Woodland Thanksgiving

Molly Johanson

Backpage.Cooper-Ellis.Issue#12.Animal Party
Illustration by Sophie Cooper-Ellis

This Thanksgiving break, when most students returned home to their far-flung families to enjoy the holiday and the mounds of carbs that come with it, one student started a new tradition here on campus.

Junior Belle White opted to stay on campus over the break under the pretense of working on a research paper, though actually it was so that she could re-watch all of “HIMYM” in peace. In addition, however, White generously opened her home up to those others who were left on campus without their family around to celebrate Thanksgiving.

“I wanted to try and create a family atmosphere for those of us left on the lonely campus. I assumed that anyone here wouldn’t go more than a foot away from their space heater unless they had the promise of free food,” said White.

The crowd that appeared on White’s doorstep could not have been what she expected. Instead of spirited students, it seemed that the local Walla Walla wildlife had heard about White’s invitation.

“We ducks felt a little left out,” said Mallard, a local duck who attended White’s Thanksgiving dinner. “We never get to participate in these fun human holidays, but Belle’s invitation was just so welcoming, so I thought, ‘what the quack?'”

Surrounding the dinner table the evening of Nov. 28 were Mallard, Squirrel, Bear, Badger, Raccoon, Fox and Deer. Word of White’s invitation had apparently traveled through the nearest wooded area.

“This is way better than Bon App Canadian Thanksgiving,” said Squirrel, as he awkwardly grasped a spoonful of cranberries with his paws.

Bear clumsily scooped a few platefuls of food towards himself, only to have it land in his lap. He then dipped his snout into the mashed potatoes.

“Let’s say what we’re thankful for,” said Bear. “I’m thankful for hibernation! I can’t really afford to heat my cave these days. Thank goodness I’m able to sleep through all of my problems.”

“I’m thankful for tofurkey. You have no idea how hard it is to find this stuff in the woods,” said Fox, who is currently on a vegan, gluten-free diet.

“Hey, what does the Fox say?” asked Badger, as he gnawed at a brussel sprout.

Before Fox could answer Badger snapped, “Nothing, so shut up!”

“No, the Fox says NOM NOM NOM A NOMANOMANOM,” said Fox, chewing tofurkey as loudly as possible.

Attempting to salvage the situation, White piped in.

“I’m thankful for all of my new forest friends. And now that we’re done eating, why don’t you all help me clean,” said White.

She began to sing, and the animals followed suit, making quick work of it all.

“Oh, I’m definitely coming next year,” said Deer. “White’s singing and welcoming home brought us all together, at least for this evening. We’re probably going to all go back to being predators and prey, but it was nice to give it up for a spell.”