Pardon Our Turkey


That was the cry I heard as I sat up in The Directors chair in my office on the seventh turret in the fourth tower, the only tower that allows me to see both the sunrise and the sunset, sometimes simultaneously if the light is right, surveying the vast holdings that is The Institute. It is Thanksgiving morning and visions of fat roasting turkeys rotating slowly on the spits in our cavernous kitchen deep beneath the main keep, listening for the small explosions as the drippings fall into the embers. The smell coming up the spiral staircase causes a ravenous hunger to form in the most gentle of souls, all of this and more occupy my thoughts.

The gentle but suspicious lowing of the oxen in the kitchens’ holding pen adding their voices to the background of the holiday symphony slowly warming up. They are being fed as much as they can eat so they are properly ready for the holiday meals. Christmas is just around the corner and we’ll need three of them. The cook has chosen Lisa, Cranalby, and Lamont,  one for each of the walk-in fireplaces or ovens, the hoists to lift them up onto the spits already in place, oiled and ready, the chains hanging low enough that the kitchen urchins can reach them to begin slowly turning them from carcass to steamship rounds, and briskets, and steaks and huge piles of unnamed but tasty gibbets, but that was Christmas, six weeks away, today is Turkey. Yes, big turkeys. Lots of white meat, and extra legs for those that like them.

But then, there was that call coming from way down below, “Pardon our turkeys, pardon our turkeys”, the chant rolling up the tower walls into my reveries until, that’s it, enough, I had to deal with it. Sliding down the 140′ brass pole that provided a quick exit to the ground level I was brought up short by all the interns I had sent out to gather the turkeys that I had paid good money for, see, wailing and gnashing their teeth, the youngest crying like they’d never murdered a bunch of turkeys before, the oldest carrying not only their hatchets but torches too. Yelling miserably “Pardon our Turkeys, pardon our turkeys” over and over. It was heart-rending. I was torn by the angst I heard in their voices. I don’t think they could have been more affected if I had announced we were going to boil up a mess of puppies. The cute kind, like Golden Retrievers or something.

So with the thought of hatchets and torches, and in the interest of keeping my staff happy I made a snap decision. Waving my arms in the air to calm them and get them to lower those hatchets I made a command decision. “OK, Ok,” I said in my most commanding voice. “As your Director and the leader of The Institute, I hereby issue the following decision. All Turkey’s brought in for the purpose of being our Thanksgiving Dinner shall heretofore be Pardoned, set free to roam The Institute’s grounds and not be considered for their edible qualities until next year, when all bets are off.” Cheers immediately broke out with loud cries of “Huzzah, huzzah!” and “Yes, Oh thank you Director!”  and even a few gobbles from the turkeys awaiting their fate.

“Turn them loose, turn them all loose.” I magnanimously said “All but Lennie the Terrible up there on the ridge. He is a rogue and a scoundrel, Bring him to me. He is a known felon who has committed grievous crimes against The Institute and must stand trial for his misdeeds at once. Take him to the kitchen I will convene court in a few moments. As for dinner we’ll be serving Cajun Lasagna in the main cafeteria.” The shock of having Lennie put on trial began to dissipate as they thought about the Cajun Lasagna, one of the all time staff favorites. Thoughts ran across their faces like a Times Square billboard. Lennie was a bastard. Nobody liked him much anyway and we got all the rest of the Turkeys pardoned. Ok cool, was the general consensus of the crowd.

All of the interns and other staff member who participated in the uprising were soon hanging around the cafeteria, their nostrils pressed against any crack in the buildings log walls, smelling the incredible scent of Cajun Lasagna, being careful not to stick their tongues on the metal trim around the windows, waiting anxiously for the dinner bell to ring.

As for me, I had the unpleasant duty to proceed with the trial of Lennie the Terrible. He was found guilty of course, the evidence being overwhelming and the sentence was carried out post-haste. We never like to see one of our prized bird friends lost but justice must be served, and Lennie will be remembered fondly at each future Thanksgiving dinner, but most especially at this one.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends where ever they may be. You are in my thoughts and I love you all. A special thank you to all of our International readers out there. I know you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving but I know you have a lot to be thankful for and I want to tell you I appreciate your visits and support. There is a bunch of Aussies out there that I want to give a shout out to. Thanks, mates, and many other nationalities that have been recently visiting the blog. Last year we had visitors from 66 countries and this year we’re ahead of that total. I wish there was room to list you all, but it would be like the roll call at the United Nations. Thank you one and all. And come visit again soon.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!