A PeaceOSaur
Thanksgiving

A DinoPals Tale

By Robert Alan
(not yet illustrated)

1. Life in The Wild Jungle

Once upon a time there were some PeaceOSaurs who lived deep in the heart of The Wild Jungle.

The PeaceOSaurs worked together and played together. They shared their good times and their bad. Everyone tried really hard to look out for each other, and do what they could to make life better for their families and friends.

The PeaceOSaurs were young and old, and big and small, so it was only natural that sometimes they had different ideas about the way some things should be. Sure, there were disagreements and arguments, now and then. But peace was a priority for the PeaceOSaurs -- it was important to them to try to get along. So they were usually able to work out their problems without anyone getting hurt, although sometimes they had to call on their friends to help them solve their disputes.

The PeaceOSaurs really loved their lives together. It seemed pretty obvious to them that this was the way life should be. But it wasn't always easy for them living in the heart of The Wild Jungle. You see, not everyone shared their way of seeing things.

In fact, almost everyone else in The Wild Jungle seemed to subscribe to a different point of view. They seemed to think that "survival of the fittest" was the rule of the land. The other inhabitants of The Wild Jungle called themselves MeOSaurs, because they believed it was fine to take what you want when you want it.

Of course, it wouldn't be fair to say that the MeOSaurs were completely bad apples. They cared about their families and friends. And they looked after them, when it didn't cut down too much on their me-time. But generally the MeOSaurs really put the wild in The Wild Jungle.

The PeaceOSaurs tried really hard to get along with their neighbors, and usually things worked out pretty well. For a while, anyway.

You see, because the PeaceOSaurs worked so well together, they were able to accomplish a lot. They had the best kept homes in The Wild Jungle. They had the best foods; the best clothes; the best games. And they had plenty to go around.

The MeOSaurs, on the other hand, never seemed to be able to get it together that well. They spent a lot of time arguing and fighting. They were actually quite creative, too, but they spent a lot more time figuring out how to destroy things than create them.

Fortunately for the MeOSaurs, the PeaceOSaurs were all too happy to trade or share their abundance with their neighbors.

And usually the PeaceOSaurs' kindness would win over the hearts of the MeOSaurs so that the MeOSuars had a feeling of respect for them, and generally left the PeaceOSaurs alone, except when they needed things.

Actually, there were long stretches when the MeOSaurs even got along well with the PeaceOSaurs. Many MeOSaurs and PeaceOSaurs were friends. And many MeOSaurs were receptive when their PeaceOSaur friends tried to teach them ways to get along with each other better. For a while it would almost seem like the PeaceOSaur way of listening and sharing and trying to get along was contagious and just might become the MeOSaur way of life, too.

But inevitably, the peaceful coexistence between the PeaceOSaurs and the MeOSaurs would suddenly shatter. Usually it was because the MeOSaurs were jealous and tired of always getting PeaceOSaur handouts.

"It isn't fair that the PeaceOSaurs have everything!" the MeOSaurs would argue. "This is our land. They're not even MeOSaurs like us, why should they have it all!"

Or, "It's all the PeaceOSaurs' fault that we MeOSaurs can't get along -- They bring out the worst in us! We'd be better off without them in our neck of The Wild Jungle!"

So, eventually the MeOSaurs decided it was time to take all of what the PeaceOSaurs had for themselves, because in their minds, it was all rightfully theirs anyway.

Other times there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why things suddenly turned ugly. But when it did, the PeaceOSaurs had to move on to another part of the Wild Jungle and start anew.

Now, the thing is, the PeaceOSaurs could have fought for what was there's. Some of the PeaceOSaurs were small and would never be able to defend themselves under the rules of The Wild Jungle, it's true. But some of the PeaceOSaurs were bigger than anyone else in the whole Wild Jungle, and they could have easily defended themselves and all of their PeaceOSaur community as well.

But the PeaceOSaurs refused to fight. "If we fight now, we'd have to fight again later, and then again and again. We'd become just like the MeOSaurs," they'd say. "We'd have to give up our way of seeing things. Greed would overcome us and we wouldn't get along with each other anymore. We'd forget that a peaceful way of life brings us the best life."

The PeaceOSaurs tried their best to talk it out with the MeOSaurs, using all of their peacemaking skills. But when reason failed and their lives were in danger, it was time to move on.

This is the way life was for the PeaceOSaurs, over and over again, until one day they'd reached the end of The Wild Jungle, and there was no place left for them to move on to.

2. In Search of a Better Place

What could they do now? Never ones to despair, the PeaceOSaurs calmly discussed the situation. It wasn't long before they agreed to build a ship and set sail to find a better place. A place where they could be free to live in peace.

Working together, they drew up plans for a glorious sailing vessel.

A few of the MeOsaurs had come by to the edge of the beach where the PeaceOSaurs had gathered. Some of the MeOSaurs taunted the PeaceOSaurs and laughed mockingly at the blueprints.

"You'll never be able to build a ship like that!" they scoffed.

Some of the MeOSaurs, especially the younger ones who had PeaceOSaur friends, wanted to help build the ship. But their parents wouldn't let them. Sadly they hugged their PeaceOSaur friends and returned to their parents' sides as they were commanded. The young MeOsaurs watched sadly as their parents and neighbors shouted nastily at the PeaceOSaurs.

The PeaceOSaurs sighed and turned to their task. They hummed happy tunes to focus themselves over the chorus of mocking insults that filled the air from the MeOSaurs.

None of the PeaceOSaurs had ever worked on such a large and complicated project before. But they knew each others' talents and skills well, so it was easy to divide up the tasks for this new endeavor. They had always worked so well together before, and so work on building the Great Ship went smoothly and quickly as well.

It wasn't long at all, much to the MeOSaurs' surprise, before the Great Ship was finished. No one, not the MeOSaurs or the PeaceOSaurs, had ever seen anything so grand and beautiful.

"Eh, but it's too BIG to sail!" the MeOSaurs mocked.

"And besides, good riddance to you all anyway!" Proud of their accomplishment, the PeaceOSaurs admired the vessel. They turned to the MeOSaurs with a little sadness but a little thankfulness, too.

"Thank you for allowing us to share our time with you, while we were here," they said. "We wish you all the best in your lives."

Most of the MeOSaurs grumbled and swallowed and coughed uneasily. They didn't really know what to say and instead turned gruffly around and headed back into the jungle.

Some of the younger MeOSaurs though, brought food and supplies from the bounty that had been taken from the PeaceOSaurs. The older MeOSaurs grumbled and shook their heads, but they didn't stop their children this time.

The younger MeOSaurs hugged their friends one last time, and there were tears in everyone's eyes.

They stood with the PeaceOSaurs for a moment in silence. No one said anything, but it felt so comfortable to be quiet together. The PeaceOSaurs looked lovingly at the thick green trees of the jungle, and the blue, blue sky and their MeOSaur friends. They were thankful for all of the things they had shared together in The Wild Jungle.

The PeaceOSaurs turned to look out over the ocean and felt thankful, too, that they were about to go on a wonderful journey. They were excited as they envisioned their lives together in the better place they knew they would find.

They closed their eyes a moment and when they opened them again, they looked around at each other and smiled, knowing each of them understood what each of the rest was feeling, without even speaking a word.

They said their goodbyes and boarded the ship. The PeaceOSaurs waved farewell as they looked back a moment at their friends and the land that they had known. As the ship set sail, they turned to face the distant horizons, unafraid of the unknown vast ocean of blue that separated them from the new home they would someday find.

3. Beyond the Unknown

The journey across the sea was long and harsh. Fierce storms tossed the great ship about as if it were a toy, testing the PeaceOSaurs' courage and the strength of their sailing vessel.

The calm days often dragged on so long that one might thing they would threaten to drive the PeaceOSaurs mad with boredom. But although it is true that the PeaceOSaurs faced every task by working diligently with pride in their work, they did not need to keep busy with work in order to have peace of mind.

While some folks submerge themselves in 'keeping busy' to keep themselves from having to face their own thoughts, the PeaceOSaurs' passion for work came from their desire to make life better for themselves and their families. The peace of mind their work brought them resulted from knowing they did their jobs well, and that the work they were doing made a difference in making life better. So this is why the PeaceOSuars were just as comfortable with what others call empty moments. They could just as easily relax, play and entertain each other with the same fulfilling passion for living they found in their work.

So it was that many, many months passed quickly by. One day when a dove landed on their vessel, with a branch in its beak, the PeaceOSaurs were filled with excitement, for they knew that land could not be very far away.

Indeed, the very next day, far off in the distance, they could clearly see the faint outline of a tree-filled landscape. It took three more days to reach land, and each day brought more excitement and anticipation than the last. Finally they reached the island. They anchored the Great Ship and swam ashore together to see what they would find in this new land.

4. Welcome, Friends

No sooner had the PeaceOSaurs gathered on the sandy shore, when they saw a whole crowd approaching from down the beach.

They stood and waited expectantly.

"Hi!" the natives exclaimed when they were closer. "We're the DinoPals. Welcome, friends."

The PeaceOSaurs told the DinoPals that they had traveled a long distance across the sea in search of better place where they could live in peace.

"Well," one of the DinoPals said. "We live in peace here where we share this wonderful land. You are welcome to share it with us," she offered. All of the other DinoPals agreed.

The PeaceOSaurs were filled with joy. They could tell from the DinoPals' gentle nature that they would be very happy here.

And indeed, they would all live happily ever after together.

But first they had a great feast and celebration. The PeaceOSaurs brought all of their provisions from the Great Ship to share for the festivities. And the DinoPals brought them to their village near the island's shore where there were plenty of delicious foods to share with the PeaceOSaurs, too.

They ate, and danced and sang, teaching each other the tunes and steps. It was all new and exciting and they had so much fun. The celebration went well into the night, and when they awoke the next day, they all had so much to be grateful for.

The DinoPals and PeaceOSaurs have lived in peace for many, many years since then. Every day to them is a day for giving thanks, for the life and love that they share together.

But every year, on Thanksgiving Day, they have a special holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the very first day they met. They sing and dance and feast and remember all of the things they've shared, and rejoice in the thought of all of the wonderful things yet to do together.

 

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