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In this country, turkeys were the most unfortunate creatures. Once a year , every family would have a roasted turkey on their table. Therefore, all turkeys, without exception, were horrified out of their wits when the last Thursday of November approached. They knew only too well that even if God would watch over them and ward off all their ailments, they would still be slaughtered on that dreadful day in November.
As the scary date drew nearer, the turkeys would more and more often raise their eyes to the skies, watching migrating birds fly to the south…they wished they could fly away from this country for just one singe day!
“ What kind of a barbaric custom it is? Why us? Why are these people so sure that we are the tastiest of all? I’d say a roasted suckling pig is far tastier!” Turkey-wife argued.
Don’t fret ahead of time! God willing, this time he won’t show up at our mistress house. I think he isn’t too crazy about her,’’ Turkey-husband reasoned.
‘’You don’t know women, dear. She probably knows he is not coming, but she’ll slaughter one of us anyway, and will be waiting for him all day by the window just in case,’’ Turkey-wife shook her head.
“ In that case, I wish she will be lonely forever,” snapped Turkey-husband angrily.
“ What difference does it make? When the day comes, one of us will wind up on a platter with sweet potatoes and cranberries,” Turkey-wife said sadly. “But I was kind of hoping to see our children peck their way out of eggs, and we’d surround them with the loving care we’ve been deprived of when we were chicks.’’
“Right, I don’t remember my mom and dad…What am I talking about, we are a generation of orphans, all of us! And all because of this stupid custom!” Turkey-husband said dismally, lowering his red nose to the ground.
“ To be honest with you, I pity her, you know, as a woman. I haven’t the slightest doubt he’ll stand her up again. Women are such gullible creatures, they are! To think of it, every time he sweet-talks her, and she keeps waiting for him. If he didn’t promise her he’d come, perhaps, she wouldn’t slaughter us. Seriously, what will she be doing with a whole roasted turkey? Now, because of his deception one of us will be sacrificed tomorrow,” sighed Turkey-wife, mournfully ogling a pile of freshly laid eggs.
“ Do not despair, darling, we have the entire night ahead of us. Perhaps, she wouldn’t want to break us apart,’’ Turkey-husband said comfortingly.
“Only very clever women always do what is right, and her…When God doled out brains, she obviously wasn’t around. How could she love a man who doesn’t care about her? Do you think I’d love you if you were chasing other turkeys?” Turkey-wife stated confidently.
“ Yeah, I kind of feel bad for her too. Always sighs and weeps for that man. She is a kind lady, never kicks us around, takes care of us, feeds us plenty…’’ Turkey -husband uttered contemplatively.
“ Men! Don’t you understand why she is feeding us so well? Simply because she wants us to get bigger so that her man can eat himself silly!” Turkey-wife cried out. “ If she slaughters one of us tomorrow, our children will be orphans! For that I wish this woman to remain unloved and lonely all her miserable life!”
“ Calm down, dear. She is already unloved and lonely,’’ Turkey-husband said soothingly, placing his head on the back of his spouse.
“ Only in this country, only here there is this awful, despicable custom of sacrificing turkeys once a year. Why turkeys, for God’s sake? Why not ducks, for instance?”
“Dear, the people consider us the most beautiful birds in the entire universe. That is why they selected us. As for the ducks or suckling pigs- those lowly creatures can hardly compare to us,’’ smiled Turkey-husband with an air of superiority.
Locked up in a dark barn together with other poultry, the Turkeys couldn’t sleep all night, crying and talking, and comforting each other.
The next day, or to be precise, late the next day, Turkey-widow was still sitting on the same spot, her eyes red and swollen from crying. A short distance away in a lonely house, a sad, abandoned woman sat at her dining room table, motionless, staring blankly in front of her. The table was covered with crisp white cloth, and lovingly set for two. In the center of the table sat a huge plate with a large, golden-brown roasted turkey garnished with sweet potatoes, corn and cranberries. The turkey was getting cold, but the woman never touched her food that night, frozen in her chair, staring blindly at the opposite wall.
By Liana Margiva.
Translated from Russian by Anatol Kardiukov.
Reader Reviews for
"The Last Night"
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|Reviewed by Leann Marshall
|Poor turkey--I'm sure I'll remember your story as I sit down to the table this year! :)
Great story, Liana!
|Reviewed by Joyce Bell
|BRAVO! A FINE WORK...UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE AND GREAT CHARACTERS. THANKS FOR SHARING AND MANY BLESSINGS, LOVE, JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS|
|Reviewed by Inspire Hope
|Yes Liana I found this story quite interesting. You are a great story Teller! Blessings!
|Reviewed by Richard Orey
|A wonderfully told tale with the great lesson in it for all of us to learn to view things from a different perspective rather than being focused so exclusively on ourselves.
I have a real weakness for stories and commentary revealed from the viewpoint of creatures other than ourselves. In my first novel, I thought how clever I was to include affirmation of my characters' decisions by writing, "Outside, protected from frigid cold by the thickness of his feathered coat and the branches of his craggy old oak tree, the Great Horned Owl blinked his wise approval."
I'm such a simpleton at times. I have much to learn. It is a privilege to read the work of a master.
With admiration and respect,
|Reviewed by Dawn Anderson
|When you write, Liana, you touch your readers on so many levels...spiritually, romantically.. You are a master story teller....I love your work!|
|Reviewed by Bonnie May
|Delightful write Liana, I'm so glad you told me to check it out. Great minds in a single thought...my turkey and your turkeys...loved this, Love, Bonnie|
|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|An interesting story, Liana. Thank you for sharing it. Love and peace to you,
|Reviewed by hussein kodary (Reader)
|i want to chat with you
you are my favourite
|Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU
|A soul’s touching story with deep analysis of ontologic, spiritual, and romantic-social relationships.
Thank You for sharing "THE LAST NIGHT".
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
|Reviewed by Kenneth Seay
|This story makes a good point. I have felt like the Turkeys before.|