Le Grande Thanksgiving, by Art Buchwald

From Art Buchwald, decades ago.

I’ll excerpt the first part, but do read the rest:

This confidential column was leaked to me by a high government official in the Plymouth colony on the condition that I not reveal his name.

One of our most important holidays is Thanksgiving Day, known in France as le Jour de Merci Donnant.

Le Jour de Merci Donnant was first started by a group of Pilgrims ( Pelerins ) who fled from l’Angleterre before the McCarran Act to found a colony in the New World ( le Nouveau Monde ) where they could shoot Indians ( les Peaux-Rouges ) and eat turkey ( dinde ) to their hearts’ content.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Turkey via Shutterstock

They landed at a place called Plymouth (now a famous voiture Americaine) in a wooden sailing ship called the Mayflower (or Fleur de Mai ) in 1620. But while the Pelerins were killing the dindes, the Peaux-Rouges were killing the Pelerins, and there were several hard winters ahead for both of them. The only way the Peaux-Rouges helped the Pelerins was when they taught them to grow corn ( mais ). The reason they did this was because they liked corn with their Pelerins.

In 1623, after another harsh year, the Pelerins’ crops were so good that they decided to have a celebration and give thanks because more mais was raised by the Pelerins than Pelerins were killed by Peaux-Rouges.

Every year on the Jour de Merci Donnant, parents tell their children an amusing story about the first celebration.

It concerns a brave capitaine named Miles Standish (known in France as Kilometres Deboutish) and a young, shy lieutenant named Jean Alden. Both of them were in love with a flower of Plymouth called Priscilla Mullens (no translation). The vieux capitaine said to the jeune lieutenant :

“Go to the damsel Priscilla ( allez tres vite chez Priscilla), the loveliest maiden of Plymouth ( la plus jolie demoiselle de Plymouth). Say that a blunt old captain, a man not of words but of action ( un vieux Fanfan la Tulipe ), offers his hand and his heart, the hand and heart of a soldier. Not in these words, you know, but this, in short, is my meaning….

(I’m told that in order to actually see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me – so say the experts.)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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34 Responses to “Le Grande Thanksgiving, by Art Buchwald”

  1. Dakotahgeo says:

    Yeah, they were in charge but they didn’t realize it until 2009!

  2. Dakotahgeo says:

    Yes! Barrow, Alaska!

  3. Dakotahgeo says:

    Everybody bring your wienies and marshmallows!!!

  4. Dakotahgeo says:

    Hooterville, or Petticoat Junction, TX?? Either one suits me just fine.

  5. Dakotahgeo says:

    I still miss Art Buchwald and he’s been gone for years, since 2007 in fact! fantastic humorist and writer! Happy Thanksgiving and RIP always!

  6. karmanot says:


  7. Tatts says:

    Art Buchwald was great. My favorite bit of trivia about him is that he had a Lhaso Apso named Ipso Facto.
    Funny guy.

  8. Moderator3 says:

    Yes, we can reopen the comments.

  9. Yeah, the mods and I can reopen them, we just have to remember to :) (Or I can, don’t know if the mods can – can you?)

  10. Moderator3 says:

    Comments are closed on threads older than six months. If people are able to comment on a thread, it can’t be five years old.

  11. Thom Allen says:

    Thanks, John. I had forgotten what a great American comic author Buchwald was. I used to read his columns all of the time. I miss him. He was a national treasure.

  12. Thom Allen says:

    Hawaii, only one specific area: the active crater of Kilauea.

  13. KC Jenner says:

    Most of these comments indicate that they are from 5 years ago.
    Also your post about the President from the West Wing and the Butterball hotline says that comments are closed for that???

  14. karmanot says:

    OK How about Oklahoma?

  15. karmanot says:

    A classic!

  16. S1AMER says:

    Lord knows how many times I’ve read this over the years — every Thanksgiving, someone posts it. It’s still an A-1, First Class hoot!

    I wonder how many younger people these days have even heard of Buchwald, much less read any of his very, very funny essays and various and sundry other writings. If you donb’t knowv who he is, do a little Googling and treat yourself to some serious belly laughs. I’ve always thought his stuff from France was the best, but he wrote a lot of other funny pieces.

  17. Naja pallida says:

    Hey, we don’t want ’em in Texas. There’s more than enough home-grown religious nut cases here already.

  18. karmanot says:


  19. karmanot says:


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