While learning about turkeys in preparation for Thanksgiving, Joanie Lipscomb’s third grade class at Sunrise Elementary in Richmond spent some time comparing turkeys and peacocks. The students pondered which bird would make a better symbol for Thanksgiving and sent letters to The Daily News to support their position.
A small head, long neck, and a large fan of feathers describe both birds. Stand them alongside each other and the differences are dramatic. Here’s what the children say:
Adam wrote: “I think the turkey is good for the Thanksgiving bird. Because the Indians and pilgrims had it on the first Thanksgiving. Peacock is not good for the Thanksgiving bird because it isn’t even in America!”
Echoing Adam’s sentiment, Makinze wrote: “I think the turkey should still be the thanksgiving bird. Because it is so good that it should still be the thanksgiving bird. I don’t think the peacock should be the thanksgiving bird, because it’s pretty, and it doesn’t even live in Missouri.”
Adam and Makenzie have a point. The peacock is not native to America. It comes from Asia. It is also the national bird of India.
Allison supports the turkey too. “The peacock is pretty, but I have never ate a peacock. It is too gross looking inside of one. I could not imagine eating one. I bet the turkey would be better.”
Jillian, a peacock fan, said. “I believe the peacock should become the Thanksgiving bird because it is pretty. The feathers would make a better decoration. I don’t like turkey. What do you like, Editor?”
Here’s a different idea to consider: “I think the turkey should stay the Thanksgiving bird because it is so good and the pecock should be an ester bird because it is so colerful,” suggested Jordan.
“Dear Editor, I was wondering what you think. I believe the turkey should still be the Thanksgiving bird. The peacock is so beautiful. So, why eat it? The turkey tasts so good. I don’t think I would eat a peacock,” wrote Ashley.
Caleb had another view. “I want the turkey to stay the Thanksgiving bird. The turkey is funny. It gobels realy loud. The peacock is ugly and mean.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. “I like the peacock for the Thanksgiving bird because they have colorful feathers and it is five feet tall. They live for 20 years. The turkey is muddy and rude and ugly and they are mean,” insists Dominick.
“Dear editor, I was wondering what you think about the turkey staying the thanksgiving bird. The peacock is so ugly and gloomy. The turkey brings true beauty to our holiday,” wrote Kaitlyn.
Isabella’s opinion about that differs. “I think that the peacock should become the Thanksgiving bird instead of the turkey. Because it is so pretty. And the turkey is so dull.”
Kaylah disagrees. “I think we should keep the turkey as the official Thanksgiving bird because I like to eat it. I think it tastes good. Peacocks are very pretty, but I don’t want to eat one.”
Justin says: “I think the turkey should be the Thanksgiving bird because it is so yommy in my tummy. It has ben the thaksgiving bird for a long time. But I don’t thank the peacock should be the thaksgiving bird because it dosen’t look good to eat.”
“Dear editor, I think the peacock should be the Thanksgiving bird because it is so colorful. I want to know what you think. The turkey shouldn’t be it because it’s ugly,” wrote Grant.
Finally, Blayton gives his two cents’ worth. “I was thinking about what the Thanksgiving bird should be the turkey or the peacock. I think the turkey. I don’t think the peacock because it’s pretty, but it doesn’t look good to eat. I think the turkey because you can hunt for it. And it looks good to eat.”
Mrs. Lipscomb wrote: “We decided to write letters to explain our opinions. We know that nobody wants to eat a beautiful bird like the peacock. We learned that peacocks are in the pheasant family, and since some people think pheasants taste good, we think that peacocks might taste good too. While the Thanksgiving symbol of the turkey will likely never change, we enjoyed expressing our thoughts on the issue. We hope you enjoy reading our letters!” The cover letter was signed by Lipscomb and each of her students.
The Daily News thanks Lipscomb’s class for taking the time to write letters to us. Both birds have their strong points. Both can strut their stuff and are beautiful in different ways. Both can be loud and both like to roost in trees. However, if we eat turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, where did the ham come in and why don’t we eat bunnies at Easter?
Photo: Joanie Lipscomb’s third grade class at Sunrise Elementary pondered this question and sent letters to The Daily News supporting their viewpoints. (Photo by Brenda Jensen/The Daily News)