Diary of a Thanksgiving Turkey

PHOTO: State of MN

*record scratch*

Yep, that’s me. You’re probably wondering how I got here.

It started the Friday before Thanksgiving. I was just chilling in my containment pen with a few dozen of my genetically selected pals. All of a sudden, one of the Grabby No Beaks yanks me up by the neck and drags me into a cage.

We went on a long drive. My mother, #34564, told me that I would go on this drive someday. She told of a long journey, longer than I could even imagine. But I wouldn’t mind because I would be warm and well-fed. A gentle wind would toss my snood and wattles. Pain would leave my body and I would live forever with all the turkeys I’ve ever loved.

This was it! I would finally see mom again!

Well, it turns out all that was just the effects of a mild sedative. Mr. Grabby No Beak pulled me out of the truck outside an enormous barn — bigger than any barn I’d ever seen. There were golden horses up at the top and everything was made of stone.

He took me into a badly lit little room full of Grabby No Beaks flashing snap-snaps at me. “Gobble gobble!” I yelled. But they didn’t understand me.

The people started talking about how Minnesota was the top turkey-producing state in the country and that Thanksgiving was an important holiday for so many people. Every table should have a turkey on it.

Well, I agree. As long as table means those cushy things I see in the Grabby No Beak’s living room where he sits and watches the glow box!

A bunch of Grabby No Beaks who smiled way too much petted me. They sent me back to the containment pen just in time for Thanksgiving.

I’m not really sure what this was all about. But it got me thinking that the world is a pretty big place. I think I might like to explore it someday. Maybe next year. Lots of grain on this floor. Lots of it. Nom nom nom.

PHOTO: Governor Mark Dayton, Lt. Governor Tina Smith, President of the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council Kim Halvorson (center left), and Douglas County 4H member Katie Kent (center right) kick off Minnesota’s Thanksgiving festivities at the Minnesota State Capitol. The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association donated 13,000 pounds of turkey to Minnesota Hunger Solutions in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The dignitaries above are joined by a 45-pound Minnesota-grown turkey named “Truman” from Alexandria, Minnesota. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the first-ever National Thanksgiving Turkey Ceremony, hosted by President Harry Truman in 1947.

Minnesota is the top turkey producing state in the nation, generating 46 million turkeys a year and $806 million in economic impact. In Minnesota, ceremonial turkeys are never pardoned.


  1. …and then Tony Cornish grabbed my breast.

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