Gallopavo shivered and his 6000 feathers created a gentle rustle in the air. The still, icy cold, blue-black sky spilled around, an ominous highway on which death rode. He knew in his heart what he had heard was true. In 7 days he was going to be turkey or more precisely stuffed Christmas turkey (He was already turkey, in fact, born turkey) (How many turkeys can you use in a sentence?)
Seven days to death. He slumped down and rubbed his snood on the frozen snow. Brrr cold. Before the first bout of depression hit him, he perked up, gobble-gobbled a bit and a goofy smile surged into his eyes with the hope of life. Deaths scratched his head, puzzled.
The first thing Gallopavo did was find a cookbook. He quickly turned the page to ‘Turkey’ and began to read with a serious fog of concentration, which even the clucking hens couldn’t penetrate. The fruits that went best with turkey were oranges, lemon, cranberries, apricots, prunes and grapes. The herbs were celery, rosemary, thyme, garlic and sage.
He spent the next seven days eating these ingredients, which made his body the yummiest dish on the dining table. He chewed with the dedication of a fanatic. Slowly his flesh, blood and bones began to acquire the flavour of a traditional christmas turkey.
When they wrung his neck he was chewing a piece of ginger and sucking on a broken bit of honey comb for added flavour. The man in the farm made Gallopavo the way his mother always did. The recipe had come down in their family for 200 years.
He served it on a silver carving tray. The family said their prayers and he got to work. As he carved the first piece of meat, the aroma, which gently wafted into the room announced to the hungry guests what they were about to taste was something spectacular.
In complete silence, all of them chewed on one unbelievable mouthful after another. After the tray was wiped clean and the bones were sucked spotless they found their voices. ‘This is the best turkey, I have had in 94 years’, ‘What’s the recipe, you must share?’, ‘I am vegetarian and I couldn’t resist a bite’, ‘My son, you are a better cook than me’.
The man smiled a vague, shaky bourbon smile, unsure about why the compliments were pouring in. He had made the turkey the usual way. Of course, nobody in their wildest imagination would have thought the best chef in this cook was the bird they just gorged on.
He never made a roast like that ever again. As for Gallopavo, though nobody knew his name, nobody forgot his taste as long as they lived.
Moral: When you get a bad hand of cards, play for fun.
Gallopavo is drawn by the fabulous Bijoy Venugopal. You can find more of his wonderful stuff here bijoyvenugopal.com