by Mariah Phillips
(Peoria, Arizona, United states)
Farmer Fred grabbed his shotgun and headed out the front door. Everyone waited in anticipation. A few minutes later he returned to the house with an irritated and puzzled looked. “It’s gone. Someone let our Thanksgiving dinner out of its cage.”
“What do you mean- the turkey is missing? “Brenda asked.
“What I mean is, the cage is empty, but the gate to the cage is closed. So either someone stole the turkey or let it out. You’re not playing another joke on me, Brenda, are you?”
“Why do you always try to blame me? Aren’t you ever going to get over the missing cow incident? No! I did not hide the turkey. Girls, you didn’t open the turkey cage did you?”
“No,” they said in unison.
“Maybe the turkey flew away,” Sally suggested.
“Honey, the turkey can’t fly,” Brenda explained.
“What’s all the bickering about? I can hear you guys all the way from the other end of the house,” Daisy said.
“The turkey is missing,” Fred said. “Did you take it? Maybe you’re on another kick about not eating meat. “
“I did not steal the turkey!” Daisy yelled at Fred. “What are we going to do? Jimmy is coming over with his mother for Thanksgiving dinner. All the stores are closed today. She already thinks I am crazy. “
“She’s right,” Brenda agreed. ”We are having company for dinner, and we don’t even have the main course.”
“I want pancakes for dinner,” Sarah said.
Everyone split up and searched the barn and field for the turkey.
“Nothing,” Fred said disappointed. ” How can a turkey just vanish into thin air? It’s not possible.”
“We are just going to have to make the best of it,” Brenda said. “We will just explain to Jimmy and his mother that the turkey went missing. We can still have mashed potatoes, salad, green bean casserole, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce and pie. Look at the bright side. “
“This is a nightmare,” Daisy groaned. “This is possibly my future mother-in-law, and she is always so picky.”
Daisy and Brenda worked hard all day making apple pies and the other yummy foods. Fred set the table, and that’s when the front doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it,“Daisy yelled. “ Hi, Jimmy and Mrs. Johnson.”
“Please call me Jane,” Jimmy’s mother replied.
“Jane, this is my sister, Brenda, and her husband, Fred, and these two little angels are the twins, Sarah and Sally.”
“I am so glad to finally get to meet after all of this time. We’ve heard many nice things about you,” Brenda said.
Daisy let out a nervous laugh.
Just then, Buck came up behind Jane and licked her hand and about scared her half to death. She let out a scream. “Oh my!” she exclaimed.
“Sorry! That’s my dog, Buck. He just loves everybody. Let me lock him up in the living room.” Daisy said.
Brenda quickly offered Jane a cup of coffee. Jane said that would be lovely.
Jimmy was still laughing at his mother when Sarah interrupted him and said, “We are having pancakes for dinner.”
“She has such a sense of humor,” Brenda said.
“We do have a little problem,” she explained to Jane. “Fred was going to butcher the turkey this morning, but when he went out to the cage, the turkey was missing. “
“Where did it go?” Jane asked.
“That’s the problem. We haven’t found it yet,” Brenda said. This is when Brenda dropped the bomb on Jane. I thought we could have the rest of the meal plus scrambled eggs. “
Jane was speechless. She had that look of,” You’re joking, right? Scrambled eggs?” she said hesitantly and then gave Jimmy a look.
“I love scrambled eggs,” Jimmy exclaimed.
“Me too,“ Sally said.
“Well, this will definitely be the most unique Thanksgiving dinner I’ve had,” Jane said.
“Wait until you taste Brenda’s pie. It is the best,” Jimmy bragged.
“Why don’t we all sit down to eat, “Brenda said. “ Fred, why don’t you give ‘thanks’.”
Daisy interrupted and said, ”I have a surprise that I am very thankful for. Next month I am opening up my own coffee shop. I can hardly wait.”
“Congratulations! How exciting,” Brenda said.
Fred said,” Can we get back to giving thanks. I’m starved.” Just as Fred started giving his normal Thanksgiving speech of being thankful for everyone being together on this special day, Buck started howling and jumping around trying to get from the living room into the kitchen.
“Are you sure he can’t jump that baby gate?”Jane asked in a worried tone.
Just then the wood on the gate snapped, and Buck bolted into the kitchen. Jane let out a scream. Buck bypassed the table and Jimmy’s attempt to snag his dog collar and started clawing at the basement door.
Fred got up and grabbed the dog, and that’s when he heard a strange noise coming from the basement. ” I think someone is in the basement. Who would have the nerve to break in during Thanksgiving dinner?”
The twins started giggling. “I think he wants some scrambled eggs,” Sarah said.
“Maybe we should call the police,” Jane suggested.
“Don’t worry. I will take care of it,” Fred grabbed his shotgun and headed for the basement.“ Keep Buck up here,” he told Jimmy.
“Everybody just be really quiet. I am going to sneak up on this guy.” Fred crept down the basement stairs carefully.
The twins started to cry. “I’m scared,” Sally said.
“Daddy will be all right honey. Don’t worry.”
“When Fred got to the bottom of the stairs, he spotted the culprit. There sat their Thanksgiving turkey with a blanket and a pile of cookies.”
Fred came back up the stairs with a serious expression on his face. Everyone looked scared.
“Did you catch the burglar?” Jane asked.
“I sure did,” he answered. “Girls, is there something you want to say?”
“We’re sorry,” they wailed.
“Sorry for what?” Brenda asked.
“Why don’t you all take a look and see what I found in the basement.”
“Daisy and Jimmy started laughing. Even Jane had to smile some when she saw that big bird laying on the blanket surrounded by cookies.”
“I guess you solved the mystery of the missing turkey,” Jane said.
“Why would you girls do that?” Fred asked.
“We like the turkey,” Sarah said. “We didn’t want to eat him.”
“We want to keep him as a pet,” Sally added.
“You girls shouldn’t have lied. You should have just said something to me or to your mom.”
Fred had a hard time staying mad at the twins. It was kind of funny, and they looked so sad with their faces streaked red from crying.
“The girls take after their aunt,” Daisy beamed.
Brenda then told everyone the story of Daisy sleeping with cows in the barn because she thought Fred was going to get up in the middle of the night and butcher Betsy and Bonnie, even though they were just milking and show cows.
Everyone enjoyed the rest of the evening talking and eating the delicious nontraditional holiday dinner. Even Jane looked like she was enjoying herself.
“Your food was wonderful. Jimmy is right. You do make the best pie. Next year, why don’t all of you come to my house for Thanksgiving dinner?”
“That might be a good --No! -- make it a great idea!” Brenda replied.