|"The First Thanksgiving" by Jennie A. Brownscombe, 1914|
|Alternate version of "The First Thanksgiving"|
Tall, black hats with big, silver buckles? Check! The smell of turkey roasting in the oven? Check! Cornbread stuffing and pumpkin pie? Check! Mysterious cryptids lurking in the background? Double Check! It’s the end of November and that can only mean one thing. It’s time for Thanksgiving and Bigfoot! And maybe something more!
Though Bigfoot didn’t exactly set down for the first Thanksgiving celebration, the area near Plymouth, Massachusetts where the Pilgrims started the Thanksgiving Dinner tradition with the help of the friendly Wampanoag Indians has a long tradition of unexplained sightings of tall, hairy monsters (Bigfoot?), ghosts, UFOs, and other incredible creatures. These encounters are especially thick in the nearby area known as the Bridgewater Triangle which includes a 5000-acre swamp known as the Hockomock Swamp and an 8,000 year old Indian burial ground.
Central to the mythology of the Wampanoag Indian is the Pukwudgie, or Pukwudgee, which is their version of the Irish leprechaun. This two-foot tall, light-skinned “little man of the woods” is a dangerous and tricky forest inhabitant. A Pukwudgie is just as likely to help forest travelers find their way home as lead them off a cliff to their death. If you meet one, it’s best to ignore them so they ignore you. Otherwise watch out for their malicious tricks! Even today there are many unexplained suicides at a cliff on the Wampanoag reservation that is credited to the dangerous Pukwudgies. When it came to the Wampanoag Indians sharing their knowledge of how to grow corn and getting along in the new world, you can be sure they warned the Pilgrims about the Pukwudgies, too!