How The Turkeys Got Stuffed

To celebrate the holiday season, Wordability brings you a festive short story:

It was headline news when turkeys voted for Christmas.

Farmer Colin Walters had assumed the ballot papers in the turkey coop were the work of ironic kids. But then he noticed how the turkeys were jostling each other to get as much feed as possible, and when he joked “you really did vote for Christmas”, he was staggered when one replied “it was about time”.

Within days, Barry the Turkey was on television, explaining how turkeys had finally decided to accept the inevitable and acknowledge they were merely Christmas fodder for the masses.

People were not sure what amazed them more – that turkeys were so self-sacrificing, or that Barry could talk. Whichever one it was, this show of intelligence convinced many that these sentient beings could not adorn their Christmas table, and that year, nut roasts ran short on supermarket shelves.

Buoyed by his supporters on radio and the internet, Barry described his love for language and launched his war on cliche. To that end, he unveiled his chocolate teapot, specially tempered to avoid melting. Shortly afterwards, he flew to the Arctic and sold a snow machine to a group of eskimos.

But when he returned and checked out his legions of fans on website forums and phone-in shows, he found they had changed. His murdering of their basic phrases had deprived them of the only way they had of expressing themselves, and suddenly angry invective trailed off into oblivion as the self-styled arbiters of modern-day opinion found they had no resources with which to finish their sentences.

And so Barry became a figure of hate as a popular movement to turn him into twizzlers was formed. His achievements were forgotten and turkeys went back to eating the minimum of what was put in front of them.

Barry locked himself up and threw away the key.

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