Let’s talk turkey!
Kids share ideas about holiday

Mary Mattingly

Kaitlyn Tingle, 7, knows Thanksgiving today is a lot different than it was that first time when the Indians and pilgrims gathered. “They didn’t have a microwave, and no cell phones! And they had to walk everywhere.” South Ripley first grade classmate Logan Disbro, 7, pipes in, “And no electricity!” They also got to eat with their hands! And she said, “Boys wore dresses too.” He rolls his eyes. Good thing that was then! Of course this all happened a long, long time ago, “like in 2012,” kindergartner Thomas Eaglin said. Maddi Webster and Thomas Eaglin


At right, Maddi Webster and Thomas Eaglin show how to make turkeys with their hands.

Besides Kaitlyn and Logan, Ripley Publishing talked “turkey” with South Ripley Elementary first graders Brooke Walston, Kaysha Walker, Marnita Norman, and kindergarteners Maddi Webster and Thomas Eaglin We asked about the first Thanksgiving, their own traditions at home, cooking a turkey, and well, with these kids you didn’t have to ask much to get them talking. They shared everything from tales about their pets and dead turkeys to their baby brother’s diapers! Logan sported a Mohawk hairstyle, and mischievously claimed it was for Thanksgiving because it was like the Indians.

What would you put on the table, if you could choose anything?

Tradition runs strong here, and surprisingly, they all said “turkey, and mashed potatoes,” but Brooke added with a grin, “Boxes and boxes of chocolates!” That got Kaysha thinking, and she said she’d like to see some sugary drinks, “like Kool-Aid and pop, but I don’t drink it too much because it gives me a headache and I’ll bounce off the walls.” (Seems she had heard that phrase before from her elders!) Brooke actually prefers a much healthier choice, water. Maddi would prefer lots of corn on the cob. “I’m not thrilled about eating turkey. I’ve ate it, but even though I’m five I’m frustrated about it.”

The kids knew some people hunt for turkey. “We get our turkey from the store,” Marnita proclaimed. Maddi wasn’t too fond of thinking of a live animal to consume. ”I would not eat a turkey with feathers on it. Or a head, nose or mouth. Yuk. I like pizza more than turkey.”
As for cooking the bird, the kids were adamant that you need an oven and a timer. One kid said it took ”maybe five seconds to cook. Marnita said it’s put in the oven “for 500 minutes, and you look inside of the oven to see if it’s done.” To prepare the bird, Logan said, “You put carrots around it. I’d put an apple on top of it, maybe two of them.” Toothpicks seem to be crucial also in preparation, as the kids noticed they are used for poking the turkey and tucking legs.
Brooke Walston and Kaysha Walker


Pictured left are Brooke Walston and Kaysha Walker.


Who does the cooking?
That’s mainly left to grandparents or to mom. “My mom makes it. She makes good stuff. She gets it from the internet,” Kaitlyn said, which is also something they probably didn’t have at the first Thanksgiving.

How do they help with the meal?
”I wash the tomatoes” Thomas said proudly. Kaysha helps with the stuffing. ” Kaitlyn sets the table, but Logan says his chore is feeding the animals, who don’t know it’s a special day but do get some leftovers.

The kids were primed about the first Thanksgiving with the Indians and pilgrims from their teachers. Logan proudly says, “I’m part Indian! Part German, Irish and Indian.” He attributes his good climbing skills to his Indian heritage. Marnita said she too has some Indian in her, and is “good on spying like the Indians did with the pilgrims.” Brooke likes the smell of turkey in the oven, which almost is as good as the smell of bacon, she says. She likes seeing all the guests who come to enjoy the day. They talked about cousins and grandparents and friends coming over for the day, and “making the table look very nice” Marnita said, adding “I think God made us and he really wanted us to have our families over.“

Kaitlyn Tingle, Logan Disbro and Marnita Norman


Pictured right are Kaitlyn Tingle, Logan Disbro and Marnita Norman.

What are they thankful for?
“I’m thankful for my dog,” Maddi said. “For my little kitten and guinea pig,” Thomas said. “For being with my family,” Kaitlyn said. “For my family and I hope my new baby brother is ok,” Marnita said.

“The Lord gave us Thanksgiving, a time we can get together and always stay together,” said Logan. Yeah, they get the message. Happy Thanksgiving!



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