Just A Poultry Encounter Finale, Part 3. Happy Turkey Day!

About Thomm’s dream…
“Of course.” He sat up in the car seat. “I think what influenced the dream was the feeling of hopelessness, or rather, I could almost feel meaning and purpose drain out of me as I hitched rides away from home. So, as I dozed off or dozed on or rode the horizon of R.E.M., I had this dream. My Uncle was in it. He was plucked, stuffed, and golden brown on a platter right next to the cranberry sauce! I gasped in horror! Actually in my native tongue it would have been an annunciated “blullullla”. The table was long and the people were plenty with their heads bowed and hands folded in their lap…except for some of the children staring at my uncle like he was Turkish Delight. Then I realized even though uncle Thommy was missing feet, talons and all, his spindle neck and bald head were attached AND ALIVE! He cricked his neck and looked me right in my eye, my right eye, and began to speak.

“Thom Thom, oh how I’ve missed you! How you’ve grown. You have a nice beard there. I’ve been worried about you. I know there is reason to run, at least it seems the reasonable response to the recent events in your life. But I am here to offer another possibility, so don’t start molting like you’ve seen the ghost of Thankgiving’s Past. This is only a dream, but the scene is a reality that many of us have the privilege to enter. For many of us it is our manifest destiny.”

“Destiny! Destiny? Butter basted, extra crispy, stuffed with who knows what, and taken from the free range to the range oven…just what kind of destiny is that?”

“I know how you feel.”

“Do you now!?”

“Yes I do, because you are looking at last Thanksgiving at the Hubble’s house. For a brief moment I laid in the middle of a family taking time to reconnect at an annual meal. Meal time for American’s used to be the time of day, every day, for communication and communion. Eye to eye contact, body language, common courtesy, and a physical reminder of belonging. Now those special times are reduced to a few times a year.

When I was your age, an older, wiser, Tom took me aside and gave me ‘the talk.’ The talk I never made the opportunity to give to you. I procrastinated, and I kept seeing the chicken scratch writing on the wall but….” His voice trailed off. “I’m so sorry I didn’t prepare you for this. I hope you will find a way beyond this and forgive me.” He then shook his snood and said, “This is my chance, and as weird as it might be to listen to a succulent, organically raised bird speak to you from the dead, I will not pass this up.”
*
His head and neck then disappeared and a translucent uncle Thommy floated above the Hubble family table. He hovered over grandpa’s comb over, Lauren’s pigtails, Kelsey’s cornrows, and grandma’s poofy grey arrangement. He saw the horn of plenty and the expanded double leaf table full of entres’, and there in the middle his body. The center piece wasn’t the candied yams or the mashed potatoes. It wasn’t the salad, cranberry sauce, or the green bean casserole. It wasn’t the cherry, mintz or pumpkin pie. It was the body of a bird raised free.

“Oh Thomm Thomm“, he began, “Take a good look. This family is bowing and thanking God for the gifts they are about to receive and I was one of them. I was the one in the middle to be carved and given to each. This is why I was raised. Look at them. Before they sat for prayer I was able to float around the house and listen in on conversations. They have their dysfunctions and differences. They have their favorites. They have their spoiled last borne. See that little one over there. Her name is Emmy and she took special care of me when I was just fluff. Thank goodness she lost track of who I was!

It would be arrogant to tell you that they gather just because of me. No, it’s their God given desire for connection and the God-image in them. This holiday is just one reason they make efforts to come together. It’s a human thing, we wouldn’t understand. They pray to One bigger than their collective experiences. We fulfill God’s design for us. We feed, but more than that, our species in America feed thankful bodies, thankful hearts. Your destiny is at hand. You could be in the middle of all sorts of possibilities. Redeeming moments, forgiving moments, loving moments, joyful moments, meaningful moments, all basted in the juices of thankfulness.”

“It was then I woke up and looked east and rousted my roosting. Time to head home I said to myself. It is my time to walk through the door of destiny. No more running. I figured if I got back soon enough I could be a part of someone’s thankful day this year.”

I was without a word. Did a turkey really go there? Nobody’s going to believe this. I don’t believe this. I’m on my way to Berrien Springs. I’m a turkey taxi. There’s a turkey in my baby’s car seat who just gave me a lesson in religion, philosophy, manifest destiny, and the difference between free range and PPP turkey farming. What passed through by lips was “thanks for sharing.”

“Thanks for caring and carrying for that matter!” he responded. “It felt good to process the story to you. It was like getting the stuffing scooped out of me. I feel lighter.”

“Hey, I know this is sudden, but why don’t you come to my house for dinner! I mean, I have a couple of punk mass produced turkeys in the back I can give away to two families in Mattawan. You’ve got to be thirty pounds dressed. You are what I was looking for earlier…a nice, fat, Thomm Thomm! We both laughed. If you’ve never heard a turkey laugh before you’ve never split a gizzard.

“I would be honored to be front and center at your house on your Thankful Day. Blullulla!”

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