There's Room for One More
There’s Room for One More
There once was a family struggling to get by. They lived in a cottage that seemed out of place amongst the larger, brick homes lined with picket fences. This poor little cottage sagged at the roof and leaked on the rainiest of days. The children who lived there were ragamuffins for sure but happy go lucky nonetheless. The father was a farmer with a small crop of potatoes and other assorted vegetables. Chickens wandered the yard and an old hound dog laid by the door.
The farmer’s wife worked busily in her kitchen making candles and baked goods when she wasn’t off to the mercantile selling chicken’s eggs and things she’d sewn. The little farmer’s family was poor but they didn’t know it. They walked happily past the houses that were lined with white fences, never noticing the turned up noses as they passed. They waved and greeted with a cheerful hello, not often were they greeted back.
The children at school poked fun of the holes in the farmer’s kid’s shoes, making sure the kids never noticed their taunts. Even though they didn’t always have paper to write on, the kids were bright and eager to learn. They brought the teacher a shiny apple each morning from their apple tree. The teacher found the wealthy kids to be unkind and bratty.
As Thanksgiving approached, the town was preparing for the big feast. The farmer went hunting and got a big turkey. Mama worked to make some delicious side dishes for the family with what little she had to work with. The children came home from school and told her they’d invited their teacher over for dinner because she was going to be home alone. Mama said, that’s no problem, there’s room for one more!
As the days passed leading up to the big day, the farmer’s family found others who were wandering astray and they couldn’t bear the thought of them having a Thanksgiving meal alone. Then mama worried for a moment that she wouldn’t have enough food but quickly brushed the thought aside. They didn’t want to ask anyone to bring things to share after all, that just didn’t seem polite.
The children gathered up small pumpkins and dried sunflowers to decorate the table. Mama made special napkins and a tablecloth just for this occasion. The turkey was roasted, all plump and juicy. The table was crammed with plates and glasses, everything the family could gather up.
An hour before dinner the farmer took a short walk to stretch his legs. The family who often turned up their noses at him was standing outside looking lost. The farmer stopped and opened the gate. “How are you folks doing today?” The mother said, “I’m afraid not so good. You see, my husband is away on business and I have been too sad to make a big meal.” The farmer said, “Well, listen here ma’am, I want your family to come over to our place for Thanksgiving.” The woman could not believe she was invited after being so unfriendly all these years.
She was tickled by the invitation. “The only thing ma’am is that we don’t have enough dishes or chairs for everybody.” The woman had no idea what he meant by “everybody” In an instant, the woman was offering up dishes and chairs. She said, “I’m afraid I haven’t cooked a thing.” The farmer said, “no worries.” That day the little cottage was filled with people, and food and new friends. Everyone who came over brought something to share, a pie, rolls and even a ham! There was surely going to be a great feast on this cool November eve.
The children played outside and had a good time. The lines of divide were beginning to fade as the farmer’s kids charmed the others with their hospitality and humor. Later on, the farmer’s family began to play music and sing along. Slowly and surely the others did too. There was something special about the day, not only a meal but new friendships were blossoming too.
After Thanksgiving, life was a little bit different in that little town, people no longer turned up their noses at the farmer’s family instead they greeted them and exchanged friendly words. One day the farmer’s cottage was severely damaged by the heavy snow that toppled the roof. The townspeople came together to help them make repairs. The neighbors opened up their homes and invited them to their tables. Who doesn’t help a friend in need? There’s always room for one more!
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