When Son #1 turned twelve, my husband promised to take him hunting. On the day before Thanksgiving they left very early in the morning and went to a ranch not too far from our home. The ranch belonged to a friend and my husband had gone there before to hunt deer and wild turkeys. On this particular trip Son #1 shot a turkey. Everyone was so excited about his accomplishment when they arrived home with their trophy turkey intact…feathers and all!
My husband put the turkey on a ledge in the backyard and everyone gathered around to admire this addition to our Thanksgiving feast. He gave Son #1 an axe and told him that it would now be his honor to cut the turkey’s head off. Son #1 took one look at the turkey and another look at his father. He decided right then and there that there was no way he could cut off the head and he quickly disappeared. The head did come off but I don’t remember who did it.
Our next task was to do something with the feathers. Mother was at our house for the holiday and she remembered that her mother used a big pan of boiling water to remove chicken feathers. We found a huge pot, boiled the water and inserted the now-headless turkey. The feathers began to come off, but not without a stink and wet feathers everywhere—luckily we were outside in the backyard.
By the time we came to removing the innards from this poor turkey, both the mighty hunters had disappeared. Mother and I finished dressing the turkey and preparing it for cooking the next morning. We cooked the turkey along with one from the store. When it was time to cut into our turkeys we found that our mighty hunters had brought home the toughest turkey that we had ever tried to eat! Everyone in our family gave thanks for the store-bought turkey. We then decided that we had gained a great deal more respect for the original Pilgrims through this Thanksgiving turkey experience.
Oops! My boys are reporting in as they read this story and they remember it a bit differently. Even my husband remembers it differently, so I will let them add their amendments to my story--as THEY remember it!
And, as always, I write these stories as I remember them, which is sometimes different than the way others remember them.
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