I must have gone over 100 different plot possibilities in my head over the last week for this fourth composition homework assignment.  A couple of times I was so consumed with my own brilliance I screamed for John to “Put down ‘that cooking’/’your exercising’/’your work’ and come here right away and read this!”  and murmured to myself, “I’m soooo clever, heehee.”  I’d giggle, tickled pink with myself….  only to have John come over, read it and scrunch up his nose in a “huh?” fashion.  “…..  okkkeeeyyy….  and this has to do with the homework how….?”

So…..  for inquiring minds, here’s the final result — my assignment in two parts, 250 words each.  For anyone who makes it all the way through, I hope you enjoy.  I’ll call it…. oh, how about…  Exerpts from The First Thanksgiving — The Real Story

Assignment Part One:   The first 250 words needs to be a scene just after Thanksgiving dinner, complete with the dirty dishes.

The cacophony and hustle and bustle of the feast is over.  Through the dusk, at the far end of a large field, a group of about fifty adults and children can be seen at play.

In the center of the field three long pine tables with benches on each side surround a fire in a U shape.  The opening of the U faces a house which is out of sight about 50 yards into the woods on the left.  Hot mulled wine in a kettle over the fire infuses a group of about fifteen Pilgrim and Indian men with warmth and hilarity as they lounge on pine benches facing the fire. 

An Indian woman stands by the nearest table with a colorful woven shawl wrapped around her stooped shoulders.  The few strands of thin white hair on her head stick out behind her as though being energized with static electricity.  Her wrinkled, leathery face wears a smile of satisfaction. At her feet is a medium-sized black and white dog that is devouring something, his tail high in the air.  A thin strand of drool hangs from the open mouth of a snoring comatose figure whose face lies on the tabletop facing the old woman.  Balanced on the side of the head is a black and brown pilgrim’s hat.

A small group of Pilgrim women, some carrying dirty dishes, stands at the forest edge on the left.  They stare wide-eyed at the old woman and dog, pointing.

Part Two: The first 250 words of a story involving the scene in part One — an excerpt which will pull the reader in and guide the reader into the body of the piece

“You want us to spend the next three days traveling just for a lousy dinner with a bunch of pale faces?” The tone in Abequa’s voice tells Inetus that his request is not going to go smoothly. “What about your mother? Who’s going to take care of her for the week that we’re gone? You know that no one in the tribe will agree to watch her after the last fiasco when we went away.”

“She’s coming with us…”

“You’ve got to be kidding! Oh great,” Abequa throws her hands out, “I can just see it now.” She draws up her leather jacket and hunches her shoulders. “How do you Pilgrim women keep your hair up like that?” she says in a shaky false soprano voice, peering at Inetus’ head in mock fascination and poking at it with her finger.

Inetus grunts, frowning, and swats her off, taking a small jump away.

She shuffles after him and continues. “…and your dresses. Why do they have that weird upside-down bowl shape?” She inspects an invisible skirt on him and pretends to lift it and look under. “We’re never going to hear the end of this one,” she says, shaking her head as she straightens up and adjusts her jacket back on her shoulders. She picks up a bag and heads towards the teepee entrance.

“What are you doing with Fido’s doggy boots?” he asks.

“I’m taking my dog.”

“They said no dogs.”

“I’m not going anywhere without my dog.”