Editor’s Note: At the Raven ReView, we are celebrating Thanksgiving by revisiting some of our favorite Thanksgiving articles from years past. We are thankful for all of our readers and for the peace that spreads through positive mimesis. Have a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving.
This article was first published on November 27, 2014.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! For some holiday family fun, I’m sharing this parody of Dr. Seuss’s “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” (For insight into the mimetic elements of the original story, with Christmas right around the corner, see this). The spirit of the original story is echoed in this parody; just like the Grinch wreaks havoc on the poor Hoos, the Grump terrorizes the people of Thankville. Will they mimetically echo his sourness? Find out in…
HOW THE GRUMP STOLE THANKSGIVING
All the people of Thankville gave thanks quite a lot.
But the GRUMP, who lived just north of Thankville, did NOT!
The Grump was ungrateful, mean, sour and rude!
No one knows the reason for his attitude.
It could be that his beard had grown into his brain.
Or his jabbering parrot had made him insane.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
Was that he was just spoiled, from the time he was small.
But whatever the reason, his brain or his bird,
He never said “Thank you,” or gave a kind word.
Staring down upon Thankville from his lair up above
He winced at their smiles and hugs full of love.
The pumpkin pie smell wafting up to the sky
Brought a scowl to his lips and a glare to his eye.
“They’ll be stuffing their turkeys!” he snarled with a sneer.
“Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving! It’s practically here!”
Then he groaned and he growled, his voice loud and intense:
“I MUST stop all this Thanksgiving nonsense!”
For tomorrow. he knew, that thankful girls and boys
Would gather in love. They’d all hug and share toys.
And then! Oh the joy! Oh the Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!
That’s one thing he hated! The Joy! Joy! Joy! Joy!
Then all families would gather round the table to eat.
And they’d eat! And they’d eat! And they’d eat, eat, eat, eat!
Cranberries, potatoes, and roast turkey meat!
To the Grump, homecooked turkey smelled liked like stinky old feet!
And THEN they’d do something that set the Grump huffing.
They’d finish their food, their last crumbs of stuffing,
And they’d join in a circle, hearts happy and true,
They’d stand, hand-in-hand, and start saying “Thank you!”
They’d give thanks for the sun; they’d give thanks for the moon!
And for flowers and snow! And for picnics in June!
And the more the Grump thought of this giving of thanks,
The more he turned into a sour old crank!
“If I hear it once more, I think I’ll have a cow!
I MUST stop Thanksgiving from coming! … But HOW?”
Then he got an idea!
A lousy idea!!
THE GRUMP GOT A MEAN, HEARTLESS, LOUSY IDEA!
“I know!” he exclaimed with a gleam in his eye,
And he made a brass badge that said, “F.B.I.”
“Now I’ll raid all their homes! I know just how to stage it!
With my badge, now I’ll look like a federal agent!”
“All I need’s an accomplice,” the Grump said with a frown.
But since he lived alone, there was no one around…
Except his bird Jack. “I guess you’ll have to do.
Just repeat what I say, and my plan cannot lose.”
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Cannot lose! Bwak! Cannot lose!”]
Then the Grump said, “Let’s go!” and he marched down the hill
Toward the dark, quiet streets of the town of Thankville.
“Perfect; they’re asleep!” the grump laughed wickedly.
“When I pound on their doors, how upset they will be!”
“This is stop number one,” Agent Grumpy Grump hissed.
And he pounded the first Thankville door with his fist.
A smiling man opened the door in the night.
“Can I help you?” he asked, half-asleep, but polite.
The man’s polite tone took the Grump by surprise.
And he growled as a glowering glare filled his eyes.
And he pushed past the man, knocking over a wreath.
“Federal agent!” he growled through his teeth.
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Federal agent! Bwak! Federal agent!]
“There’s a thief in this town!” said the Grump with a huff.
“Stealing iPods and jewelry and valuable stuff!
I must search your home,” he said, his voice bold,
“While you and your family wait here in the cold!”
“Jack, stand guard!”
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Standing guard! Bwak! Standing guard!”]
So the man called his wife and his kids to his side
And he said, “Go ahead. We have nothing to hide.”
And they all walked out into the night with a shiver,
While all ’round their house the Grump started to slither.
“When I’m through,” sneered the Grump, “they’ll be sad, cold, and sore,
And then they’ll have nothing to be thankful for!”
Then he unplugged their fridges to make their food spoil!
Threw their clothes out the windows so they became soiled!
And he overturned tables, breaking all the nice toys!
He did all in his power to steal their joy.
He poked a big hole in a red rubber ball! He smashed a toy drum up against the hard wall!
He spilled out the puzzle of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”
And hid the 1,000th piece out of spite.
He left nothing standing upon any shelf.
“Let them give thanks for that,” the Grump sneered to himself.
Then he went back outside, with a stomp and a huff,
Where the poor, shivering family had had quite enough.
And he said to the family, as their lips turned blue,
“Go on in, but be warned! I’ve got my eye on you!”
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Eye on you! Bwak!”]
The Grump grinned as he pictured the family’s distress
Upon going inside and discovering the mess.
On and on the Grump went, through the whole neighborhood.
Raiding home after home. He was up to no good.
The light of dawn shown by the time he was done,
And he laughed to himself. He was sure he had won.
“Those poor folks of Thankville, now their anger is brewin’
Their toys are all broken! Their best clothes are ruined!
I’ve spoiled their pies and their best turkey meat!
They’re finding out now that life’s not so sweet!
I know just what they’ll do! Everyone, everywhere!
They’ll shout from their rooftops! They’ll shout through the air,
With a whine in their voices, they’ll all shout, “LIFE’S NOT FAIR!”
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Life’s not fair! Bwak! Life’s not fair!”]
“That’s a noise,” grinned the Grump,
“That I simply MUST hear!”
So he paused. And the Grump put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising up from the crowd.
It started out soft. But then it grew loud.
But this sound wasn’t sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!
He glared down at Thankville, his eyes turning red,
What he saw made him shudder and shake his Grump head.
Each person of Thankville — woman, child, and man –
Was singing! The Grump just could not understand!
[Song: “Let all things now living a song of Thanksgiving from all us in Thankville triumphantly raise…”]
He HADN’T ruined Thanksgiving! NO WAY!
Somehow, they sounded more thankful that day!
And standing there, stroking his long, greasy beard,
The Grump said to himself, “Well, now, this is weird!
I ruined their outfits! I spoiled their food!
I messed up their houses! I treated them rude!
How can they be thankful? Oh how can this be?
Why isn’t everyone grumpy like me?
He thought and he thought ’til his thinker was sore…
Then the Grump thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if giving thanks wasn’t only a chore?
Might Thanksgiving, perhaps, mean much, much, much more?
And what happened then?
Well, in Thankville they say,
The Grump learned the true meaning of Thanksgiving that day.
He went back in his lair and he cooked up a feast!
Pumpkin pies! Sweet potatoes! Even roast beast!
And he loaded it into his big pick-up truck.
Then he turned to Jack and said, “Wish me good luck!”
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Good luck! Bwak! Good luck!”]
And he rode into Thankville, saying “Sorry, my friends!
I’ve been awful and rotten. But today it all ends!
There’s no thief in this town, except only me!
I tried to steal all your joy and your glee!
But I see now that Thanksgiving is more than just things!
It’s love and its friendship that make your heart sing!
So I’m sorry for the mess that I made in the night,
But from now on I vow to make everything right.”
And the people of Thankville, the girls and the boys,
Forgave the Grump, filling his heart with great joy.
Then he cleaned up their houses! He dry-cleaned their outfits!
He had turned a new leaf, there was no doubt about it!
He fixed broken toys and he shared all his food,
And all Thankville welcomed his new attitude.
He pledged love and friendship, and vowed no more mean pranks,
The Grump led them in thanks.
[Jack the Parrot: “Bwak! Happy Thanksgiving! Bwak! Happy Thanksgiving!”]