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The Adventures of Fatherman

Mikey, the Ninja Turkey: A Thanksgiving Tale, As Told By My Five Year Old Son

Let’s switch gears to something more lighthearted with Thanksgiving just around the corner. In a kindergarten class project titled “I’m Not a Turkey,” I sat down with my son, Henry, earlier this week to write a story about a turkey vying for freedom, intent on escaping the knife so as not to become a meal on someone’s table this coming Thursday. The first part of the project involved disguising the turkey. The second part of the project involved writing a story about the disguise. Henry chose a ninja.

For your listening pleasure, as read by me (dad):

I Am Not a Turkey, by Henry Pillow

My name is Mikey. I am a ninja turkey. I am planning my great escape tonight under the cloak of darkness. My stealth is my friend. I’m not going to be someone’s sandwich this Thanksgiving.

Child's drawing of a turkey in disguise
Art. “Ninja Turkey,” by Henry Pillow

Notes: A few things here: (1) I tried to sway my son to start this off with, “Hi-yah! My name is Mikey,” as in “Hi” with a martial arts twist, but he wouldn’t go for it; and, (2) despite my protests to have my son name the turkey Mr. Miyagi or Daniel-son after the 1984 martial arts film, Karate Kid, my son chose Mikey, so named after Michelangelo of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame. Mikey, still an excellent choice, as “ninja turkey” plays very well on “ninja turtle.” (3) Lastly, there wasn’t enough space on his sheet of paper to build out a full plot summary, to which the remainder of the plot would have been based on the 1963 World War II epic film The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen and James Garner.

What’s your turkey tale? Share in the comments below.

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jeffrey pillow photoWritten by Jeffrey Pillow, author of the coming-of-age memoir in progress When the Lights Go Out at 10:16, which you can read on this blog as it’s being written. When the Lights Go Out at 10:16 is a story of growing up in small town America in the 1980’s in a teeny tiny town known as Phenix, in Charlotte County, Virginia. It is a story of life and friendship in the face of terminal cancer. Want to read more blog posts? Visit the blog archive. You can also subscribe to this blog to receive updates of new posts by email.

Photo by Peter Lloyd on Unsplash

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

10 replies on “Mikey, the Ninja Turkey: A Thanksgiving Tale, As Told By My Five Year Old Son”

Was not expecting the gobble, gobble, gobble in the audio. I literally spit out my coffee when you did that. Great story Henry! Writer like your dad!

Glad you like my son’s story. The gobble gobble gobble sorta came out of nowhere for me, too, as I was recording it. My kids have been walking around the house the last few days repeating it.

This was adorable! Children really are great and come up with some of the most interesting things! I have shared this along on my twitter and my facebook. I hope this helps to get you out there! Have a wonderful day!

They really are. I wish I was half as creative as either of my kids. Having to adult day in and day out dulls your imagination. Also, thanks for sharing on social media and for stopping by.

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