Not so very long ago in the early 1900’s, there lived a turkey named Al. He was actually a distant cousin to Tom Turkey and they had not seen each other in quite some time. Al was an Albino turkey, his feathers were the purest of white and people from all around the county would flock to see him, to touch him and to admire him.
Al loved having people come by and he was hospitable to each and every one by walking slowly by, letting everyone stroke his coat of white feathers and having their picture made with him.
One day cousin Tom came by and stood outside the fence.
“Hey Al,” Tom said, “Can you come past the fence and hang-out awhile?”
“Oh No, Tom, I cannot come out, my Master would not know where to find me.”
“Why would you want your Master to find you…it’s almost Thanksgiving you know.”
Al stopped pacing about by the fence and looked confused.
“Thanksgiving? Why, I have never heard about Thanksgiving…what does that mean, Tom?”
Tom’s colorful and majestic feathers were swaying from his laughter… “No really, Al…stop kidding, surely you know what Thanksgiving is all about.”
Al just shook his head letting his pure white feathers go down.
“Thanksgiving is when families like your Master’s get together to celebrate the new world. They do this by having a feast with all kinds of food and the main dish is….turkey.”
“Turkey?” Al said.
Tom pecked at the ground, as he nodded yes.
“But, my Master loves me,” said Al. “He tells me all the time, by feeding me the best, and watching over me and..and…he would NEVER kill me…would he? Surely, I would not be his main dish?”
Tom just stood there watching the emotions play across Al’s white eyes. Poor guy, he was an amazing turkey, always looking out for all the other turkeys, being kind and thoughtful. Why is it that the good die first? Why not the “Ole Devil,” turkey that struts around, he was meaner than a snake ready to strike; he would torment every bird that came into his territory. He especially hated Al the Albino, because he represented everything good and pure. No one loved him; the name “Ole Devil” spoke volumes of his evil disposition.
Al, suddenly brightened and said, “Well, I think that I will just ask my Master if I’m to be his family’s main dish for Thanksgiving.”
Tom gobbled up some feed that had fallen beside the fence, “go ahead, Al, but I bet it’s going to be you since you’ve been fed the best. You are prime white meat, pure and untouched and the Master will want to put the best before his guests.”
Al walked off and settled in for the night. He pondered everything that Tom said, and couldn’t help but get anxious that this was what the Master had in mind all along.”
Earlier in the morning when the Master came by, Al worked up a gobble to ask…
“Master,” he said, “my cousin Tom came preparing me for what may come; am I to be slaughtered and become the main dish for your Thanksgiving?”
With heartfelt sadness the gentle master explained to him that he was the purest of the pure as he describe Al’s white feathers, the finest ever known, his eyes, his beak, and even his feet were pure. The Master assured Al that he was favored amongst all the other turkeys and that the sacrifice of his life would mean that other turkeys might change their lives for the better.
“You mean that the “Ole Devil” might one day become good?”
“Well,” said the Master, “it’s his choice…but yes, he could change.”
With great agony, Al replied, “If there is no other way, then let it be done.”
The Master grieved that it had to be so.
The morning of Thanksgiving arrived and the hired hands were sent to slay Al the turkey. Tom was nearby as he watched his cousin die. Al did not fight nor run away.
The beautiful pure white robe of feathers were plucked from his body, then he was taken away to be prepared before his master.
The “Ole Devil” turkey watched from afar…laughter oozed from his beak but fear shook his heart…for he knew he had already made his choice.
Inside the home, Al had been roasted and dressed in splendor and placed beside his Master, a feast of Thanksgiving began…and it was good.
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