Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen.There is one day that is ours.There is one day when all Americans go back to the old home and eat a big dinner.Bless the day.The President gives it to us every year.Sometimes he talks about the people who had the first Thanksgiving.They were the Puritans.They were some people who landed on our Atlantic shore.We don't really remember much about them.But those people ate a large bird called turkey on the first Thanksgiving Day.So we have turkey for Thanksgiving dinner,if we have enough money to buy turkey.That is a tradition.Yes.Thanksgiving Day is the one day of the year that is purely American.And now here is the story to prove to you that we have old traditions in this new country.They are growing older more quickly than traditions in old countries.That is because we are so young and full of life.We do everything quickly.
Stuffy Pete sat down on a seat in the New York City park named Union Square.It was the third seat to the right as you enter Union Square from the east.Every Thanksgiving for nine years he had sat down there at one in the afternoon.Every time,things had happened to him.They were wonderful things.They made his heart feel full of joy—and they filled another part of him,too.They filled the part below his heart.On those other Thanksgiving Days he had been hungry.(It is a strange thing.There are rich people who wish to help the poor.But many of them seem to think that the poor are hungry only on Thanksgiving Day.)But today Pete was not hungry.He had come from a dinner so big that he had almost no power to move.His light green eyes looked out from a gray face on which there was still a little food.His breath was short.His body had suddenly become too big for his clothes;it seemed ready to break out of them.They were torn.You could see his skin through a hole in the front of his shirt.But the cold wind,with snow in it,felt pleasantly cool to him.
For Stuffy Pete was overheated with the warmth of all he had had to eat.The dinner had been much too big.It seemed to him that his dinner had included all the turkey and all the other food in the whole world.So he sat,very,very full.He looked out at the world without interest,as if it could never offer him anything more.The dinner had not been expected.He had been passing a large house near the beginning of that great broad street called Fifth Avenue.It was the home of two old ladies of an old family.These two old ladies had a deep love of traditions.There were certain things they always did.On Thanksgiving Day at noon they always sent a servant to stand at the door.There he waited for the first hungry person who walked by.The servant had orders to bring that person into the house and feed him until he could eat no more.Stuffy Pete happened to pass by on his way to the park.The servant had gathered him in.Tradition had been followed.Stuffy Pete sat in the park looking straight before him for ten minutes.Then he felt a desire to look in another direction.With a very great effort,he moved his head slowly to the left.Then his eyes grew wider and his breath stopped.His feet in their torn shoes at the ends of his short legs moved about on the ground.For the Old Gentleman was coming across Fourth Avenue toward Stuffy's seat.