Tom wasn’t quite sure what was going on or where he was. The only thing he could be sure of was that he was standing in a small office cubicle. In front of him was a desk with a computer monitor on it and a door in the wall behind the desk.
Even as he stared at it, the door opened and a turkey walked in. It was covered in a white, gossamer material, had a tiny, silver tiara on its head, and had some kind of stick with a star on the end tucked under its wing.
Chuckling at the absurdity of the situation, Tom said, “Who are you?”
As she hopped up onto the desk she said, “I’m Gwenda, your fairy godhen.”
“But, you’re a... a... TURKEY!” Tom nearly screamed.
“That’s what a hen is. What did you expect?”
“Well, a fairy godmother is supposed to be a beautiful woman.”
“For good little boys and girls maybe, but you were a turkey in your life.”
“I was a turkey?”
“Come on, who’d believe that?”
She turned the computer monitor toward him, waved her wand, and Tom was looking at a few scenes from his life. Tom recognized himself and finally remembered some of the things she showed him.
“Now that we’ve agreed on that, let’s get down to business. I have another dead turkey to take care of.”
I knew I should have called in sick today, thought Gwenda. “Yes, you’re dead. That’s why I’m here. You had such an exemplary life that I am allowed to grant you a wish.”
Tom didn’t need to even think before saying, “I wish I hadn’t died.”
“Sorry, can’t do that. Only cats are allowed to have more than one life.”
Tom thought a moment and said, “Can you show me that one last scene again?”
He watched as Farmer Al pulled him out of the yard and draged him to the old stump. He could feel the rough wood against his throat as he was held down. Then he heard the whistling of the axe through the air, and then -- nothing.
“I want revenge on Farmer Al.”
Gwenda sighed and said, “Tom, a lot of animals ask for revenge on the human who killed them, and it nearly always turns out very badly.”
“I don’t care, you offered me a wish and I want revenge on Farmer Al.”
Shaking her head, Gwenda waved her wand and a section of the wall faded away revealing a printer. She waved her wand again and the printer started spitting out page after page of text. When it was finished, Gwenda pulled the papers out of the tray and put them down on the desk.
“Here,” she said, “you need to sign this agreement and release forms.” A pen appeared on the desk as she waved her wand again.
“Contract?” Tom said. “What’s this all about?”
Gwenda explained, “In order to grant your wish I have to erase your memory completely.” She pointed with a wingtip to a blank line. “Sign here acknowledging that I told you that.”
When he did she pushed that paper aside and pointed at another blank line. “When I send you back, you’ll remember nothing but will be driven by your desire for revenge against Farmer Al. Sign here.”
He did and she pushed a final paper out to him. Pointing at the blank line she said, “I’ll send you back to the spot of your death and you’ll take the form of the nearest living animal. Sign it!”
* * *
As the Franklin family walked up the front walk seven-year old Susan said, “Mom, look, the front door is smashed in.”
“Oh, my, Al, someone has broken into the house.”
“Helen,” Al Franklin said, “take the children back to the car while I make sure it’s safe.”
As she led the two kids back down the walk, Al slowly pushed open the front door. “Hello?” he called out. “Is anyone there?” Without turning on the lights Al walked through the house looking into every room and even the closets. When he was sure the house was empty he went to the front door and called, “Helen? It’s okay. There’s nobody here.”
As the family walked back in Susan turned on the lights in the living room and exclaimed, “Yeew, dad, there’s mud all over the living room floor.”
Farmer Al looked at the once highly polished, hardwood floor, sniffed, and then said, “That isn’t all mud, there’s pig... well, it looks as if one of our pigs used our living room for a bathroom.”
“But, Al, how’d they get out of their pen and into the house?”
“I don’t know. You and the kids get started cleaning up this mess and I’ll check the pigpen.” He walked over to the wall and removed a shotgun before walking out the door.
Within minutes the kids were using scrapers to push the “stuff” out the front door and Helen had a pail of hot water and started mopping up the remainder. From outside there was the blast of a shotgun and then silence.
Farmer Al walked in the front door and stood there for a moment. “What’s wrong, Al?” Helen asked.
“It was the strangest thing. When I got out to the pigpen there was a strange hog and it looked as if he was trying to get into the pigpen.”
“But what was that shot?” Helen asked.
Farmer Al grinned and said, “Looks as if we’re having the other white meat for dinner tonight.”
* * *
“Who are you?”
With near disgust the pig answered, “I’m Gwenda, your fairy godsow.”
* * *
Challenge: Write something (prose or poetry; fiction, nonfiction, or essay) about Thanksgiving. It can be about the holiday itself, some specific personal holiday in the past, or a story that involves Thanksgiving.
Thanks to d d. for the idea of the “other white meat.”