|"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" (1914) By Jennie A. Brownscombe|
You probably won't be surprised that most sentients do NOT celebrate Thanksgiving. It's a rather specific situation in which, for a very short time, two different groups of people, one having crossed an ocean and the other having lived on the land for all their lives try to befriend one another.
Long term, the whole 'love thy neighbor' concept fell apart because the pale race thought they were smarter and felt they should be master of all. The redder of the two races had lived all their lives on this land and felt the pale creatures should be more respectful and grateful.
But supposedly, what occurred on that 'Thanksgiving Day' was a remarkable coming together of two races.
In Surviving Sojourn, something vaguely similar occurs. Sojourn, the Emperor's daughter, Shakana, whom he secretly loves, the crew and Shakana's guards land on Terranue for provisioning.
Sojourn introduces Shakana and her guards to colonists and the Sargons who have lived on the planet since the beginning of time. The law states that a planet with a sentient life form cannot be colonized by humans because we have proven over and over that we are NOT a well-behaving species. We do NOT play well with others. Just ask those poor Indians of our past.
However, in this case, the prophecies foretell of a union that forms between Sargon and humans, so as long as the Path of Light reigns, the two are one.
After spending a whole day meeting and enjoying the company of the colonists and the Sargon, inexplicably Shakana's guards attempt to kill a Sargon as they leave that night.
Here's the scene:
Everyone enjoyed fresh broiled fish seasoned with a tangy spice from roots collected by the pigs and a salt-like substance scraped from a hard fruit that resembled Earth’s coconut.
Drogan was especially pleased. “This is much like my food at home, except better. I enjoy the added flavors.”
“Is it possible for us to include this in our provisioning request?” Shakana whispered into Sojourn’s ear.
Sojourn silently passed the question to Tamara. She brought the serving plate to the princess. “Another fish? But do not eat so much you grow tired of it, because when you leave, your ship’s freezer will be full of them.”
Drogan looked as if he had died and gone to Heaven. “Praise be to the Gods!”
After the meal, Drogan stood and rubbed his swollen belly. “As much as I would like to stay and visit longer, I need to return to the ship and finish the repairs.” A few of the crew chose to go with him and help. Four soldiers, Princess Shakana, and Sojourn remained behind.
As the sun set, they entered the cave and joined his mother on a bench carved from native wood. Sojourn breathed in the smell of lilac again. “I must say, you’ve found a great air freshener.”
Saran smiled. “Air cleanser, to be more precise. The jocara bush does more than smell like sweet lilacs. It absorbs viruses. Shaman Soy discovered its abilities last New Life when the babies grew ill.” She sighed. “We lost two before he came upon the correct solution. Since then, no one has suffered any illnesses at all.”
Shakana leaned forward. “Would it be possible to take a plant on the ship with us?”
Saran laughed. “The plant is quite common here. The Sargon have always used it to settle their little ones’ stomachs. And it survives even in the dim light of the caves. We can give you five pots, and if you wish more I will teach you how to make cuttings. They will root in soil in less than a day.”
Shakana smiled. “If the plant can survive off the planet, this could be a lifesaver to colonists on other planets. Death from viruses is, unfortunately, common.” She placed her and on Sojourn’s arm. “You left here because if the virus, didn’t you?”
Sojourn grimaced as a few of the colonists heard her and stared their way in confusion.
Saran spoke more sharply than he’d ever recalled. “I gave my son up because the prophecies said many children would die if he did not leave.”
Shakana shook her head in confusion. “But these viruses have probably been here for millions of years…”
Saran spoke softly, so only Shakana could hear. “My son was different from other children. He was a man in a child’s body. Instead of looking for the truth, everyone would have blamed him. However, the colonists do not realize he left as an adult. They believe I gave Captain Longfellow my newborn baby. They do not know Sojourn is my son.”
Shakana nodded in understanding and then stroked Sojourn’s muscular arm. “I cannot imagine you being a child.”
Sojourn snorted. “I had barely left the womb before I detested my weak, useless body. I would have been a man in Hell had mother not sacrificed her need for a baby to give her son a life that is not only bearable but challenging and on occasion even fun.”
The princess leaned in and whispered in his ear, “Are you having fun now?”
He smiled at her. He wished he could kiss her, but he was certain that would cause an offense far worse than petting Blue had. “Yes, I am.”
General Bronson approached from behind and gently pushed them apart as he leaned down to speak. “Princess, we should return to the ship soon.”
Sojourn heard the message behind that firm shove: “Keep your distance, commoner.” Ignoring the warning, he stood and offered the Princess his hand as he mentally connected to his pilot, Davy, and asked him to return with the shuttle.
Tamara approached. “I will see you two safely to the ship. The bears can be pesky at night.”
That comment had the four soldiers a bit trigger-happy as they stepped outside. As one took aim at the form of a Sargon, Sojourn knocked his gun upward so the shot flew harmlessly into the sky. “That is a Sargon, you fool!”
The remaining guards pointed their guns at Sojourn.
Shakana interceded before the soldiers could respond. “Everyone calm down. Sojourn had every right to stop you from murdering a citizen of the colony. Since you are unable to differentiate between a bear and a bull, you will harness your rifles now!”
“Princess…” General Bronson said.
“My life cannot be valued more than the life of an innocent citizen. We will discuss this further once we return to the ship, but right now you will place your rifles in your scabbards and allow Tamara to keep us safe.”
Bronson looked at Sojourn for the final word, perhaps expecting him to take the blame for this incident.
He met the general’s steely stare-down. “Tamara can keep us safe in ways you cannot conceive. Your men are not needed here.”
It turns out Xenophobia has infested Shakana's guards. What happens next will alter their destiny forever.
Hopefully, your Thanksgiving will be fun and loving....
Good luck on that. As far as I can tell, we continue to be a troubled species.
If matters get too crazy, bury yourself in my often humorous Sci-Fi series.