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Cynthia Borris

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A Turkey of a Tale
By Cynthia Borris
Sunday, November 02, 2003

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Cynthia Borris
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Kid-busted on Thanksgiving!


Mommy!" The sob escapes through Jake's two front missing teeth. "Teacher gave me a sad smile on my Thanksgiving picture."
Tiny tears streak down the dirt-dusted face. I wipe away the cheek stream with the side of my finger and open my treasure box of hugs. I study the crayon etching, vibrant with fall colors. One, two, three, four stick people - one bigger and with fluffy head, must be me, eating Thanksgiving dinner.
"This picture is great." I hold it high and secure a place on the refrigerator door for all to see.
"She said it's not Thanksgiving dinner." Sniffles ease and Jake's tears drain dry.
"What's wrong with it?" I look closer at the table spread with holiday food. Steak, potatoes, broccoli casserole and four Baskin Robbins' ice cream turkeys.
"My teacher said this's a picture of a Fourth July barbecue." A quivering lip returns. "She said people eat turkey, stuffin' and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving." Inquiring eyes roll to my level. "What's stuffin'?"
Turkey busted. No Christmas present for this kindergarten squealer.
"We have turkey." I point to the round belly of the ice cream turkey to strengthen my case. "And stuffing, well it's something people put up the turkey's…I mean inside the turkey's belly."
Jake's runs his finger over the upside down smile not buying my turkey story.
"Billy down the street's grandma grows her own turkey." The tales of kindergarten expand. I swear I'll be hearing how she marched it to the butcher's block and picked all the feathers by hand next. "And teacher's mom cooks pumpkin pie from batch."
"Scratch," I reply.
I used to bake from the ground side up before single parenthood, pre-absence of sleep and lack of appreciating taste buds. Steak on the grill now a perfect solution to defrosting and basting a frozen Tom and still have energy to watch T-day football. I boast like a plump hen with my idea. I drop the magnet from the artist's construction paper and carry the picture to the table.
“Well, did you tell your classmates our turkey taste like pumpkin pie?" I trace my fingers along the gobbler's cookie tail and smack my lips.
 Jake foot stomps and he quick butts it to the living room. Flying through the air he lands on the couch, belly down, his crimson face soaks the pillow.
I inhale the Thanksgiving season, peek at the orange candle on the mantle and pull the heaving form into my lap. I brush his golden curls from wet cheeks and gaze around for a Kleenex. A sleeve swipes the nose clean.
"Okay, bud." I huddle the kid with the red mark of teacher induced failure and offer, "Want to have a turkey this year?" I'm inscribing adequate words for this teacher of tradition as I rock my son.
The squirrels scamper down the palm tree, the morning frost glimmers on the lawn. I stare at the picture refastened on the panel of Hallmark moments. I'm up to right elbow groping out the insides from the Safeway special turkey. I sneer at the upside down smile and mumble vipers of revenge. Maybe brownies laced with Ex-lax for Christmas? Hum?
Smells of cloves linger in the warmth of the small kitchen, bubbling pumpkin pies cool on the counter and flour smudges dot my nose. A ten-pound bag of russet potatoes wait to be stripped of their outer clothing. I'm beat. I saw dawn and the rising sun, the edges of my eyes droop, but I promise traditional mounds of food spread over my table this Thanksgiving Day. Upside down smiles - not in my house.
Yawns and rumbling stomachs wander into the small room.
"Good morning sleepy heads." I scoop a wet mass of seasoned breadcrumbs and giblets into my palm and reach far into the turkey cavity to deposit the stuffing.
Three wide-eyed kids stretch on tiptoe and gasp in horror.
"Mommy's hand is up the turkey's butt." Krista declares with her four years of knowing.
"Icky, yuck, yuck, yuck…" the trio chant.
"Now stop that you guys." I'm trapped with my hand deep in untreaded territory. "I'm just stuffing the bird."
"That's stuffin?" Jake's words travel in a whisper, barely dancing on my ears. "Turkey poop?"
"No it's," the kids double over, grasp flannel wrapped stomachs and back away. "It just cooks inside the turkey. Really it's bread." I snag the empty package from the stuffing mix and wave it in the air.
"I'm not eating turkey poop!" Jake scoots away from the icy bird and sticks out his tongue.
"Me neither," the remaining troop rally together.
My fingers tap on the stainless steel sink, reflecting my inner thoughts of 'never again'. I look at the picture holding fast on the refrigerator door and wonder if it is too late to buy steaks.
"Jake?" My voice carries easily in the aroma of pumpkin. "Does your teacher like brownies?"
"Yeah, she loves cookies and chocolate brownies with nuts." He pokes a finger in the pumpkin pie and turns, "Why?"
"Oh, I thought I'd bake her a big batch for Christmas." I wipe the remnants of turkey droppings from my greasy fingers, sip my hot coffee and give thanks.
Stop in for seconds and enjoy...  
Beware of Turkeys bearing turkeys…
Cynthia Borris is the award-winning author of No More Bobs, a romantic comedy. She resides in California and is a frequent Chicken Soup for the Soul and Cup of Comfort contributor. A humor columnist and inspirational speaker, she welcomes your visit at: 

       Web Site: Creative Energy Unlimited - Come for a Visit -Stay for Laugh

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Reviewed by Blondie Clayton 11/30/2010
Love your sense of humor.
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 11/21/2008
Too funny, Cynthia! My grandmother always spanked our turkey before the stuffin' it regimine, , and then. one by one, lined up, all of us grandkids so we could spank it too! My tradition, I chase the kids around the house with a headless dead bird! LOL!
Great story, I loved it!
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Mary Lynn Plaisance 11/5/2008
I love this story.... lol

Mary Lynn Plaisance
Mama of the Cajun Fairies~
Reviewed by Stacy Mantle 1/10/2006
LOL! Well done! Loved this story! I also have a hard time with "stuffin' turkey," so I could totally relate to this tale... Sounds like the Kindergarten teacher needs to get a little more realistic with her teaching!
Reviewed by Lisa Adams 12/4/2005
I adore the steak and ice-cream turkey affair - it is vaguely conspiratorial - like a big ol' thhhhhwbttt to the whole "What t-day should be" concept. Love this story.
Reviewed by Peter Paton 12/3/2005
I just love Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful opportunity
to mix with family and old friends...and this is a delightful tale ! Mom always called me Peter Pumpkins which brought back another delightful memory !
Thank you Cynthia for this refreshing story
Reviewed by Veronica Hosking 11/23/2005
Delightful Thanksgiving tale. I can just picture my 4 year old declaring some of these same words.
Reviewed by Jill Carpenter 10/29/2005
Oh my! I am laughing so hard. This was such a great story. Your children's reactions were priceless! I would gladly donate to the Ex-lax fund. That teacher needs those brownies!

I loved this one!
Reviewed by Henry Lefevre 10/4/2005

Please DON'T (DO NOT!) send me any cookies for Christmas!

I'll be a good boy -- honest!

Oops. Come to think of it, that Exlax might just cure what's been ailing me for the last 99 years.

Reviewed by Sandra Mushi 6/28/2005
Turkey poop ... lolololololol ... ick ick yuk yuk yuk .. lolol ... Cynthia, you are too much! I love your stories! Please do keep them coming!!

God bless,

Reviewed by Regis Auffray 4/1/2005
Thank you for sharing the humor, Cynthia. Love and peace to you. Regis
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 3/26/2005
chuckle, although as a long time Kindergarten teacher I hope this was not taken from life. sheesh, if it was then a pox upon the teacher.
Reviewed by Emma Willey 3/24/2005
I was just surfing around and happened onto your turkey story. Very clever, and you had me laughing out loud! Wish I could write like that. Congratualtions!

Reviewed by Patrick McCormick 3/4/2005
Very amusing. Only out of the mouths of babes could come turkey poop. I thoroughly enjoyed the read, which was very well writen.

Reviewed by Diane Ackley 1/2/2005
Funny read. I have a three-year-old & I guess it hadn't occurred to me that his teachers might influence him to think that traditional is the only way to go. That's a frightening prospect, since I'm particularly non-traditional. Well, I guess I'll have to see what happens, right?

This was a nice story, well-written & funny. (And you can see it made me think, too.) Thanks for sharing.
Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very 11/26/2004
This is Cute. Really cute and sincere. Thanks!! hope the teacher Loved her brownies!!! Turkey pooop and I always loved the stuffing the best ick ick yuk yuk yuk. Gee Thanks!!!!!
Hope You have the Best, Happiest and most Blessed of Holidays.
Thank you too For all your wonderful and kind Comments you send my way.
Heaven's Love,
Reviewed by Constance Gotsch 8/20/2004
This one aint no turkey!

Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain 7/14/2004
Funny, enjoyable, and very-well composed - loved this one!
Reviewed by Peter Paton 7/10/2004
A Foghorn Leghorn of a tale Debbie...Lol

" Well I Say !!!! "

Best Wishes

Peter Paton
Reviewed by Bonita Quesinberry 12/11/2003
This is not only incredibly well written but also the humor flows wonderfully, Cynthia. You have a natural gift for writing humor: rare. ~~Bonnie Q
Reviewed by Tom Hyland 11/22/2003
Cynthia - Hi!!!

Thanks for the kudos on my poem!

This is terrific! Turkeys and Teachers - sometimes they coincide!

Reviewed by E. Richardson 11/19/2003
heheheeeeeeeheheheh!. You gotta love it...hehehehe...this is not only funny but a real slice of life, especially if you have ever been or are a parent with small children...simply grand, the way...instead of exlax, try some hi-fiber...the effect will be the same and you get the plus of massive internal gas production...heheehheheeh(he laughs an evil laugh).
Reviewed by Rodd Jokre 11/19/2003
hahahahaha... Apparently we both have the "poo" sense of writing... ;) It gets a good laugh though, eh? Thanks for sharing...

Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 11/18/2003

o, this is hysterically funny--ROTFLM*O turkey poop LOLOLOLOLOL

this ain't no turkey, i agree--this is a laugh riot, and i'm saving it for when i need a good laugh

thanks for writing this--

(((HUGS))) and love,

karla. :) happy thanksgiving day to you, too! :) *i gotta work*
Reviewed by Michael Curry 11/16/2003
Ha ha! Love it! An excellent tail for this time of year! Come see my Turkey story if you want another laugh. I enjoyed this!
Reviewed by George Carroll 11/8/2003
What a sense of humor. Turkey poop...LOL
I enjoyed your nice little story thanks for posting it.

Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 11/3/2003
Enjoyed this tale; and this tale is NO turkey! Enjoyed! (((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Texas, Karen Lynn. :D A delightful read!

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