Today I opened a beautiful e-card sent to me by my friend Alice Kay. As I listened to the music and watched the little birds flitting around my computer screen, a memory from my childhood flooded back to me. The memory of the wishbone.
The wishbone legend began with the ancient belief that chickens were fortune tellers. The tradition of wishing on their clavicle, or “wishbone,” was passed down through the generations and brought to America by the Pilgrims. They adapted it to the turkey, making it a part of the Thanksgiving festivities.
I never knew the legend. But I definitely knew the wishbone. It was always an honor to be on one of the ends of the wish bone.
It is a mystery how they decided who had the honor of making a wish, but it always seemed fair. We would close our eyes and make a secret wish. “Don’t tell anyone, or it won’t come true!” I can’t even remember what any of my wishes were. I just remember how special it was to be the one to grab hold one of the slippery ends of the wishbone to pull.
There must have been an art to tugging on that bone just right, because my older brother always came out with the winning end.
Oh! And the Thanksgiving wishbone! That was really special! And I’m kicking myself, because this is one tradition I never thought about carrying on with my own kids. I had not given it a thought until I watched those little birdies in my card tugging at that wish bone. I’m just going to have to start a new tradition with my grandchildren.
Close your eyes, make a wish, and pull! Shhhhh don’t tell anyone what your wish is or it won’t come true!Oh, and in case you are wondering, I did finally let Austin and James out of the trunk. They won’t call me old again anytime soon!