In the Animal Kingdom - A Thanksgiving Story

by Russell Bittner

Clock Icon 20 Minute read

I sit here now as I sat here then. He’s not here now; he wasn’t here then. The only difference between now and then—fifteen years ago—is that I know the difference.

Then? Then I had a child’s imagination, a child’s belief that all things were possible—even the impossible—perhaps because I had no knowledge of im. Im is a prefix that comes with age, with experience, with rejection and failure. Slowly. More quickly if you have nothing even worthy of rejection. Then, im comes at you without mercy. And very quickly, you’re no longer even able to see the word “possible” without its attendant im.

But that was fifteen years ago—when I was a mere child—with a child’s imagination, a child’s belief, and a child’s still imperfect vision. None of which could distinguish between im and him. And him was what I’d been anticipating for almost a whole year.

Today, the greatest of all days on the American calendar, is Thanksgiving—now as then. No other holiday—he’d said it himself many times—can compare. It’s the day on which we all come home, wherever home may be. Sometimes, that home is just a heartbeat. But so long as a heart is beating, it yearns for home. And home is where we come—on Thanksgiving.

Related Reads