The turkey gobbled. It was morning. A dreaded morning. Thanksgiving morning. Or as the turkeys call it ever so fondly: T-Day, the Day of Death.
Every turkey treats Thanksgiving Day differently. Some sleep in, knowing their fate is sealed. Others try daring new things, like juggling eggs, because they know they’ll never have a chance to do so again. Ever again. Others, like Turkey Tom, decide to wail mournfully, fraught with grief over his unfortunate, upcoming demise.
“Why, oh why? Why us? Why turkeys? And most importantly, why me?” wailed Turkey Tom. “I’m no tastier than my fellow turkey brethren on the farm. In fact, I’m sure I taste worse!” Turkey Tom knew no such thing. Actually, he was quite wrong: he was the most plump, most predictably succulent turkey of all the birds on Farmer Brown’s farm. He was definitely no foul fowl, unless you were referring to the racket he was making.
“Will you be quiet, Tom?” pleaded Roseanne. She was one of the sleepers.
“You’re distracting me, Tom. I’m going to drop these eggs and make a mess,” complained Gerald. He was a novice juggler.
“The only mess that will matter in a few short hours will be our guts spilling everywhere as the humans make us into Thanksgiving dinner,” retorted Tom.
“I hope I get fried,” sighed Gerald.
“Oh, no. I’d much prefer to be smoked,” said Roseanne.
“Ooh, yes. That would be nice,” agreed Gerald.
“What are you talking about? How can you be so accepting of your death? That’s so morbid.” And with that declaration and a gobble-huff, Tom about-faced and strutted to a corner of the pen. He hopped onto his favorite perch, a rotting tree stump, where he could see into the farmer’s house.
Inside, Farmer Brown, his lovely wife, and their two endearing kids were prepping for T-Day. They set the table with their nicest silverware (which was wooden), their prettiest striped tablecloth (which was plaid), and their tallest glasses (which actually were quite tall). This was their favorite holiday. They loved cooking together, thanking for their good fortunes together, and most of all eating together. Eating turkey.
Tom shuddered. He could see the malevolent look in the family’s hungry eyes. Pure evil. They would gobble the gobbler faster than you could say, “Pilgrims perched on the Plymouth precipice piled paper perilously.” That was when Tom knew Thanksgiving could not continue in this manner any longer. This year, Tom wanted to be the one to have something to be thankful about.
But in the meantime, Tom decided he would learn crocheting. He had always wanted to learn to knit, and a pair of wool socks would keep out the encroaching cold.
One sock into his task, Farmer Brown came out to the turkey pen. It was time for the annual slaughter. All the turkeys were plump, juicy, and ripe for the picking. No carnivore could pass them up. Even the vegetarians couldn’t say no. The vegans would still decline this scrumptious comestible, but that’s because they deny all worldly pleasures.
Farmer Brown opened up his sack and began plopping in the fowl. In went Roseanne, still fast asleep. Next came Gerald, making him drop his seven juggling eggs. One after the other, all the turkeys on the farm were grabbed and tossed into the farmer’s weighty bag. Finally, Tom was manhandled (or in this case, turkeyhandled) and roughly shoved into the cramped sack.
“Gobble, gobble,” said Farmer Brown. He could speak English, but he thought he was funny, trying to talk to the turkeys like that.
“How insulting,” mumbled Tom. “We haven’t spoken Gobbleguese in centuries. We’re much more sophisticated than that now: we speak French.”
Farmer Brown dragged the turkey-filled sack into the house. When his kids saw what awaited them, they squealed in joy and anticipation. They sure loved a good turkey slaughter. Their mother pulled out the sharpest knife; its reflection twinkled in her eyes. She grinned. The kids grinned. Farmer Brown grinned.
The turkeys whimpered.
The farmer pulled out the first turkey from the bag. It was Gerald. The bird was passed down to the two children, who pinned it to the floor. The farmer’s wife stood over the soon-to-be-bloody scene, raising the butcher knife above her head.
“No!” shouted Tom.
“Hooray!” screamed the children.
“Yum!” exclaimed the adults.
“Gobble!” gobbled Gerald. It was his last.
Tom began to sob. This was more than he could take. T-Day was worse than had been described to him in the horrific folktales of the turkeys. Much worse. Suddenly determined, Tom decided to take action. With one last sniffle, Tom straightened his wattle and wiped his eyes. Then he burst through the burlap sack.
“You’ll never get to eat us!” Tom shouted at the farmer family. All they heard was, “Gobble gobble gobble gobble,” though it was actually French. “Fellow turkeys, let’s make sure our kind is never eaten again!”
With the war cry resonating through the petite turkey brains of Tom’s kin, the fowl poured out of the bag in a feathery wave. They crashed into Farmer Brown, beaks pecking at any bit of flesh they could find.
“Gah! What do you think you’re doing, you pesky birds,” shouted Farmer Brown, half angrily, half confused, and half mortally terrified. This third half would grow substantially in the coming moments.
The turkeys first captured Farmer Brown and his family. It was quite easy, owing to their shock at this sudden fowl uprising. The wife and children were tossed into the basement, while the farmer was forced to face Tom, butcher knife in wing.
“Anything you’d like to say you’re thankful for?” growled Tom viciously. Farmer Brown stared at him, dumbfounded. Tom shrugged, and with a deft stroke, Farmer Brown befell the same fate as Gerald before him.
The turkeys tossed him in the oven, then sat down at the table as they awaited their meal.
Tom began the rounds. “I am thankful that I finally have something to be thankful for.”
“And what is that?” inquired Roseanne. She had finally woken up.
“This delicious Thanksgiving feast, shared with my family and friends.” Tom tried to hold back his tears.
“Gobble, gobble,” said the other turkeys in concurrence.
Then they ate.