Pastor Peterson is down again with a severe reaction. He is allergic to American holidays. This time Thanksgiving has him in trouble. He was asked to prepare the pageant for the Harvest Home Festival, and all went well until Mrs. Patience Alden Strauss, chairwoman of the Festival Committee, saw the dress rehearsal.
The curtain parted on three Thanksgiving tableaux arranged across the stage: Pilgrims on the way to church; a picture window view of an American family at dinner; and the home team float in the parade of Mohawk Bowl for the Big Game.
The band played a medley of Come, Ye Thankful People, Come; Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here; and On, Wisconsin. Mrs. Strauss thought that this completed the pageant and was applauding delightedly when the action started. The Pilgrims came alive, walked out of the woods, and gaped at the picture window.
A wonderfully confusing scene followed in which the Pilgrims gradually concluded that help should be found to seize this family of irreligious, bewitched heathen and commit them to stocks. The modern Americans had meanwhile decided that these Pilgrim actors were overdoing it, and directed them to the Mohawk Bowl parade, under threat of calling the police.
When the Pilgrims encountered the yelling Indians on the float, they bravely grouped for self-defense, and held their fire until the Mohawks made a hilarious charge with lifted tomahawks.
How the pageant was to have ended I don’t know. One of the Pilgrims had put too much powder in Judge Ronson’s old muzzle loader, and when it went off everything seemed to go up in smoke. After Judy Trout had stopped screaming and someone brought aromatic spirits for Mrs. Strauss, Pastor Peterson tried to defend his satirical fantasy. ...1
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