The white puppy dropped to the ground in front of me with a loud thud . I couldn’t help but cringe at the sound of his body hitting the floor. If I had done something like that, I am reasonably sure that these old bones of mine would have shattered into thousands of tiny pieces.
I stared, awestruck and a little jealous at him extending his body out to its full length, and emphasizing the pleasure with a grunt of satisfaction. Seeing it now, I was certain that it was the first time I realized that he was almost the same height as me.
“What’s going on Cindee?” the puppy asked in that one of a kind voice that everyone seems to make when they are enjoying a fabulous stretch.
“Not a thing Mylo, just waiting for Thanksgiving to arrive tomorrow!”
The mere mention of the impending holiday set my salivary glands in motion. Visions of all that yummy food began to dance in my head.
“What’s Thanksgiving,” Mylo asked.
“What’s Thanksgiving? Why it’s the best day of the year!”
Both Mylo and I turned in the direction of the voice. It was no mystery who it belonged to. It was the oh so familiar latin accent that gave it away. It could only be Rapi.
Sure enough, the big orange cat was strolling towards us, his white tummy shimmying and shaking just above the floor. I lit up at the sight of his chubby cheeks bunched up on his face to make room for that joyous smile of his.
The puppy tilted his head to the left, his right eyebrow raised to form an arc. He was obviously puzzled by this whole Thanksgiving thing, and really, who could blame him it was his first one, after all.
“I’ll tell you why,” the orange cat answered, then lowered himself into a seated position directly in front of us.
“Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when we get to have a feast,” the cat explained, his yellow-green eyes now sparkling in anticipation.
“Yes, feast Mylo,” I interrupted.
“Mommy spends all morning cooking,” the cat continued.
“And all those delicious aromas waft from the kitchen,” I added, licking my lips as I did.
Mylo’s head pivoted back and forth between Rapi and I as we went on telling of the holiday’s greatness.
“What does Mommy cook,” the puppy asked with his tongue dangling from his mouth and now vested in Thanksgiving.
I let my thoughts wander back to last year’s festivities. In my mind I could see each induvial dish doing the tango as it made its way from the stove to the table.
“Let’s see. There was carrots and peas and rolls,” I began to list out the menu.
“Oh, don’t forget the cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie,” Rapi blurted out, recounting his favorites as well.
Gobble, gobble, gobble.
The cat fell silent mid-sentence, his face scrunched up in a picture of confusion.
“What was that,” I asked, my eyes darting back and forth.
Gobble, gobble, gobble.
“There is again,” the cat rose to his feet and shouted in bewilderment.
“It’s coming from the back yard!”
Mylo stood, wide-eyed, his tongue hanging out and his right ear tipped over on the top of his head.
“Let’s go,” I howled, then lead the charge for the family room and its bank of windows that looked out over the leaf covered back lawn.
Mylo zoomed past us like we were standing still. Rapi and I lumbered behind Mylo, letting our old legs take us as fast as they could. When we finally arrived in the family room, we found Mylo already on the sofa peering out into the yard.
“What the heck is that thing,” the puppy asked, looking over his shoulder at us and pointing out the window with his paw.
“Turkey Mylo, that is a turkey,” I said, shaking my head in disbelief.
We had seen many things in our home: squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and deer, but never ever had we seen a turkey before.
“Let’s get it,” Mylo cried out excitedly.
The puppy leapt to the floor and made a mad dash for the back door. And me? Well, I was hot on his heels, of course.
“Let’s do this,” the adrenaline coursed through me and poured out through my voice.
“Wait, wait, wait,” the cat hissed.
Mylo and I came to a screeching halt and turned to face the portly feline.
“What’s up Rapi,” I asked innocently.
I must admit, I was more than a little confused by this disruption. Usually, Rapi is one of our biggest supporters. His lack of encouragement left me feeling that something was a little off kilter.
“If you both just go rushing out the back door you will scare him off,” the cat began by stating the obvious.
I tended to agree with Mylo on this one.
“So, don’t we want to know what he is doing in our yard? It isn’t everyday that we have a turkey trotting around behind our house if you know what I mean.”
I sat down for a second. I did know what Rapi meant, and now, well now I was interested. I needed to know, what did cause such a curious circumstance?
“You’re right Rapi! What should we do?”
Mylo glanced in my direction, and having come to the same conclusion, nodded in agreement.
“Cindee is right. What should we do?”
The cat sat in silence for a few moments, his gaze in a far-off place. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Mylo growing impatient. The puppy opened his mouth to say something, but I shook my head at him and shushed him. He responded with an unpleasant scowl, but gave in by plopping down on the floor and waiting, though he was not overly happy about it.
“I got it,” Rapi shouted.
The sudden exclamation almost knocked me over. Mylo climbed to his feet with excitement flashing in his eyes.
“Tell us,” the puppy begged, his impatience spilling over.
I must admit, the anticipation was starting to get to me as well. I looked on as the orange cat stood and began to pace back and forth between Mylo and I.
“Okay, We don’t want to startle the turkey. Mylo, you should go out the back door as quiet as you can and then approach the bird calmly.”
“That’s a bird!?”
Mylo’s interruption resulted in a flash of annoyance playing across the cat’s face. To his credit, Rapi was able to keep his anger in check.
“Quiet Mylo! Go on Rapi,” I urged the feline.
The cat scowled at both of us, then blew out a deep breath of stale air before continuing.
“As I was saying, Mylo, approach the bird calmly. Cindee, you go out the front door and do the same thing.
We both nodded enthusiastically, then started towards our respective doors.
“One more thing,” the cat called out before we could get too far.
“Cindee will do all the talking. Remember, we want to know why this turkey is trespassing.”
Rapi and finished speaking, but neither Mylo nor I had moved. Rapi can be long-winded from time to time, so we waited for further instructions.
“Humpf. Go! Go already!”
The cat used his paws to shoo us on our way.
I turned the corner of the house and was almost face to face with the turkey who just so happened to be hurrying in my direction. Mylo was right behind him, tip toeing just as quickly. The puppies ears were bouncing and flopping around and his face wore an expression of excitement, complete with wild-eyes and a tongue that hung out the right side of his mouth. The turkey looked terrified, and quite frankly, I felt disturbed by the site as well.
The bird had become so consumed by Mylo’s weirdness that he couldn’t take his eyes off the white puppy.
“Look out,” I barked.
It was too late. The turkey crashed into me, then Mylo stumbled over the bird. A cacophony of barking and gobbling filled the air. I looked around for help, but all I saw was Rapi watching us from the window with his face buried in his paws and his head swiveling from side to side.
I felt like such a loser. I had to do something, so I did the only thing I could think to do.
The word echoed throughout the entire neighborhood. I don’t know how, but it seemed to work. Both Mylo and the turkey fell silent and stared nervously at me.
“Please accept my apologies Mr. Turkey, my friend here didn’t mean to startle you.”
“It’s quite alright,” the bird answered, though he eyed Mylo suspiciously, leading me to believe it really wasn’t alright.
“My name is Cindee, this is Mylo,” I said, indicating the white puppy with a nod.
“Nice to meet you,” the turkey replied, moving next to me which in turn created more space between the bird and Mylo.
“Um, if you don’t mind my asking, what brings you to our home?”
I watched the turkey as he began to fidget with his wings for a moment, maybe two. Then he began to pace to and fro.
“It’s okay Mr. Turkey. We don’t want to hurt you,” I said, lowering my voice and speaking as softly as I could. It was obvious he was nervous, and I needed to find a way to re-assure him.
“You won’t eat me?”
Mylo’s head popped up at the turkey’s question. His eyes narrowed, forehead furrowed, and head tilted to the left.
“Eat you,” the puppy asked.
“Oh goodness no, we are vegans,” I added with a smile.
“Vegans? Are those like foxes,” the bird asked tentatively.
“No! Vegan means we don’t eat animals,” I said, smiling warmly.
“Not even your eggs,” Mylo added proudly.
“Oh, what a relief!”
The tension visibly washed away from the bird, and just like that, he was relaxed enough to take a seat between the two of us dogs, where he began to tell us his story.
“A short heavy-set man with orange hair and freckles kidnapped me from the farm where I live this morning. I was out for my morning walk, and he snuck up behind me and threw me into a cage. Just like that I was in the back of his pick up truck racing away from everything I had ever known.”
My mouth fell open. I could scarcely believe what he was saying. I have heard stories like this before, but never in my life did I think I would ever meet someone that had been kidnapped.
“We road through the countryside for quite some time. We had just entered the city limits when the man’s telephone rang. I listened intently while he talked with his wife about their Thanksgiving dinner. That’s when I found out I was to be the main course!”
“No,” the word involuntarily escaped my lips.
“Yes, he did Miss Cindee,” the turkey said, shaking his head to emphasize his point.
Mylo was anxious. I had completely forgot that the poor puppy knew nothing of Thanksgiving.
“Sure as heck, he was gonna chop my head off and eat me for dinner!”
“No! I don’t want to hear anymore!”
The puppy turned to run. He stopped and looked back over his shoulder at me when I called his name. As I looked into the terrified puppy’s eyes, the shed behind him suddenly came into focus.
“I have an idea,” I barked out loud.
“Wow, I am stuffed,” the puppy said, rolling over on his back and patting his full tummy.
“Me too,” I agreed with Mylo.
“Best Thanksgiving ever,” the orange cat called from on top of the sofa.
“You say that every year,” I teased Rapi.
“I guess I do, don’t I?” the cat replied with a giggle.
“I don’t mean to change the subject, but what is going to happen with our friend out in the shed,” the puppy asked, referring to the turkey we had stowed away there.
“Mommy said she and Daddy will take him back to his farm tomorrow morning.”
Both Mylo and Rapi smiled, happy with the answer that I gave them. A hush fell over the room. Me with my full belly felt my eyelids growing heavy. They were just about to close when Mylo called my name.
“Why is it called Thanksgiving Cindee?” the puppy wanted to know.
“That’s easy Mylo. Its called Thanksgiving, because it is a special day where we give thanks for everything we have,” I said with a broad smile, proud that I had the answer.
Mylo grew silent again, but I could tell by the look on his face that something was rolling around inside his head, so I waited. Then waited some more. Just when I was about to give up on him and take my nap he called my name again.
“Why is there a special day for giving thanks Cindee? Shouldn’t we be thankful for everything we have every day?”
I let Mylo’s observation sink in for a moment. For a puppy, he can be very insightful sometimes.
“You are right Mylo, we should. You know what. I am thankful for both of you,” I said.
“We are thankful for you too Cindee,” the cat and the puppy said together in one voice.
I let that sentiment settle over me, then closed my eyes and enjoyed the contentment that was surrounding me like a warm blanket until, at last, I drifted off to sleep where I dreamed such sweet beautiful dreams.