Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Turkey Who Could Not Stop Dreaming

The Turkey Who Could Not Stop Dreaming
An original short story by Paschal Baute v. 5.1
created for the annual Thanksgiving storytelling time.

Once upon a time, there was a young turkey who was different. She was a girl turkey whose name was Henriette and she had questions about everything. Some said she thought too much.

What we are sure of is that Henrietta was a different and very curious young turkey, always wondering, with endless questions.“Why is the sky blue?” “Where do clouds come from?” Etc. It seemed to others that Henrietta was curious about everything.

Henrietta noticed one day that there was not much new to do in the place where they all lived. It seemed like most turkeys were just walking around. Henrietta also noticed that they got fed on a regular basis, morning and evening and that water was always available.

Playing with the other young turkeys was also mostly boring. All they did was run races and pretend to fight and then make up.
Henrietta did not care for the pretend face offs where they would play at who could flare out their tail feathers the furthest.

Henrietta had one friend abut her size whose name was Henry. He was a young tom and liked to hang out and chat with Henrietta.

One day Henrietta notice there was a large fence around the yard where they lived, ate, slept and played. Since life had become boring, boring, boring, the fence became the most interesting thing to her. It seemed to be very high.

Henrietta asked Henry about the fence. “Everyone knows the fence is there to protect us from the wild things who want to hurt us,” Henry announced. Henrietta was skeptical. “I have never seen any such critters,” she said.

“Silly,” said Henry. “They don’t come in the daytime but at night. This is why we fly up to roost at night. In case one gets over the fence and creeps us on us. This is what our ancestors taught us and how we simply do it now by habit.” Henrietta remains skeptical and kept wondering what was on the other side.

When Henrietta asked the older turkeys about the fence, they pretended not to hear the question. No one wanted to give her an answer. Henrietta wondered why no one wanted to talk about THE FENCE. Then She notices something else. There were no old turkeys in the yard, no grandfathers or grandmother turkeys. Why was this so?

Then one day when the leaves started to turn to color, , Henrietta notice that the flock of turkeys got smaller. Where did the adult turkeys go? Did they go outside the fence? Was there another world somewhere?

Henrietta began wondering what was on the other side of the fence. Once night, while all the other turkeys were sleeping, Henrietta got up to walk in the yard alone. Henrietta decided to run as fast as possible to see if her small wings could give enough rise to get over the fence. The first time, the run and flapping reached only a few feet off the ground. But the second try was better. Tired, Henrietta went back to fly up to a favorite roost.

She finally told Henry that she was going to test her wings to see if she could fly over the fence. “You are a crazy turkey,” he said. “I never heard of such a thing.”

But the next night and the following night for many nights, Henrietta would run flapping wings. Henrietta found that wings got stronger. She began to think about the fence and what was on the other side all day long. And worst still dream about it. Soon Henrietta was almost clearing the fence. And Henrietta could not stop dreaming about adventure on the other side.

But Henry told another turkey about Henrietta’s wild plans. Soon the news was all over the yard. Then some young turkeys mad eup a chant. “Henrietta, sing operetta, Not like us, some violetta.
Wants to fly, high aviata, We betcha crash, like Juletta.”

Henrietta was made at Henry for telling others. But what could she do? She pretended not to hear. What else could she do? But inside she thought, “Hah, I will show you.” She became even more determined. “Just watch me,” she reminded herself, and the teasing became for her a helpful spur.

The fence become the private “enemy,” the singular roadblock to the rest of life, a monster that was holding Henrietta back from many adventures. Practice in the middle of the night, over and over became the night’s work. But her beak and her neck got really sore from hitting the fence so often but Henrietta would not be deterred from the Dream that now became the passion of her young life.

On day Henrietta ‘s left wing dropped just before hitting the fence, causing a turn to the left. Wondering whether a turn jut befor the fence was possible, Henrietta began to drop that wing and try to turn. Within a few nights practice, Henrietta had learned to turn which gave a new length of the year while Henrietta was already airborne.

“What a dumb turkey you are!” Henrietta thought, “ to take so long figure that out.” But now Henrietta could turn just before hitting the fence and continue to rise as wings grew stronger and stronger. Henrietta was also learning to use the tail feathers as a back wing with lots of trail and error and sore muscles.

Finally, one night, when the moon was full and everything was still, she decided tonight was the night for her great flight, her adventure into the unknown. She whispered to Henry, “Come with me,” and , sleepily, he followed. “Sit over there and just watch me,” she said. Henry, half asleep, did.

Then Henry watched in amazement as Henrietta flew down the length of the yard, then turning slowly flew right over him and the fence. She was gone, simply gone. He wondered if he would ever see her again.

Henrietta was delighted when she cleared the fence. Even after all the practice, she could hardly believe what she had just done. She quickly landed in some bushes and was suddenly afraid. What now? Maybe there were wild and dangerous things around her. She thought she would be thrilled over her great effort, but instead, she was only scared. What a surprise!

She was tired and sleepy. Then suddenly she heard strange night noises she had never heard before. There was enough moonlight., thankfully, for her to find and fly up to a nearby tree branch to roost and try to sleep. But the strange noises kept her awake.

Now she was surrounded by a strange and different world. Getting over the fence had been her total world. Now, she had no plans of what to do next. Maybe she just had to figure it out as she went along. And hope the wild things would not get here. Briefly, but only briefly, she thought about Henry. He was such a stick in the mud, but she had enjoyed his company.

Henrietta slept almost all day and got up near sun down, hungry and began to look for food. Finding some berries and seeds in the woods nearby, surroundings were so different, Henrietta decided to stay in the woods where there was plenty of brush.

One day Henrietta heard some gobbling, strange gobbling. Carefully peeking froim a bushy hide-out, Henrietta saw a strange sight. Large dark turkeys walking close together. Such a sight Henrietta had never seen! Finally Henrietta risked a squeaky gobble that came out as a little squeak. The flock of wild turkeys stopped, all heads turning and looking about, wondering about the different but familiar turkey sound came from.

Henrietta was scared but excited when the big birds came looking for the young turkey noise. They seemed much taller than Henrietta had ever seen, bigger than even the biggest back in the yard.

They came and surrounding Henrietta, clucking and eyeing her, staring at her still half grown body. Then, to Henrietta surprise, they seemed to become accepting and friendly.

“Come”, they said, “and we will introduce you to the wonderful world of the Great Forest. You are a brave young turkey to have flown the coop, jumped the fence and risked finding out what was outside.“

Henrietta did not realize until later that she had just been adopted. A whole new world o adventure was abou tto open to her.
was happy. She thought later she had made the hardest, scariest , ut best decision of her life.

Now take this story and make it better.

If you are lucky and are outdoors enough and in the right place, you might see a wild turkey in Kentucky but you will always find them in a brood. The children and grandchildren of Henrietta or Henrietta may be there. Paschal and Janette are lucky that they occasionally show up near where they feed the wild deer.

Historical note: Benjamin Franklin preferred the Turkey as our national symbol. He wrote “For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America.”

An original story Caught by © Paschal Baute for Thanksgiving 2010, November 23.


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