When I saw this gaggle of plump turkeys in their pen on Monday morning, I wondered if they knew they were going to become very friendly with my mom, the turkey dresser, later that day. It was doomsday for these critters as they were pre-sold to friends and family of the hobby farmer, who also happens to be my best friend’s husband, who had raised them for a farm fresh turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day for a handful of friends.
Monday’s life lessons reminded me that I can still recite my favorite Thanksgiving poem, Five Fat Turkeys, complete with hand gestures. The poem itself starts out innocent, but it reminds me so much of our fowl friends the morning they were to meet their fate.
Five Fat Turkeys
Five fat turkeys sitting on a fence,
the first one said, “I’m so immense.”
the second one said, “I can gobble at you.”
the third one said, “I can gobble, too.”
the fourth one said, “I can spread my tail.”
the fifth one said, “Don’t catch it on a nail”
Five fat turkeys flew up in a tree.
the first one said, “there’s a man I see”
the second one said, “he’s coming this way”
the third one said “it’s Thanksgiving Day”
the fourth one said ” what’s he going to do?”
the fifth one said “he’s coming after you”
chop went the ax before the turkey flew away
they all were on the table that Thanksgiving Day!
Around 4 o’clock all the preparations were made and the dressing of the turkeys began to commence. My mom, who has butchered many a bird in her day, was on the dressing table while the men and kids were outside gathering and de-feathering the birds. The neighbors and friends stopped by to check it out, learn and gather some experience. There was even a 15-year-old who raised and butchered his own turkeys. He took a great deal of pride in that accomplishment, as well he should! It may not be for the faint of heart, but it is the way the first Thanksgiving turkey was prepared and even many of our grandparents raised and butchered their own birds. For those who advocate local food sourcing, this is a great example.
I leave you with a little turkey humor for your Thanksgiving Holiday From my family to yours, I hope you find many things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.