The turkey this particular year had arrived on the property for fattening up a good six months before Christmas day. It was the job of my brother Rory and I to take the slops from the kitchen down to the chicken run and feed the ever-fattening turkey daily.
Come a few days before Christmas, the turkey looked in absolutely fine fettle—fattened to the full.
Christmas day itself got off to a rocky start when Jesse, our ever-hungry boxer dog, flattened the lunch ham in a few gulps. The cold ham had been sliced and was waiting for us on the meal trolley while we sat having pre-lunch drinks. It was a true catastrophe, a sign of the disaster to follow.
You can imagine how hungry we all were waiting for dinner—our lunch having been demolished by the dog.
It was an exceptionally long wait, but finally the big reveal arrived. The turkey, being the centerpiece of the meal with all the usual trimmings, was finally brought majestically to the table.
Dad, in dramatic suspense, made a show of sharpening the carver. Then, in a dramatic flourish, he made the first slice. The turkey landed on the platter with a loud plop. Much to the consternation of all, one cut followed the other, and in shock and dismay we discovered that the whole turkey was pure blubber—no edible meat.
Talk about not counting your chickens before they hatch — the turkey sure had the last laugh that day.
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