The Healing Horse, Ch. 11, Scene 4: Thanksgiving, 1963

If you don’t know what happened in November of 1963, keep reading anyway. I fill in a little of the background, so you can understand how determined Karen and her friends were to maintain a positive outlook.

Scene 4: Thanksgiving, 1963

On the Friday of Mama’s first week of house hunting, the President of the United States was assassinated. Like nearly everyone else in the country, Mama and Kitten fell into mourning for John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his family. However, Kitten’s determination to take care of Pegasus and to develop herself kept her going. Mama’s determination to find a home close to Pegasus kept her going, too. Mama decided that this year’s Thanksgiving Day would be the most appreciative holiday that she and Karen could ever celebrate. Even as she took Karen to the stables and then house hunted every day, she squeezed in grocery shopping trips and made time to cook.

Then she got a phone call. It was Babs at the stables.

“Would you and Karen like to have Thanksgiving Dinner with us at the ranch? Tex and I laid carpet so Pegasus can come inside and eat with us people.”

“Yes, I know my Krana Layala would love that. It sounds like a plan to me.”

They agreed that Babs would bake the turkey, pumpkin pies, and mincemeat pies, and she would make mashed potatoes from scratch. Mama and Karen would bring everything else, including a special meal for Pegasus.

On Thanksgiving morning, Kitten and Mama got up early to prepare their part of the menu. Mama put Kitten in charge of making a huge salad, and Karen roasted a kabocha squash to go with it. Mama baked yams and steamed string beans. Together, they cooked cranberries and honey into a sauce and then added walnuts, after it cooled.

For Pegasus, Karen created a full-size turkey sculpture made of carrots, celery, and Rice Krispy Treats, that she lovingly cooked with real butter and the best quality marshmallows. She chopped the celery and carrots finely with a French chef knife. She melted butter in a pot and blended marshmallows into it. Then she stirred the liquid marshmallows and butter into a bowl of Rice Krispies. After mixing them, she used her artistic skills to mold them into a sculpture of a baked turkey, and she stuffed it with raw carrots and celery.

Pegasus will love this, she said to herself.

They finished cooking just before noon. Karen dressed for dinner in her favorite purple and white striped, sleeveless dress, with a matching cotton shrug. On her feet, she wore black Mary Janes. Mama wore a casual, mustard yellow sheath dress with a white textured rayon A-line coat over it.

They drove to the stables and carried their offerings into the big ranch house, where Tex, Babs, and Rocky lived. Babs welcomed them and led them into the dining room, where Pegasus and the others were already waiting. The dining room floor now had a sturdy carpet on it, and the furniture was rearranged so that Pegasus had room to stand and eat at the foot of the long table. The turkey and pies that Tex, Rocky, and Joshua had helped Babs bake were already on the table. Karen proudly placed her turkey sculpture in front of her magical horse.

As they ate, the humans took turns sharing what they were thankful for, and in spite of the glum national mood, they kept their focus on the positive. Pegasus kept quiet except to whisper in Kitten’s ear, “I’m thankful for you.”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

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