Share Button

Thanks To Rick Rogers

"The Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in November of 1620," Rick Rogers was writing. "Friendly Indians helped them through the cold Massachusetts winter, andů"

There was a rapping at the window. Rick looked up eagerly. That must be the Wizard, come to take him on another trip on his magic surrey. "I wonder where -- or when -- we'll go this time!" Rick thought. He quickly climbed out the window and jumped into the surrey, which was hovering in midair outside.

"We have a very important job today," said the Wizard as Rick settled back into the seat. "Remember that first Thanksgiving?"

"Sure," said Rick. "I was just writing a report about it for school."

"I know you were," said the Wizard. "Well, it's never going to happen, unless we do something now. In the spring of 1620, corn blight swept through the Indians' corn fields. The whole crop was wiped out."

"But that can't be!" Rick exclaimed. "That means there wouldn't be any cornmeal and other stuff to share with the Pilgrims that winter -- and no seed for the next year's crop. Why -- there wouldn't be any Thanksgiving at all if that happened!"

The Wizard nodded. Rick thought a moment. Suddenly he yelled out "Stop!" and pulled on the reins. The Wizard's horse stopped short above a cloud and neighed in surprise. "We need to make a stop in my time before we go back to help the Indians," Rick explained. He gave the Wizard the address, and the old man called out to his horse. Soon the surrey swooped down to land beside a group of low buildings in the middle of a large field.

Bulging sacks were stacked in a shed at the back of one of the buildings. Rick looked at the labels on the sacks, and then lifted one up into the surrey. "This is just what we need," he grinned. "Now let's get back to those Indians!"

The surrey landed in the center of the Indians' village. Excited braves gathered around. "It is the Sky Chieftain, come to earth," they whispered. The chief of the tribe walked forward to meet them.

"Welcome, Sky Chieftains," the Indian chief greeted them.

Gripping the Wizard's staff, which made him able to speak the Indians' language, Rick replied, "We bring you gifts -- seed for a new crop of corn." He pulled the sack out of the surrey and laid it at the chief's feet.

The chief shook his head sadly. "Even a papoose knows that it is too late in the year to plant corn. But thank you. At least these grains will provide a few meals for us in the hard days of the coming winter."

"No, wait!" cried Rick. He reached into the sack and pulled out a seed. Scooping out a hole in the dirt, he laid the seed in it and covered it. Then he touched the spot with the Wizard's staff. Immediately a green corn shoot shot up out of the ground.

"It is a miracle," the braves murmured. "Just like the old legends!" At a sign from the chief, they lifted the sack, and all the people in the village hurried out into the field to plant the seeds.

"Okay," said Rick, "we can go now. Thanksgiving is saved."

"Are you sure?" asked the Wizard. "What kind of corn was that?"

Rick explained that he had read about a new strain of corn, resistant to disease and early ripening, too. "They'll be able to get a good crop before the frost," he said.

"I think we'd better check to make sure," said the Wizard. So the surrey swooped down again, late in November of 1621. There in a clearing, the Pilgrims and the Indians were gathered around a huge table, laden with food. As Rick and the Wizard swooped by, the chief looked up, lifted a piece of corn bread, and saluted them with a smile.

Later, back at home, Rick looked down at his report for school and sighed. "They'd never believe what really happened!" he thought.




©1973, 2013 The Silversteins