite understand them fully.  For example, he knows that ships carried people across the ocean, and that smaller sailing sloops were used for trading up and down the coast.  (I just learned that myself after reading The Winthrop Woman.)  He also knows that fresh water is important.  Instead of including a “spoiler alert,” I’ll let you read on for yourself to see how these concepts play out.  By the way, the “pods” are the ships.  I don’t know why he calls them “pods.”

“The Pilgrims”

by Jack Duke


A Pilgrim is someone who goes on a long, long journey.  The Pilgrims could not worship God in their own way.  They tried to get to Virginia, but they got to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Before winter there were 102 Pilgrims.  After the winter there were 50 Pilgrims.  By the end of the summer, they had eight houses. 

Native Americans helped the Pilgrims in the summer.  In October the Pilgrims and the Indians had a big feast!  They had deer, berries, grapes, dried plums, nuts, and turkeys!  The feast was to be thankful for their food.  They had pumpkins, squash and beans too.

“The Yellow Pod and the Green Pod”

This book is in 1852.

by Jack Duke


One fine day, the Yellow Pod and the Green Pod were going to north Mexico.  The people on the ships were going to live there.  It was a smooth ride.  They got to north Mexico safe and sound.

They gave some people who needed ships their ships for two sailboats.  They were going to need sailboats to go places to trade things.  They made ten little wooden houses.  The kids played tag, and run around the house, and hide and seek.  One day they got a great trade: a log for a gun.  Then one day they went to Florida in their sailboats to get some more water.  When they were home, everyone had lots of water.

It was summer at last.  Crops were growing.  Everyone was happy that it was summer.  They had sailed for that long, long time for a better life.  The place was not so full because they had made their own town.  They made lots of friends there.  They had a way better life in north Mexico than in England.


P.S.  For my non-local readers, let me explain lake effect snow.  East Aurora is south of Buffalo, and the City of Tonawanda, where we live, is north of Buffalo.  If you look on a map, you will see that Tonawanda is actually north of Lake Erie.  Alas, this means we do not always get the lake effect snow.  This is frustrating for the children, the young at heart, and anyone who doesn’t have to drive regularly.  You saw the pictures from East Aurora.  Here in Tonawanda, we have about an inch.  We’re hoping for more, and I think it’s on it’s way…

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