Thomas was a handful from the very beginning. The day he was hatched, he went around pecking open the other turkey’s eggs … and as he got older, he took great delight in pulling pranks on the other barnyard creatures. Thomas would sneak up on the hens and tug their tail feathers while they were trying to lay eggs. Another favorite was climbing up on the old tree stump and suddenly leaping into the middle of a brood of small chicks, scattering the little peepers in all directions.
He would strut around the barnyard like he owned the place, puffing out his chest and poofing up his feathers to make himself look larger than he really was. The older turkeys tried to warn Thomas about his outrageous behavior, especially about doing things that would cause the farmer to notice him … but he only laughed and called them a flock of old fuddy-duddies. After all, he was the farmer’s favorite. Sometimes, the farmer would even come over to the pat the cocky rascal’s belly and rub his head! That made both man and bird smile. The farmer would say friendly things like, “You’re plumping up very nicely Thomas. I think you’re going to be ready real soon.”
Ready? Ready for what? There had been whisperings about a great feast the people had every year at the house; they called it Thanksgiving. There were always whisperings around the barnyard, but Thomas wanted to believe this one. He was tired of the same dry feed day-after-day and wanted an invitation to the feast. He knew they sometimes invited animals, because he had seen them go into the house. They must have liked it there, too, because they never came back to live in the drafty old barn. ”That’s the life for me!” thought Thomas and he continued to strut, and puff and poof. The old ones just shook their heads, rolled their eyes and made clicking sounds with their beaks. They had tried their best to help him blend in as just another turkey, but all their efforts fell upon deaf earholes.
Thomas wanted an invitation to the Thanksgiving feast so much, that he began waiting for the farmer by the squeaky old gate, rain or shine. Once he was fully grown he was too plump to play pranks on the other animals any longer, so spending his time standing by the gate was just fine, especially after polishing off a large meal. Everyday, the farmer looked more pleased and continued to pat and praise Thomas for becoming such a big, beautiful bird.
Then the big day finally arrived! Instead of his usual checkered shirt and overalls, the farmer was wearing a dark suit with a wide-brimmed hat and a white apron. In his hand, he carried some kind of shiny thing with a long handle made out of the same stuff as the barnyard fence. He opened the gate and came straight for Thomas. ”This is your day!” said the farmer. “You are invited to dinner and you’re the guest of honor!” ”Guest of honor!” thought Thomas, as the farmer slipped a string around his neck and led him slowly up the hill, toward the house. ”All that primping and plumping, strutting and poofing is finally paying off!” he said to himself. ”But what’s that shiny thing in the farmer’s hand? Maybe it’s my invitation!”
A HAPPY, BLESSED AND BOUNTIFUL THANKSGIVING TO ONE AND ALL!
Listen to Bananas Crackers and Nuts Podcast. Find Links under “Recent Podcasts”… and more shows on my Podcast Page.