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Thankful for food – and elephants

There are many reasons to give thanks – like for elephants, for example.

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

There are many reasons to give thanks – like for elephants, for example. That’s what South Point Elementary kindergarten student Callie Taylor is thankful for this year. And the day just might be as big as an elephant in a kindergartener’s eyes.

Seated on the floor in Mrs. Kline’s classroom, proudly displaying pilgrim hats and Native American feathers made of carefully cut colored paper, classmate Michael White disagreed.

"Frosted Flakes are made from corn and the Indians ate corn," Michael proclaimed, much to the pleasure of his friends. After all, they’re "grrrrreat."

Bunny rabbits and kitty cats made Haley Stewart’s list of items for which to give thanks. But, after a few minutes of careful consideration, she decided a more traditional approach was in order.

"We eat and there are people playing. That is Thanksgiving," she said. Then, with a grin, added, "And I get thankful for pie, too."

Rachel Murnahan, however, is thankful for a very specific bird.

"I like turkey because we eat it at Thanksgiving with Grandma and Mommy and Daddy and my Papaw," she said. "I’m thankful for them, too."

Seated "Indian style," clutching a favorite stuffed bunny named Peter, Moriah Pleasant’s big, brown eyes smiled almost as brightly as her face.

"Thanksgiving is fun because we have fun," she said earnestly. "I’m thankful for mashed potatoes and corn. I’d invite a thousand people to Thanksgiving. There is enough food that day."

Thanksgiving means different things to different people. For some, the camaraderie and fellowship of the day prevails in their memories. For others, it’s a day of family togetherness.

For Kayla Childers, family also plays a big part in the day.

"I go to my Mimi’s house for Thanksgiving," she said, and then took a deep breath, ready to reveal her family’s secret to a successful turkey day. "We just eat and sit around, and I play with my sister."

Casey Daniel Hale not only eats turkey, but feeds the animals, too.

"We have deer up in our woods," he proclaimed proudly. "I feed them. And I eat pumpkin pie."

The class also had ideas about the first Thanksgiving portrayed in drawings held securely in the lap of each child.

"The pilgrims wanted to have their own land and they didn’t want to pay so much," Haley said. "They came here and had Thanksgiving."

But, perhaps the best thing to look forward to and be thankful for are the simple things, Rachel pointed out.

"We have good food to eat and we don’t go to school," she said. "I like staying home that day because my family is there. And I’m going to have a really, really big piece of pie."

Family, food and a day of peace and being happy, the students agreed, is what Thanksgiving is all about.

And elephants, too.