a whimsical story to start your Thanksgiving…
You should have seen the farmer’s face when with his sweat-beaded brow and the axe over his head, he heard me say, “stop!” He looked at me like I had three heads and not just the one he was about to chop off. Guess he was going to aim for the one in the middle, when I stood up from the wooden chopping block to continue my plea.
I stood up as brave and strong as I could, knowing that ultimately my fate was in his hands. “Please, kind sir, you have fed me well and for that I am grateful. Our coop was cleaned every day and in the winter you made sure we did not freeze. But you see in spite of your generous care giving, I have not plumped up like others. You would make more on me at market if you gave me just a few more months. It’s just a thought.” I started to walk away thinking I had made my point and given him a practical and prudent reason to not chop my head off and sell me at market in the morning. Thanksgiving was just a few days away and the townspeople were shopping for fresh turkeys.
Before I took my second step, he swooped in with his free hand and grabbed me by the neck; kkkaaahhh! “Sir, sir,” I choked. “Please you are not crazy, I am talking with you.” With a strike of fear in his eyes, he dropped me. Landing near his foot, I stood up, flipped my feathers clean of dirt. He dropped his axe and began to back away shaking his head. I still had a case to plea. So, I began to walk toward him.
“Let’s talk about this. I know the missus is expecting you to get good money for your flock at market, I just wish to wait and allow for some fattening up.”
Shaking his head and backing up, “no, this isn’t happening. I’ve heard others talk about being out in the sun too long and hearing their animals talk. I need some water.”
I still had not spoken my piece. I couldn’t rest until I knew I would see Thanksgiving from my nice warm coop. I walked up beside Farmer.
“You are not going crazy, you know. We talk all the time in the many hours we are left alone. It was time for me to speak out.”
Farmer looked down at me with a double take. “Would you please quit talking? The missus is going to think I’ve finally spent too much time with you chickens.”
With great pride in my voice, “fine sir, I am an American Gobbler, not a chicken. I take great offense to being called a chicken – to the point that I would rather be headless than hear that again.
Farmer sighed shaking his head and continued toward the farm house; I followed close behind pleading my case. On the first step, he kicked his boot against the post to knock the dust off just as a robust gray-haired woman came out of the front door with a tall glass of lemon-aid.
“What is that banging? How many times do I have to tell you to kick the dust off by that tree, there, not on my porch? I just finished sweeping it off.” Farmer’s wife nagged as she handed him the glass. “And why is there a turkey following you?”
“This turkey is talking to me, woman.” Farmer groused.
“You’ve been in that sun too long, that bird doesn’t talk.”
I fluffed my feathers and extended my neck just a little taller, “excuse me,” I said pointing my wing in her direction, “I do talk and I’ve been having a delightful exchange with your husband,” turkey said with pride and a small gobble.
Farmer looked at turkey, “we haven’t been having any conversation. You are a turkey and we are going to eat you for Thanksgiving! And don’t point your wing at my wife, it’s not polite.”
“Looks like you are talking to a turkey,” the farmer’s wife said in a matter of fact way.
“No, I’m not.” Farmer exclaimed.
“I believe you are, sir. And for what it’s worth, I am grateful to have the opportunity to finally talk with you. Do you know how difficult it has been to keep quiet all this time?”
Farmer shook his head looking from his wife to the bird, “I’m not debating with you both about this. Turkey, get back over there. Honey, go pick another turkey for Thanksgiving and which you want taken to market with this blabber beaked one.”
Wiping her hands on her quilted apron, the farmer’s wife shook her head. “Take whichever ones you want to market, we will have ham for Thanksgiving.” She turned to go back inside and stopped, “except that one. Never heard a turkey talk before, might help pass the time in the cold of winter.”
On his way back to the barn, the farmer looked at the turkey and exclaimed, “what is this world coming to, turkeys talking and HAM for Thanksgiving?”