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Animal Stories: Bright Eyes The Turkey

Graham Whitcroft’s warm-hearted children’s story tells how Bright Eyes the turkey was lucky to have Becky as his friend.

To read more of Graham’s wonderful tales please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/animal_stories/

Becky lived on a turkey farm and woke each morning to the sound of gobbling turkeys.

Becky had one particular turkey friend. She had watched him peck his way out of his shell and emerge as a bedraggled and very tired looking turkey. Once his eyes opened, she saw that they were the brightest blue she had ever imagined, so she called him ‘Bright Eyes’. She watched his weak, spindly legs grow stronger, his grey, wispy infant feathers turn into splendid black, shiny, adult plumage and his shy hesitant walk became a proud strut around the turkey enclosure.

As peculiar as it might sound, Becky and Bright Eyes played games together. On lovely summer evenings she’d return home from school and play hide and seek and on warm but wet days they’d sit together in the turkey shed and play eye-spy.

It was on one of these occasions that Bright Eyes said, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘H’ “.

Becky tried hard to guess. “’H’ for ‘house”, Becky said as she looked from the shed window to her home.

“No” said Bright Eyes.

“Hut?” she asked for her second guess.

“No” he said.

“Hungry?” said Becky, who was beginning to feel a bit peckish.

“No” said the turkey.

“I give in’ she said, ‘tell me”.

“Holly” said Bright Eyes as he looked at the holly bush growing by the window and which scratched the glass as it blew gently in the breeze.

Becky was just about to congratulate Bright Eyes on an excellent choice of word when a horrible thought struck her. The holly, with its sharp prickles and emerging red berries reminded her of Christmas with its presents, crackers, carols and the Christmas dinner – turkey!

That evening as Becky sat down to eat with the rest of the family, Dad said, “Did something go wrong at school today Becky?”

“No Dad” she replied, “Why?”

“It’s just that you look so sad, I thought you had a problem”.

“I do, a problem about Christmas”.

“Christmas?’ said her father, ‘but that’s months away, and why should Christmas be a problem? It’s a lovely time of the year”.

“I know that’ she said, ‘but what will happen to Bright Eyes when Christmas comes?“

“Why, you know that’ said Dad, ‘Bright Eyes, like all the other birds in the shed, will become part of somebody’s Christmas dinner. Come now, you live on a farm and you can’t afford to get sentimental over a turkey”.

Becky found it difficult to sleep because every time she closed her eyes, she saw Bright Eyes lying naked in her mother’s oven. Becky’s tears wet her pillow. Then she had a brilliant thought.

At breakfast the next morning, Becky shared her idea. “Dad, how much will you get for Bright Eyes when he’s sold at Christmas?”

“It depends on how heavy he is’ said Dad, ‘but he’s a fine young bird and it wouldn’t surprise me if he could fetch up to fifty pounds”.

Becky hesitated before she asked, “Could I buy him?”

That was the beginning of a few industrious months of extra housework, baby sitting, working on the farm, making Christmas cards and saving all the money she earned. Whenever her older brother asked for a favour, she’d smile, open her hand and ask for his offering before she delivered.

Her father was so impressed that he bought her a money box. Each week she unlocked it and counted the growing number of coins. Five, ten, fifteen pounds.

November arrived. Becky enjoyed all the fun of Bonfire Night and Halloween with her family and friends but always, at the back of her mind was her concern for Bright Eyes and the money in the box.

Once more, she counted the coins.

“How much have you got?” asked her Dad.

“Just forty-two pounds and twenty pence”.

“Not to worry Becky’ he said, as he brought out his wallet and counted out seven pounds and eighty pence. “You have worked so hard and you deserve all the help Mum and I can give you”.

Becky hugged her father and shrieked, “Oh thank you Dad, thank you”.

Though it was dark, Becky ran into the turkey shed and found Bright Eyes. “Now, don’t shout’ she said, we don’t want to disturb the other turkeys, but I wanted you to know - I’ve saved enough money to keep you for ever”.

This special turkey gave a restrained gobble of delight, cried with relief and cuddled up close to Becky. “Oh thank you, thank you so much” was all he could manage to say.

It was Christmas Eve and Becky was paying Bright Eyes a goodnight visit. As they sat, the music of a carol drifted from the party in the house. They listened attentively to the words:

“Christ our Saviour is born” went the chorus.

“Saviour” mused Bright Eyes. “I know that doesn’t mean you Becky” he said, “but you’re my Saviour aren’t you? I’d be a Christmas dinner by now if it wasn’t for you”. A tear rolled down his cheek and Becky wiped it with her handkerchief.

“I suppose you’re right” she said as she cuddled him. ‘“Have a Happy Christmas!”


Luke 2: 10 and 11; Romans 3: 23 & 24


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