This year, Lucy was ready. Before the bird could even get the first “Pssst hey dog, help me” out, Lucy spoke up.
“Don’t ask me to free you. I won’t do it,” she proclaimed while staring up at the turkey.
Before the turkey could respond, Lucy added, “And don’t try to scare me with stories about how the humans will cook me next. It won’t work. This is my 3rd turkey year with them and they haven’t done anything like that and never will.”
Bella barked twice from behind Lucy.
“Oh yeah,” Lucy said, remembering something more, “and don’t even think about trying to bolt out the front door again. No matter how fast you think you are, my little friend here is faster. She makes a Whippet look like a tortoise.”
Bella barked once in approval, straightening up even higher on her powerful legs. Then she suddenly froze, and pointed up at the kitchen counter. Lucy knew by now this usually meant something. The Luce cocked her head to one side while trying to follow Bella’s gaze.
Something was different. Something was very different this year. Something was just a little off. Lucy could feel it.
The turkey was just sitting there, not begging or speaking in rapid fire pleadings, or sputtering oil and salt and pepper, or falling over into the sink. Nothing like the previous encounters.
Both dogs stared up in silence while the turkey in the sink remained motionless.
And then it happened. A second turkey swooped in from higher up on the counter, and landed right in front of the first. This one seemed much swifter, and Bella completely missed when she took a swipe at the bird with her paw.
The moving turkey catapulted itself on top of the faucet and lay perched there for a moment. It screamed out in momentary pain as some of its innards flew out and onto the sink basin. But the bird quickly recovered. Having already been skinned and packaged, losing some guts was a minor inconvenience.
This one spoke. “I heard of you. I know you. I know you won’t free us. Don’t care. Have no fear of you, do we.”
All Lucy said was “Two turkeys?”
The talking turkey’s neck wobbled a little at this. It was very unsteady. The first turkey remained silent, but looked on.
“TWO Turkeys?” Lucy repeated excitedly.
“Yes yes, I heard you the first time. We are two. Yes.”
A voice from another side of the house chimed in “At least that big smelly animal can count!” Both turkey’s necks craned in unison to discover the source of the sound. It was a furry white cat. Two other cats stood by, flanking the one who spoke.
Lucy and Bella ignored the sound. The silent turkey turned its neck just a bit too far, causing its entire neck to separate, and flop into the sink with a loud thud.
Bella growled softly, ending in a high-pitched bark.
“That’s right,” Lucy snorted. “One down.”
The talking turkey was enraged. “You think this is funny??”
“A little,” Lucy replied.
The cat chimed in again. “They are easily amused, such simpleton creatures are the canines.”
At this, Bella lunged in their direction, causing a few hisses as the cats scattered up high onto the furniture. One found recluse at the top of her cat tree, the other two on the high back rest of a couch.
Bella returned to Lucy’s side as if nothing had happened. The cats shot over looks that could kill, flicking their tails up and down angrily.
“Do you know what this means?” Lucy asked the turkey with the remaining neck.
The turkey spoke again, craning his neck gently so as not to lose it. “It means you can’t catch both of us. No you can’t catch both of us. You can’t you can’t no way. One of us will act as a decoy while the other runs out the door. It is a turkey tactical deception, it is. Been practicing it all year. Yes all year.”
Bella instantly accepted the challenge, and looked ready to run. Lucy was expressionless but curious as well. This was all new. And she liked new things.
“No,” Lucy replied thoughtfully. “They brought both of you here, which must mean one of you is for us and the other for them. It means dogs get their own turkey this year!”
The turkey looked perplexed.
Bella looked ready to give chase. She raised her hips high in preparation for a good sprint. She barked twice, then once more.
“No need,” Lucy responded to Bella. “I have a better idea. Howl like you have to go outside.”
Without hesitation, Bella howled. She cried and barked and swatted the back door with a paw. She put on her best emergency face and looked quite desperate to go out.
In no time, two humans were there. As they rounded the corner, Lucy had two paws up on the kitchen counter with her nose almost on the turkey.”
“Lucy leave it!” one of them shouted while the other let Bella outside. Then they worked together to quickly grab both turkeys and secure them in the oven until it was time to turn on the heat. The people left the room as quickly as they had arrived.
For the turkeys, there was no getting out now.
The turkey without the neck lay helpless in the oven. It hadn’t spoken once and never would. The other looked angry, and shook a wing at Lucy and Bella through the glass.
Its muffled voice could barely be heard as it cursed, “Ohhhhh I HATE Thanksgiving and dogs who sympathize with them people there who do this to us poor turkeys! It isn’t right!”
Lucy just turned her head from side to side as the bird uttered his last breath. She couldn’t wait for the humans to start the cooking, to smell the sweet aroma of not one but two basting turkeys.
And this year it seemed, the turkeys were getting smarter. She would have to remember that for next time.
And the humans were getting smarter too. They bought an extra turkey this time. This was smart because there was never enough to go around for both canines and humans. They would always just give little meat samples to the dogs. Just enough to taste it but not enough for a whole meal.
But not this time. Now, there would be one whole turkey for the people, and one whole turkey for the dogs.
Bella and Lucy looked forward to the feast, and enjoyed watching the turkeys fall asleep on the other side of the glass.
Two turkeys were indeed better than one.