Christmas Story for Lucy #9: In memory of Bernard Matthews…

Colin the Turkey was dreading Christmas. Every year lesser turkeys than he were placed in a cart and driven out of the farm gate, never to be seen again. This had meant that Colin was now, by far, the biggest turkey ever to wander the cobbles of Needlestone Farm. So big in fact that the rumor was that the pigs were even scared to confront him. Unbeknownst to the farmer this had been Collin’s plan all along. The bigger he got, the harder he would be to load into the van, the harder to haul away, well, the harder to make disappear. All turkeys know one thing. They know not where the lorry goes, they just know they don’t want to be on it.

All this, Colin was expounding to any animal who stood still long enough to listen. But little did poor Colin realize that the other animals, all of whom were very much aware of their own mortality, were getting rather fed-up of Colin’s lectures on his own invincibility. The animal most annoyed was a bull, called Alan. A really large, meaty, heavy bull called Alan. Alan was listening to Colin brag on and on one day when finally he lost control. He charged the turkey and batted him, plumply into the kitchen. But not just into the kitchen. A moment before the Farmer’s wife had opened the oven, a large ferocious looking Aga, leaving the door open for a second while she retrieved some logs from the woodpile. And this is where Colin came to a stop. Wedged in the door of the very, very, very hot oven. Now Colin, though a bird of little brain, realized pretty quickly that this was a bad thing. He could smell his bottom singeing, his feathers burning, his bottom bubbling. He was also vaguely aware of the mounting pressure behind him (or should that be on his behind?); of hot air expanding and a large turkey backside stopping it from escaping.

The pressure grew and grew. Colin’s rump got hotter and hotter. And finally, just as the Farmer’s wife came in from her garden, Colin, with an almighty pop, shot out of the oven, back out the door into the yard, over several fences and finally over the pig sty into the trough full of waiting slops. There was the hiss of something hot hitting something cold. A sort of sizzle. Collin sighed in relief. Then he looked up and realized that every animal on the farm was peering over the sty and… laughing at him.

Colin tried to collect the shattered remains of his dignity, stood up and waddled, his burnt bum in the air, away to nurse his wounds. But he never expounded his theory of survival ever again.

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