My husband is really proud of his daughter. I mean, ok, DUH, but like, he is. So when she wrote a super awesome short story for Thanksgiving (an A+ short story, we must point out), he wanted you all to read it. (Apparently there is only enough room for one blogger in the family. Ahem.)
She wrote this story as an assignment for class, and told me that the construct of it was inspired by the book Hunger Games. I love that she’s taking cues from what she’s reading and applying it to stuff she writes. I hope she keeps reading and writing and letting me harass the internet with her general awesomeness for a long, long time.
It’s long, but I know you’re all procrastinating on a Friday afternoon, so: enjoy. We’re past Thanksgiving, but still in the Holiday season, which I think makes this fair game, right? Right.
A Turkey Tale, by Sammy T
I wake up thinking of my daily schedule. Feed, sleep, visit the others, feed, sleep. Not much goes on for us turkeys on the farm. I get up, fluff out my feathers, stretch my legs and head for the bucket. By the huge crowd of turkeys I can tell that the bucket hasn’t been filled since yesterday… and that means…
“Here chickens. Come get the food!” That’s Lucy, the old farmer’s daughter. At age 39 she is clad in a skirt much too short for farming, brown boots up to her knees, and a tight red shirt with gold writing down the sleeves. “That’s right chicks, cluck for food!” By now all the turkeys are franticly hoping and screaming at the sight of feed, except for me. I figured Lucy out long ago. How dare she call us chickens, like we are some clucking imbeciles!
“Where is your pride,” I mutter to myself. She dumps the feed into our bucket and walks away laughing. She looks back and yells, “Happy Thanksgiving!” in an evil way like we should be worried sick or something. Oh right, it’s that time of the season. We go on eating happily without a sign of fear. No one eats turkeys anymore, not since, well a long time. No one counts the years anymore either, so I can’t tell how long it has been. My family has been on this farm for generations, going back since the days when turkeys were a popular holiday meal. Some time ago, the turkey fad died out and we were left on our farms to live boring yet safe lives. The farm went out of business years before my birth, and we could have been left here to die out but we had our old woman to depend on. Speaking of the farmer, here she comes now.
“Hey there buddy, can’t get to your food?” Her fragile fingers pick up my plump body and place me right in front of the bucket. I hate being handled like that but it is true that I am having trouble getting to the front so I don’t resist. She smiles at me and goes to mend a hole in the fence while we stuff our beaks with feed. We all respect the farmer with the kind heart, especially compared to her devilish daughter. Now a funny looking vehicle pulls up and the strangest looking people depart from the inside where colored lights are flashing. They are all dressed in odd green clothing and the two little girls, probably ages eight and fourteen, carry oversized handbags lined with diamonds while the young boy, probably age ten, wears his hair sticking out in different directions. The mother and father I presume walk towards the farmer.
You can almost feel her heart skip a beat as she peers up at these strange people, “H-Hi,” she stammers out as she collects herself. “May I help you?”
“Yes,” They say together with voices like music. “We would like to purchase one of your turkeys,” the woman says, “It is, after all, Thanksgiving.” She looks up at the man and chuckles as if I’m missing some inside joke.
“Certainly, come this way.” The farmer leads them to us and we all back away pleading that we are not the one in a million to be chosen.
“That one,” The woman points to me and I am frozen. The farmer lets out a sigh and picks me up. You can see the sadness in her expression, however she cannot refuse. I am not scared, but confused as I am put on and old rusted scale in the corner. The man hands the farmer money and walks off with me. Just like that I am gone, never to see a familiar face again. Destined to be eaten! Just like that.
The ride to their home is a blur and when we arrive I realize we are in a city. The houses are oddly shaped, nothing like the farm, and the vehicles that I found so peculiar are all over the place. They carry me to the back and place me in a giant cage with enough room and food to keep dozens of turkeys alive for weeks. To confused and frozen, I plop down on the floor and look directly ahead.
“Good boy Louie,” says the eight year old. I look up at her with disgust wishing that it were Lucy instead of this adorable little one. How dare she name me before ripping me open and consuming my insides! Her big green eyes have little effect on me as I scowl in silence. After a minute of this I lose it.
I start running around my cage, flapping my wings, and screeching as loud as I can. This goes on for what must be an hour because the sky has turned from bright blue to an eerie navy blue. The girl just sits there looking at me calmly, warmly as if trying to relax me. This time those stupid big green eyes capture me and I sit silence once again, but not scowling as I did before. “You’ll understand soon,” she says as she stands and wipes the dirt from her legs. “I have to go get dressed.”
I expect any minute to be taken into the house and prepared for dinner, I know the procedure because of scary stories told back at the farm, but no one comes outside until hours after my episode. When a bald man dressed in black and white reaches for me I make a run for it but years of eating and sleeping works to my disadvantage as I am carried off into the house. If I think the clothing and vehicles are strangely spectacular, I am not prepared for what is next. Walls with exuberant shades of yellows and oranges, doors covered in gold, twinkling lights hanging down from the ceiling, majestic artwork at every turn, and last but certainly not least and dark brown table with gold trimming, covered in candles and hors d’ oeuvres crafted with such care that I even find them to be the most appetizing things I have ever laid eyes on.
The beauty and excellence of the house momentarily distracts me, but I am brought back to reality when I see the clear box as a centerpiece. That’s where they are going to serve me, I think. Celebrate over a job well done in killing me and savoring every last bit of me. I close my eyes and think of life on the farm. The farmer, my parents, my friends, even Lucy. When I open my eyes I am once again, confused. Don’t I belong in an oven, I think, not the glass box?
I go through a list of possibilities when I stumble upon a horrifying thing called truth. They are going to eat me alive. My beak is about to break before I realize that I am pecking at the glass so hard that it makes me bleed. I look around for a way out, a door, a crack in the glass, anything, but there is nothing. I don’t even know how I got in here in the first place. My heart pounds as the family enters, dressed in orange outfits this time, with guests. They all take their seats and observe me while I run hopelessly back and forth. A man I do not recognize chuckles and I smack into the glass so hard, wanting to peck out his brains, that he jumps back in his chair at my aggression. This amuses you! I think as I scowl at him. I whirl around to find a way out when the girl’s green eyes catch me and I sit quietly without disturbance.
These people make their way through meals like there is no tomorrow. In minutes they have gone through multiple courses. After an hour they have finished stuffing their faces and the mood changes into relaxed conversation, even though the glass has cut off my hearing. This is it, they are giving themselves time to digest and then fill their stomachs with me. I close my eyes again and a tear trickles down my face.
When I open my eyes I am being carried away by the little girl. What’s going on? Shouldn’t there be a knife in me by now?
“Good work James,” says the man who chuckled to the man who hosted the dinner, the same man who bought me. “You truly are a trend-setting genius,” “Bringing back turkeys, but not to eat, to cherish.” “What beautiful creatures. Every family will want one for the holidays. And what fun pets! He is so lively! Good work.”
My eyes widen at these strange words. Cherish? Beautiful creatures? Pets? Something clicks in my brain and I realize that their intentions were never bad. They only wanted to bring back a fad. I have a home now. What a day I’ve had! The girl places me back into my little home and whispers “See?” I nod my head and get lost into her green eyes again. Then I drift off thinking of my change in heart.
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