One Turkey Spared...
November 26, 2012
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One Turkey Spared...


            ‘Twas but a few weeks before Thanksgiving, a weekday night like any other.  There was homework to be done, lunch to pack, a mess of dirty dishes in the sink, sign this, get something for show-and-tell, and all the other weeknight chores.  While Mom did the brunt of the work (dads cannot be trusted with such important tasks as picking out school clothes), I rummaged through the freezer to find the makings of dinner.  As I was trying to find some semblance of a fresh fruit or vegetable, my little chef walked in and asked, “Dad, what are you cooking?”


            Without a second thought (as this had never been a loaded question in the past), I answered, “Some turkey that we had in the freezer.”


            Within seconds, my sweet five year old female sous-chef went from giddy to heartbroken.  First a frown, then a sniffle, then an upwelling of tears.  “But, Dad, I don’t want to eat Nature.  I love turkeys...and rabbits too.”


            Then she started bawling.  I mean real tears and snot and hyperventilation. 


            This is why men do not understand women.  It starts early.


            By now, we had attracted the attention of my son, the future great white hunter.  He proceeded to offer his unsolicited opinion on the matter.  “Peyton, I love Nature.  Fried Axis back strap and chicken nuggets and hamburgers...”


            “Enough,” I interrupted, “go outside and enjoy Nature and leave your sister alone.”


            As he walked out the door, I could hear him trailing off, “...and I’m going to shoot a turkey and a deer and even a...”


            The tears were still flowing and I noticed Mom in the background trying to stifle her laughter.  She was going to be no help.  I was on this island alone and she was loving this father/daughter moment.


            I quickly drowned the bird in barbecue sauce and threw it back into the oven.  I got down on my knees and looked her square in the eye and said what any red-blooded, meat loving daddy would say, “Honey, you can eat or not eat whatever you like.  That is fine by me if you don’t want to eat Nature.  As for your brother and me, that’s not going to happen.  You can like what you like and we will like what we like.”


            “But what about rabbits?” she said.


            With confidence I replied, “Deal.  I promise not to eat any rabbits.”


            The tears immediately stopped.  All was suddenly well. 

            “If you are not eating turkey, then what do you want for dinner?” I asked.


            “I think I’ll have a corn dog.”


            The thought crossed my mind to try and explain, when a sudden piercing look from Jennifer told me I’d better not.  Corn dog it was.


            May you and yours have a great Thanksgiving feast and a happy holiday season. 


            As for us, we’re going to change it up and enjoy Mexican food this year. 


            And no rabbit.


            Until next week, keep smiling.


-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at