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Enjoy your Butterball fay-tee

James E. BillieTo our Tribal members, our friends around the world, our employees, I’d like to say Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoy that fay-tee. You know, few things irk me during the holiday season. One in particular is I have not had my turkey dinner yet, and when I drive by Walmart or other places in town, they are already putting up the Christmas decorations.

For some reason I would like the world to let Thanksgiving pass and then maybe the next couple days after I digest my turkey, go ahead and start putting up the Christmas decorations. I don’t know if the merchants are eager to hurry up and start making money or whatever it is, but that is very irritating.

I do enjoy Christmas holidays, but I also want to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner first. Anyway, I hope you folks really enjoy yourselves. We’ll see you a couple days after the Thanksgiving holidays. Then we’ll start celebrating the Christmas holidays.

Little bit of humor took place on one Thanksgiving Day. Months before and days before Thanksgiving, I would see turkeys, wild turkeys running around the orange groves and pastures, so I thought I would wait and maybe on Thanksgiving morning I would go out and kill a turkey.

Lo and behold, Thanksgiving morning I went out there to find me a turkey to have fresh meat for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. I got up early in the morning as the crows started cawing and drove around.

I never saw one turkey. By now it’s 10 o’clock. And not one turkey.

Where the heck did all these turkeys go on the very day I needed one? Well, there’s an old Indian superstition that comes to mind. The mistake that I made was the day before Thanksgiving. I was telling my wife how I was going to go and get us a turkey in the morning. So I think what happened is the Trickster Rabbit, the Tattle Tale Rabbit heard what I was going to do and went out and told all the turkeys I was comin’ out there to hunt: “So if you all see Jim Billie come lookin’ around, hide in the woods.” And I think that’s what happened.

So nowadays, even in my Tribal Council meetings or anywhere I’m going to do anything, I try not to discuss any of my plans to anyone ahead of time. Because that old lying Chuk-fee might tell the story wrong and get me in trouble.

Hope you enjoy your Butterball turkey.

Sho-naa-bish.

James E. Billie is Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

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