I remember hearing stories of how my grandfather Griswald Barkamus wrestled a refugee turkey for three hours, only to eventually call it a draw. To boot, they later realized the whole thing chalked up to a big misunderstanding. “I couldn’t understand Turkish!” my Pa would say, doing his best impression of his father.
My pal Drebin — our families were friends, you see — he loved to tell this story of how he’d hitchhiked from Saginaw to Monterey to track down the bloodhound who’d be his wife soon thereafter. To this day, he always finds several places in the story to mention that “the pack of mutts from Homeward Bound” had nothin’ on his voyage.
And how could I forget the uplifting story of my cousins who not only escaped their abusive home but also managed to get their owners arrested to top it off! Bravo, Clemens and Poe, bravo! I’ll never tire of that one.
If we don’t have stories, what do we have? The world is comprised exclusively of stories. The more we’ve heard and the more we tell, the richer our lives. Thanksgiving affords us — animals of all limb-numbers and brain sizes — rich opportunities to share stories that build ties, that honor memories, that make friends, that cause unforgettable laughter. This holiday, avail yourself of the opportunities. Lend your ears to unlikely voices; lend your voice to unlikely ears. Be grateful, original, modest, and kind—in that way you’ll create stories, and you’ll be indelible in the stories of many future Thanksgivings.