Bella sensed movement in the kitchen so she froze. In no time she figured out the area from which it came. Three of her tiny paws stayed firmly planted on the ground, the fourth (her right front paw) bent underneath itself as she faced the direction of the sound. She was pointing to alert the others. There was prey in the kitchen.
Skye, who had been napping nearby, read Bella’s signal and followed the direction of her muzzle into the kitchen. She stood up and walked over to the sink where she heard some commotion. Belle followed curiously behind. Both peered up into the kitchen sink and stared hard at the object in the sink. It was a bird. A turkey, to be exact. And a very naked one at that.
Bella and Skye turned to look at each other. After exchanging glances, they looked back at the writing creature emerging from within the stainless steel tub. Both dogs’ ears perked up as they took in every odd detail of this impossible moment.
The naked bird of skin peered down at the two curious dogs. He didn’t look exactly, but seemed to estimate where they were by twisting his ruddy neck from side to side in an attempt to follow the sounds. But the dogs were quiet so this was difficult. Finally, Skye made their positions known by speaking up.
“What are you doing?” she asked the strange bird.
“What? What? Who is that? Who said that? Who is talking to me?” the turkey asked frantically.
Skye ignored this, still as she asked the question first. She was disappointed that she didn’t receive her answer yet. Skye was a nice dog but she didn’t like being ignored.
The turkey continued. “Who is it? Is it someone? Is that someone there? I will find out sooner or later, you know. I asked a question over here. Oh rude creatures you are. Just rude!”
“What are you doing?” Skye repeated.
“Huh? Who is that there? Oh good good good. Hey help me! Help me please! Help me now! I’m trying to get out of here!” shrieked the desperate poultry.
Skye stole a quick glance at Bella, who was fixated on the bird. Skye turned back to the turkey. “Why do you want to leave here?”
“What? What? Seriously you did not ask me that. Are you really asking me that?” screamed the turkey. “Oh can’t you see? Can’t you see? They’ve already skinned me alive and packed me into a plastic wrap. There’s a plastic bag up my ass and my innards are removed and crammed down my neck. What do you suppose is next, hmmm? What?”
Skye and Bella were silent. Then Skye interrupted it once again. “Don’t say ‘ass.’ It’s impolite and we don’t speak that way here.”
“Well? Have you nothing to more helpful to say? Nothing at all?? I asked you what you suppose is in store for me next??? WHAT?
Bella tapped her paw on the floor and pointed up at the ceiling while briefly closing her little eyes.
The turkey heard this and asked, “what did the small dog say?”
“Death,” answered Skye flatly.
The turkey shook and spattered, thick vegetable oil flying out the top of his exposed body. Death?? D-d-d death?? How could you say such a thing? Won’t you help me out of this mess? Please?”
Skye looked the bird over carefully. She did not understand why this thing could talk, but she was even more confused by his request.
Bella barked loudly twice, then once more.
Skye looked at her, cocked her big Leo head slightly to the right, then responded. Turning back to the turkey, Skye said “she wants to know what’s in it for us.”
The turkey slammed one wing down hard on the sink basin. “You really don’t get it, do you? You understand nothing! Did IQs just drop suddenly since last Thanksgiving?????They put me in the oven, then they come for you. Happens every time. Turkeys for dinner, dogs for dessert.”
Skye looked a bit worried now. Bella’s face unchanged.
“Why, I’ll bet the two of you arrived within the past year. And do you know why? Because any dogs that were here before were served up with the last turkey! Don’t fall for it, my friends. Do not fall for it!!!”
Now both Skye and Bella looked concerned.
The turkey laid it on even thicker. “If you agree to help me I will make you a promise.”
Bella was immediately suspicious. Using Skye as a stepping block, she hopped up on the counter top for a better vantage point of this strange talking bird. Bella looked down upon the bird and got a good sniff. The turkey struggled to turn her raw, choppy neck to see the puppy that was now so close. But vision was so elusive…without eyes.
Bella barked. And barked again.
“It better be worth it,” Skye translated.
The turkey thought quickly and went on. “If you free me, not only will I lead you to freedom for yourselves, spare you the serving platter, but I’ll show you a room full of juicy steaks.”
Skye and Bella were both intrigued. “Juicy steaks?” Skye asked. “Enough for both of us?”
“Ohhhhhh yes! So many steaks for both of you. If you would only help me out of here and through the front door. Follow me around the corner to freedom and happy you will be! Yes yes, so happy both of you forever and ever! With many many so many steaks!”
“Those two idiots probably already know how to make hot dogs. Why do they need steaks?” A cat interrupted from the kitchen entrance way.
The turkey gasped in surprise at the new voice. Fearing his ruse would be ruined, he shot back. “Nobody asked you!!!”
Skye turned to listen to the cat, then back to the turkey. The fear of being cooked and the promise of many steaks was enough for both of them. Bella barked once shortly, and began biting and pulling on the closest exposed wing.
“Yes! exclaimed the turkey excitedly. “NOW you are beginning to understand!”
Skye craned her big Leo neck to assist as she hopped up on her hind legs so her view was even with the counter. The bird’s thick drumstick legs were a blur as he struggled to assist the two pulling dogs. Almost out, was the bird.
Nearly clear. One shot to the front door and it would be freedom at last!
And then a voice cut through the air.
“What are you doing with that thing?” Lucy asked from the other side of the kitchen.
“Nothing.” Skye answered. “Don’t you have a spa treatment or something to attend to?”
“NO!” screamed the turkey. “Not YOU again! Don’t listen to a word that dog says! She is evil.”
Skye and Bella looked confused.
Lucy explained. “His type have tried this here twice before. First with me alone when I was a new puppy and unacquainted with the world. The second with Bear and me when Bear felt sorry for the talking bird. It all reminded him of when he wanted so badly to escape captivity
“I know what you will do!” the bird said through clenched frozen skin. “You will try to convince them that I am bad and they should not help.”
“That is correct,” answered Lucinda sagely.
“I knew it! I knew it!” the turkey said angrily. “See how evil she is? A sad unemotional creature you are. Heard about you I did from Uncle Louis. And saw your smug face on Turkey Times, I did I did I did!”
Bella barked again, suddenly annoyed by this fast-talking thing. She had never seen the likes of it in her nearly four months upon the earth.
Skye, however, had a different idea. She continued to pull in spite of Lucy’s warnings. She felt bad for the bird, but also a sudden surge of pride. Who was Lucy to tell her what she was to do? Skye decided she kind of liked the bird and wanted to help out.
“What are you doing?” Lucy asked with an edge. “I told you to drop it.”
“Who are you to tell me what to do, Lucinda?” asked Skye. “I’m a bit older than you, you know. And if I want to help the bird out I will most certainly avail myself of that option.”
“Oh great,” Lucy said. “Now you’re beginning to talk like the birds.”
Bella’s head moved back and forth as she listened to the two Leo titans lock horns.
“You may be older,” Lucy conceded, “but I outrank you.”
“Oh really? How do you figure that?” Sky asked with her tail wagging once.
“Because I have more ear hair. The more ear hair you have, the more rank you hold. Looks like you have some catching up to do, Skye.”
Bella broke the argument up with a long bark and howl. At this, Skye pulled the turkey clear out of the sink. The turkey was ecstatic. “Finally! Yesssssss! One of the dogs in this house finally has some sense. Thank you, thank you, thank you miss….miss…”
“Ceile- Skye. I mean Skye. That is my name, now.”
And with that, the bird flew right up out of the sink. He landed on the kitchen floor with a wet, heavy thud. And wasted no time once there.
He ran down the hall as fast as he could, leaving a soppy trail of oil and water behind him. Lucy followed closely as did Bella. Skye watched with amusement, proud of her handy work.
A cat hissed as the turkey got too close on the way out.
The turkey hollered and cheered himself on as Bella kept pace beside him. He made it all the way to the front door, then unexpectedly shot his neck high into the air as a distraction. Planning no more communication with the dog creatures, he felt no further need for it. The neck landed perched atop the door handle, then fell back to the ground next to the turkey.
This motion managed to open the door just enough for a view of the outside. It was the first time the turkey had seen the outdoors in many days. He breathed in the fresh air at last. No longer able to speak, the turkey made a few muffled sounds as he prepared for a vicious launch out the front door. He planned to bolt down the street and into the first farm field he could find.
But it was not to be. Lucy slammed the door shut on the turkeys visions of freedom forever. The door caught the his wing and slammed with a boom!
“Arrrrrrgghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!” the turkey cried out in pain. Lucy’s left paw came crashing down on his back to hold him in place.
“Quick,” Lucy said to Skye. “Help a sister out. Close the door all the way so he can’t run out again. I think his wing is jammed.”
Skye looked into Lucy’s eyes. “I will do no such thing,” she said. “You wanted to keep this thing, he’s your baggage now.”
Lucy stared hard into Skye’s eyes.
Skye snorted. “Oh please. That mind trick doesn’t work on other Leos.”
Lucy reflected for a brief moment. “Oh. I never knew that. You’re my first adult Leo.”
Bella barked, the last one ending on a howl.
Lucy responded, “I know you are too small to reach it, Bella. It’s okay. Grab one of the cats. They can get to the door handle with no problem.”
Bella ran over to the cat tree and spotted two cats lying silently on two different levels. They had been watching the whole thing. Bella barked twice.
“No,” came the response in unison.
“It’s fine. Don’t get up.” Lucy said. Then she crammed her body against the door and the turkey wing severed right off. The door was closed. The wing was outside. And the turkey silent.
Several hours later, each dog received a portion of the turkey. It was Bella’s first time, but Skye said she’d had it before. All three enjoyed the meal. And Skye noticed that they were, indeed, not served up with the turkey. Which made perfect sense because Lucy claimed to have been here for more than one year. If she was telling the truth, Skye considered, then they were safe.
Skye said nothing more to Lucy about robbing the turkey of his freedom. It seemed Lucy was right after all.