Thomm the talking turkey continues…
“About a year ago my uncle Thommy went missing. Here one moment, gone the next. I was so fouled up and sadness accompanied my search for him. I wanted to pull my feathers out as I hopped and flapped over every square yard of the range. I walked the entire perimeter of the property for compromises in security. If there was a sag or a hole in the chicken wire fence he might have fallen victim to the coyotes. I never found him but I did find I had grown up through the loss. I wasn’t some little punk of a poult any more and things were going to be alright, even without my uncle Thommy to wing his wisdom and legendary stories my way. It was me and my buddies now, at least until about a month ago.”
I noticed his face starting to pale. I don’t understand how a turkey could get any paler, but he did.
He continued slowly with a Star Trek Captain Kirk cadence. “They…just…all…started…to…vanish!”
“All my friends…Wing Man, Tommy Boy, Hook Beak, Pencil Neck, Bird Turd. My whole crew was gone!”
“You say it was about a month ago? Well I think…”
“I know, I know. At least I know now,” His tone of voice changed to that of resignation. “I was so naïve. I thought that our ranch was different from all those other PPP type places. I had to get out of there. I had to leave on my own terms so I made a way of escape. Last year, I noticed an area of the fence which hung a tad low. I thought if I could get a running start there might be a possibility. After all, I was the champion wheel dodger. So from twenty five yards back I dug my talons in and pushed the throttle to full on….and here I am!”
“Wow. That’s quite a story, even from a turkey…ehem, no offence,” I said.
“Quite all right.”
I notice we were approaching the Mattawan exit and saw Thomm sitting there, his belly sticking out with his wings folded over it.
“Hey, how ‘bout I give you a ride to Berrien Springs?”
“You don’t have to…”
“It’s a holiday!” I immediately felt bad knowing which holiday it was and my present company. How could I be so insensitive! “I’m so sorry!”
“No worries, I’ve come to embrace this time of year as a point of destiny, not regret.”
Hmmm, this Thom Thom grew up in a hurry or he has gotten his feathers all fluffed up with poultry traumatic stress syndrome.
“I think hearing about the dream would help me understand why you are going back to the ranch.”
“Of course.” He sat up in the car seat. “I think what influenced the dream was the feeling of hopelessness, or rather, I could almost feel meaning and purpose drain out of me as I hitched rides away from home. So, as I dozed off or dozed on or rode the horizon of R.E.M., I had this dream. My Uncle was in it. He was plucked, stuffed, and golden brown on a platter right next to the cranberry sauce! I gasped in horror! Actually in my native tongue it would have been an annunciated “blullullla.” The table was long and the people were plenty with their heads bowed and hands folded in their lap…except for some of the children staring at my uncle like he was Turkish Delight. Then I realized even though uncle Thommy was missing feet, talons and all, his spindle neck and bald head were attached AND ALIVE! He cricked his neck and looked me right in my eye, my right eye, and began to speak.
“Thom Thom, oh how I’ve missed you! How you’ve grown. You have a nice beard there. I’ve been worried about you. I know there is reason to run, at least it seems the reasonable response to the recent events in your life. But I am here to offer another possibility, so don’t start molting like you’ve seen the ghost of Thankgiving’s Past. This is only a dream, but the scene is a reality that many of us have the privilege to enter. For many of us it is our manifest destiny.”
“Destiny! Destiny? Butter basted, extra crispy, stuffed with who knows what, and taken from the free range to the range oven…just what kind of destiny is that?”
“I know how you feel.”
“Do you now!?”
“Yes I do, because you are looking at last Thanksgiving at the Hubble’s house. For a brief moment I laid in the middle of a family taking time to reconnect at an annual meal. Meal time for American’s used to be the time of day, every day, for communication and communion. Eye to eye contact, body language, common courtesy, and a physical reminder of belonging. Now those special times are often reduced to a few times a year.
When I was your age, an older, wiser, Tom took me aside and gave me ‘the talk.’ The talk I never made the opportunity to give to you. I procrastinated, and I kept seeing the chicken scratch writing on the wall but….” His voice trailed off. “I’m so sorry I didn’t prepare you for this. I hope you will find a way beyond this and forgive me.” He then shook his snood and said, “This is my chance, and as weird as it might be to listen to a succulent, organically raised bird speak to you from the dead, I will not pass this up.”