There are many variations on the story of the first Thanksgiving. The following story is one that was told to me as a little girl in school. It is a short story, and may not be historically accurate, but it is one that has stayed with me for over 20 years. It is perfect for sharing with little ones who are learning the importance of giving and traditions. I remember that each of the children in my class were told to dress as Pilgrims and Indians and each of us had to bring in stones and a vegetable. We had no idea what the stones and vegetables were for until our teacher recited to following story to us.
One day a long long time ago, there was a boat full of Pilgrims who landed on new land. The Pilgrims were nervous about what they would find at this new place and went exploring as soon as the boat had landed on shore. Deep in the forest, near a little creek, they happened upon a family of Indians. The Pilgrims had never seen anyone like Indians and they were nervous that they would be seen. As they hid behind a crop of trees, the Pilgrims watched the Indians, studying their ways of life. As time went by and night fell, they noticed that the Indians were cooking something over a campfire. They got brave and decided to get a closer look. As they got closer, they saw the Indians were filling a big cauldron with river water. They watched in awe as the Indians placed a few stones into the pot and stirred it. The Pilgrims were very curious as to what the Indians were doing and they approached them, inquiring as to what they were doing. The Indians told the Pilgrims that they were making dinner.
The Pilgrims found this odd, that they were placing rocks into something that they were going to be eating and they asked the Indians about it. The Indians replied that they were making an old Indian meal called Stone Soup. The Pilgrims had never heard of such a thing and asked the Indians what was in the soup. The Indian chief told them that usually it was a delicacy. Full of vegetables and meat and a hearty broth, but since the crops had been bad this year and the hunting had been fruitless, they unfortunately had no vegetables, herbs or meat to add to the soup.
The Pilgrims told the Indians that they just happened to have some herbs, vegetables and meat in their crates that they had brought to the new land. They went to gather them and offered them to the Indians to add to the pot. The Pilgrims showed the Indians how to make bread and the Indians showed the Pilgrims how to choose stones and cut up the vegetables and meat to add to the broth. Eventually all the Pilgrims and Indians helped in the creation of this delicious new meal. They all sat at a table together and made toasts to each other, thanking each other for giving.
And so began the tradition of Thanksgiving.
Each of us then gave the teacher our offerings and then helped the teacher make and serve our first meal of Stone Soup.
1 large stone
1 tbsp butter
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 onion chopped.
1 large carrot chopped
1 small can of stewed tomatoes
2 russet potatoes peeled and cubed small
1 small zucchini cubed
2 cooked chicken breasts hand torn or shredded
1/2 cup of each corn, peas, green beans, wax beans .
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Have your child scrub and clean a large stone. Place the stone in a large pot, pour in the the water and stock. Bring it all to a boil. Saute the garlic and the onion in the butter. Add the garlic, onion and the rest of the vegetables to the stock. Once the vegetables are tender, add in the chicken. Cook for a half hour longer.
Serve with fresh bread.
Julia Daby is a Registered Nurse who lives happily with her husband and little boy in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. She enjoys crafts of all kinds, eating good food, reading, and being outdoors. Most important of all….she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She has a small store on etsy where she and her twin share sewing and fiber tutorials to inspire creativity in other Mamas. She writes about life, family and creativity at Happiness Comes and We Deserve This.