The Turkey’s Saviour
By Jules Keenan
I have been told about a thing called “Thanksgiving”.
They talk about it in fear, whatever this day may mean. They say it is a day where the living are known as the dead. A day when the living are taken to a place of unknown horror. A day when everyone cowers in the ultimate fear.
I haven’t been around long, hatching only in late May, but I am old enough to know that the elders are the ones we obey and respect. They are the ones that are supposedly scared of nothing. Yet, when even these old ones back away into the shadows of their coop, it means something bigger than all of us is approaching.
I woke up and by the chill of the morning air, I could tell it was an early October day. A day that I would remember for the rest of my short lived life. It was the day the disappearances began.
First, it was Tom, the most well known throughout our group and yet he was nowhere to be found. The rumour was he was taken early, before dawn.
Later on throughout the day more were taken, grasped around their middles by a pair of mittened hands. I wondered where they were being taken to, what adventures they would witness, what sights they would see.
Everyone warned me that it was a terrible, most gruesome place. But how could they know? Those whose deep breathing I heard every night, were here, not there. Maybe the ones leaving us were not being taken to a living hell, but to a heaven, a summer paradise full of our greatest wonders and dreams. A place where there is no fear.
My daydreams were filled with the intense anxiety of the unknown. I wished it would be me, not my mother, or cousin, or neighbour, but me who would be taken next.
On October 11th, I woke up earlier than usual. The sun was just peeking out from its night long snooze. The light breeze, though chilly, felt nice as it played with my feathers. These were the enjoyable things about autumn, seeing this view, being at peace. Then something large grabbed me, and I could no longer touch the ground.
This is it! I thought. I’m finally going! This is it!
I was carried to a shed-like building, where the human who had grabbed me set me down in a cage. I smelled a pungent, metallic stench in the air that was rather uncomfortable. I got tense, nervous. The excitement that filled me before was replaced with a cowardly fear that was hard to swallow.
The human came back with a slender, sharp looking object in his hand. Taking me out of the cage, he laid me down on a hard, rigid board. I squirmed, feeling clammy and anxious. He raised the shiny object high above his head. Though hesitant, I closed my eyes, anticipating what must come next.
The thud that would symbolize my exit out of this world never came. Instead, over my heavy breathing, I distinguished a strange dinging sound. The human loosened his grip and put me back in the cage.
Bewildered, I watched as he took a small box out of his jeans. He opened it, then started talking into it. I laughed—boxes don’t talk! Only an idiot would think otherwise! But to my surprise, I clearly heard a male voice responding to him. Looks like I was proven wrong twice that day.
What I heard was, to me, confusing, but the human obviously got the message. Apparently, someone named the President suggested to someone named the Prime Minister that some place named Canada needed to start a new Thanksgiving pardon tradition, and he told my captor to save me.
The man took me back to my coop where all the other turkeys were still sleeping. He didn’t take anyone else, but just left us to sleep.
Boy, I thought. Won’t I have a story to tell!
No turkeys were harmed in the making of this story. I actually got this memoir from the turkey himself, and he wanted me to bring you a message: “Save turkeys! Eat ham for Thanksgiving this year!”
Thirteen year old Jules Keenan has been writing since she was six. One of the youngest members of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick, Jules enters their writing contest every year and hopes one day she will win an award. The eighth grade student of Blackville Middle School lives in Barnettville, NB with her twin brother, Samuel; younger sister, Abby; proud parents, Jennifer and Jason; and fur baby, Max.