All We Need

Here we are with story number eleven in my twelve stories in twelve months challenge. The prompt this month was “All We Need” and the word count was 500. With such a short word count, I decided to write a children’s story. And since it’s November, I thought a Thanksgiving story would be appropriate. As usual, let me know what you think. Or, even better, if you know any little kids, read it to them and let me know what they think.

Sue woke up and stretched. It was Thanksgiving. She looked over at the clock, but the face was blank. She got out of bed and went downstairs to find her parents. They were in the kitchen talking quietly. “Mom, Dad, my clock isn’t working.”

“It’s not your clock, Suzie,” her mom answered, “the power’s out.”

“Oh no,” Sue said, “what about Thanksgiving?”

“We’re still going to have Thanksgiving,” said her dad. “Hopefully the electricity will be back soon. But we’re not going to have the turkey. We would have had to have it in the oven an hour ago for it to be finished on time.”

“No turkey!?” cried Sue. “But I love turkey. It’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving. It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey.”

“That’s not true,” said her mother. “We don’t need turkey for Thanksgiving. All we need is family.”

***

A couple hours later, Sue’s older brother Ben was talking to their dad, “But you said the power would be back soon.”

“I hoped it would be. It must be a harder problem than I thought.”

Ben asked, “What are we going to do?”

“We’re still going to have Thanksgiving here. I texted Mrs. Johnson, and they don’t have power either, so they’re going to come celebrate with us.”

“But what will we do?” Ben asked again, “Without power, nothing works. We won’t be able to watch football. How can we have Thanksgiving without football?”

“Easy,” said their father. “Maybe the power will come back on, but if it doesn’t, we’ll visit and talk and maybe play some card games. We don’t need football for Thanksgiving. All we need is friends.”

***

After the Johnsons arrived, everyone was gathered in the living room. They were munching on nuts and chips by candlelight and telling stories and jokes. The Johnsons’ daughter, Molly, sat up and said, “Mom, can you show everyone that Thanksgiving video you play every year?”

Mrs. Johnson said, “I’m sorry, honey. I didn’t bring it with me, and without power, we can’t play it anyway.”

“But what about your phone?”

“No, Molly. It’s a long video and we don’t know when the electricity will be back. I can’t waste the charge on my phone in case we need it later.”

“Aw. That’s not fair. It’s a tradition, it won’t feel like Thanksgiving without it.”

“Sure it will. Think of all the people who don’t have what we have. Think of the poor people who have to work to restore our power. Be grateful. For Thanksgiving, all we need is gratitude.”

***

As everyone was eating their Thanksgiving dinner of pies and cranberry sauce, Sue was thinking. This wasn’t the Thanksgiving she had expected or hoped for. There was no turkey, no football, and no funny video. But the adults were right. She was surrounded by family and friends and everyone was full of gratitude. It was different, but it really felt like Thanksgiving.

“This Thanksgiving,” she said, “I’m thankful that we have all we need.”

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