Of Thanksgiving, Turkeys and Ostriches

Ah, Thanksgiving! One of the many things that I enjoy since immigrating to Canada. In South Africa, some churches have a special “Thanksgiving” Service, usually corresponding to the date of the American Thanksgiving, but I never encountered a Thanksgiving Feast there comparable to the spread that is prepared here in Canada. 

Turkey, at least in my mind, doesn’t seem as popular in South Africa as it is in Canada. Chicken, sure. Ostrich, absolutely! But turkey?

One year, our neighbours in South Africa bought a live turkey. Now, please don’t get the wrong idea about South Africa. We don’t all have crocodiles in our back yards and lions on our couches, but these particular neighbours did also have a goat and a pigeon house in their back yard.

You may be wondering what kind of hillbilly has a goat running around in their back yard. Actually, they were quite ahead of their time. Before global warming was seen as an issue, they had invested in an environmentally-friendly lawn-mower. Sure, it would knock down the perimeter wall and tear up our yard, but this was a small price to pay for helping out Mother Nature.

As for the pigeon house, the birds were trained to fly in formation, circle the neighbourhood, and return. Once a day, they were released to put on this performance. This, too, demonstrated what forward-thinkers our neighbours were. They ran a car wash, and they counted on the pigeons to create repeat business.

Returning to the turkey. Knowing what savvy investors they were, we assumed they were planning on fattening up the bird, allow an axe to meet its neck, and then feast. But Canadian Thanksgiving came and went, and the turkey remained. American Thanksgiving passed, but the turkey did not. All 12 days of Christmas ended, and the turkey still ruled the roost.

As it turned out, we were correct. When the turkey was bought, his fate was to be Thanksgiving Dinner. But they didn’t have the heart, or the stomach, to transfer him from their back yard to their plates. The turkey eventually died of old age.

Happy Thanksgiving, whether you are Canadian, American, or neither of these. May your turkey, ostrich, or chicken find its way to your plate before it finds its way to your heart.

* * *

In the text of this blog entry, I have stuck as close to the truth as possible, but there is one lie. Can you spot it?


1 Comment

  1. Yes : Ostriches don’t play soccer, duh!

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