Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, November 18, 2023

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 18, 2023 

Sweetest Boy Ever: STEVIE!

Golly Gee! How can you resist 
this face!! Stevie, age 6, is just the 
sweetest! He is mellow, loves to 
be petted, and would make a very 
loving companion. He might be a 
little shy until he gets to know you, 
but then he’ll follow you around 
and just want to be near you. He 
had an eye issue at first, but he's 
fine now. He is FIV+ but needs 
no meds. He would get along fine 
with another nice cat, especially if 
that cat is also FIV+. Stevie needs 
a chance to experience a home and comfort, and love! He’s 
been waiting for 3 long years but no one has bothered to look 
at his capacious heart for love! He'll be ever so grateful! 

Watch his video on our website’s Adult Cats page and see how 
loving he is! Go to, or use this QR 
code to go di-rectly to the video. 



[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Forag-ing California,” 
“Enter the Forest” and other books. He leads courses in the native uses 
of plants. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.]

In our age of commercialization, many of us have gotten jaded to the holidays, 
feeling that these are nothing more than pseu-do-holidays invented by 
Target and greeting card manufactur-ers so we buy more stuff that we don’t 
actually need. So let’s take a quick look at Thanksgiving, and attempt to discern 
its ac-tual roots, separate from the myth and custom that has become the norm.

In 3rd grade, we did little skits at Thanksgiving time, where In-dians and Pilgrims met. The 
Pilgrims were all dressed up in black and white, and clean, with black powder guns, and the 
Indians wore loin cloths and feathers, and carried bows. Somewhere in the back of my 10-year-
old mind I knew that a lot of killing went on between the new Pilgrims and the Indians, but this 
was apparently a moment of peace where all came to-gether for some giant feast with turkey 
and cranberry, in the middle of the forest, on one Thursday in November a very long time ago. 
But what really happened?

Let’s try to explore the roots of this day, and try to be honest with ourselves as we attempt to 
give thanks where it is due. 

First, the players. There were three main players among the Indians: Massasoit, the leader of 
the Wampanoag, the coalition of which controlled southeastern Massachusetts; Samoset, the 
leader of a group to the north; and Tisquantum (whom history knows as “Sqanto”), who was 
there as an interpreter, and who also had plans of his own. Tisquantum had been taken to Brit-
ain and had lived there for a year and a half where he learned English. He was not trusted by 
Massasoit because it was feared he might side with the pilgrims, but Tisquantum was needed 
as an interpreter. 

The colonists were residing on what had been a Wampanoag village site, but the native inhabitants 
were wiped out five years earlier by a disease. On March 21 of 1621, before there was any 
such thing as the United States of America, these three native men walked into the pilgrim village 
(actually, more of a hovel by most accounts) to make a deal.

Massasoit was worried that with so many members of his coa-lition killed off by disease, he’d 
be vulnerable to attacks by the Narragansett alliance to the west. His bargain to the European 
settlers was that they could stay there as long as they aligned with him, against possible battles 
with the Narraganset. It had been over a hundred years since Columbus “opened” the Amer-
icas to Europe, and up to that point, settlers were treated friendly as long as they eventually 
moved along. Various colo-nies had in fact moved on, or been killed off, before then. The leaders 
of what was then called the Plimouth Colony agreed to the bargain, and Massasoit enjoyed 
relative peace with his neighbors for the next 50 years.

Later that year, in October of 1621, the pilgrims had had a good harvest, and they held a thanksgiving 
feast to which Massasoit showed up with 90 of his fellows, mostly men. The 3 day feast 
that followed was said to be a somewhat tense celebration, with much firing of blackpowder 
guns and firing of arrows, probably more of a show of bravado and daring than any sort of 
mutual sportsmanship. 

The Indians were more skilled at hunting and fishing in their native land, and they brought 
fowl, deer, duck, goose, and fish. Corn bread, wild greens, plums, leeks, and many other vegeta-
bles (wild and domestic) were shared in this celebration. In-terestingly, there is no evidence 
that wild turkey or wild cran-berries (somewhat unpalatable without cooking and adding 
sweeteners) were part of the menu.

The impetus for this so-called “first Thanksgiving” was for Massasoit to cement this tentative 
political alliance against an-other tribe. The gathering was really more of a treaty gather-ing 
than it was any sort of religious event. The peace lasted about 50 years, until Massasoit died. 
Tisquantum, who is cred-ited with helping the colony with many of its survival skills, on-ly 
lived another year. 

Massasoit’s short term bargain opened the floodgates for the tens of thousands of Europeans 
who continued to pour into North America in general and New England in particular. And 
the settlers of Plimouth certainly didn’t see the October meal as “the first Thanksgiving.” It 
was normal for them to have vari-ous thanksgiving and harvest festivals, usually held mid-
week to differentiate from the religious Sabbaths. And it wasn’t an-other 200 years or so before 
this became formalized as part of the mythosis of America, as the American Day of Giving 

Giving thanks is a good thing. Among other things, it helps so we do not lose sight of our spiritual 
heritage, which is the real bounty. But what should we focus upon, and who should we be 
thanking, on this Thanksgiving day?

With all the talk about the blessings and bounty from God, per-haps it’s time for Americans to 
realize that had it not been for that small group of indigenous people, that first colony might 
have not survived and might have been wiped out. Though not entirely for altruistic purposes, 
Plymouth people were aided by the native population. 

Perhaps sharing our bounty with the needy would be a better Thanksgiving activity than eating 
lots of good food. More to the point, perhaps we should use Thanksgiving to give thanks where 
it is due -- to the American Indians who have become the “forgotten minority.” Yes, there are 
some who have become enriched by casinos, but there are still many more who are struggling.

Don’t just give lip-service thanks to 
the Native Americans whose land 
was taken. Rather, find those organizations 
that are actually providing 
real assistance to Native Americans 
in poverty, such as many 
of those living in the third world 
condi-tions so prevalent on some of 
today’s reservations. Support farming 
and self-sufficiency projects on 

If you don’t know of any such 
groups, contact me and I will steer 
you in the right direction.

Pet of the Week

Mactron 3000 might sound like a robot or an amusement 
park ride, but he is very much an adorable dog who is ready for 
any adventure that comes his way!

 Mac is about 1 & ½ years old, and he loves nothing more than 
running around in the yard and playing non-stop. He leaps 
from toy to toy and only stops to hop into the puppy pool to 
cool off. 

 He’s also a bit of a foodie in that he loves any food that comes 
his way. Staff and volunteers at Pasadena Humane have been able to harness that enthusiasm 
to teach Mactron a trick or two. 

 With Mactron 3000, every day is an adventure waiting to happen, filled with laughter, love 
and a touch of delightful mischief!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptions include spay or neuter, microchip, and 
age-appropriate vaccines. 

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-and-wellness exam from VCA Animal 
Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to care for your pet. 

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoption appointment at pasadenahumane.
org. Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every 
Sunday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. 

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phone 
calls or email.

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