Talking Turkey

Nov 23  |  Laila Miller

“D’you think you’ll be stuffed? Like Thomas?”

“Naw, heard they’re gonna package me up in parts. Legs, wings, you know the drill.”

“They say anything about me?”

“Nothin’. Which is good. No special treatment for you.”

“What’s special about you?”

“See my legs? Don’t match. Claw got stuck in the fence. Three days before they found me. Lucky there was a puddle beside me, kept me alive. Recovered right enough, straight into rehab, yard exercise, but my leg never did catch up. So, it’s pieces for me.”

“Pieces are good. People like pieces. Don’t they?”

“Sure they do, sure they do, never really going to bring in top dollar though, are they. You’ll do fine. Plump, symmetrical.”

“I’d like to be stuffed.”

“Bit of value add, stuffing is. Nothing really, is it, bread and sage and a raisin or two if you’re lucky. Brings the price up though. Could do worse.”

“Yeah. Can you imagine being frozen?”

“Don’t wanna think about it. Problem’s not so much being frozen, it’s being forgotten. Folks don’t realise we’ve gotta be cooked to come back, you know? They forget. You’ll be bought, on sale, then they’ll bury you deep in the freezer chest and who’s to say they’ll find you again. Happened to Jenny, got mixed up with ice cream and frozen peas. People even keep their pot harvest in the freezer, did you know that? You know what pot is, don’t you? Yep, there’s a good chance of being forgotten. Not a nice thought.”

“Fresh. Stuffed. Guess I’m one of the lucky ones.”

“Depends what kinda family you get. You got your fighting families, close to divorce. Tension’s thick at Thanksgiving. Too quiet, or too loud, and you gotta really concentrate during the roast or you come out tough and leathery, ’specially if they put you in the barbecue—echoes like crazy in there.”

“I hate loud noises. Like Lenny and his squawking.”

“Don’t be hard on Lenny. Never been the same since he was left in the trunk of that car. Lucky about the fire, or he’d be lost to us. He’s getting therapy, might come right one day. I’ll tell you a little trick.”

“Yeah?”

“Keep a song in your head. That way if things get noisy, you can sing to yourself. Works wonders. Johnny Cash is my favourite. ‘Boy Named Sue,’ great song.”

“I love singing. I’ll try it, thanks. Tell me, you ever had a vegetarian? That’d be tough.”

“Sure have. Thing to do there is hit ’em hard with mouth-watering vapours. Remember, they’re only gettin’ peas ’n potatoes. They love the smell, just won’t admit it. Can’t blame ’em. Most of ’em want to do right by us animals. Good people.”

“Thanks for the tip.”

“And be prepared for the one-kid families, kinda sad, can’t eat much and you do your best, but they don’t really want you, they want more family. Single parents though, you gotta hand it to ’em. Been through a lot, some of ’em, ’n you won’t find tighter bonds anywhere. I do everything I can, get the juices running. Might get one of those this year, on account of my price. Or an old folk’s home. Always low budget. Nice to brighten their eyes for a moment.”

“Hope you get one of those. They deserve your kind of experience. And taste.”

“I do what I can, I do what I can.”

“Hear that? The truck?”

“Sure is. We’re off. Good luck being stuffed. See you next year. Come find me. I want to hear all about it.”

“I will. And… Happy Thanksgiving!”

One Comment
  1. Kirsten Newman7 months ago

    Such a fun Thanksgiving lark! Love the characters you created and glad they’ll all be back next year! Favourite part. The nod to Johnny Cash!

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