The boy comes to his grandmother's farm to celebrate Thanksgiving, but then suddenly disappears. The whole family is shocked.
Jared was only eight years old and had lived in the city his entire life. Up until then, his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins had always traveled up to L.A. for Thanksgiving, but this year was going to be different.
Since his grandmother was turning seventy-five two days after Thanksgiving, the family decided to get together on their farm in Georgia. That way they'd celebrate Thanksgiving, then have a birthday party.
Jared had never been on a farm before, so his parents drove down a few days early and he loved it. On the first day, he drove his grandfather mad by asking a hundred and one questions and visiting every nook and cranny of the old place.
But the thing that enchanted Jared the most was the animals. He fed the chickens and the ducks and helped his grandmother gather the eggs, then they went to feed the pig and that was when Jared saw the turkey.
Children have kind hearts and are always ready to make new friends -- animals or humans.
"WOW!" Jared gasped. "That's the biggest turkey I ever saw! What's his name?"
"Well now," said Grandma Sadie. "I don't think he has a name!"
Jared loved everything about his grandparents' farm | Source: Unsplash
"He has to have a name, Grandma Sadie," said Jared seriously.
"Jared," his grandma said, "I don't usually give the animals names, honey, but you go right ahead!"
Jared looked at the turkey and the turkey looked right back at him and gobbled and shot its beak at him. "Bob!" cried Jared. "He looks like a Bob!"
"Bob it is!" said Grandma Sadie. "Would you like to give Bob his corn?"
Jared helped Grandma Sadie gather the eggs | Source: Unsplash
Jared picked up some corn in his hand and came closer to Bob. Grandma Sadie was worried that the turkey might peck at Jared and scare him, but Bob behaved like a perfect gentleman.
"Grandma!" Jared cried. "Bob likes me! Maybe I can teach him some tricks!" Grandma smiled and shook her head because she knew something Jared didn't: Bob was destined for Thanksgiving dinner.
That night around the dinner table, all Jared talked about was Bob and how clever he was and how gently he'd eaten out of his hand. "Mom, Dad," cried Jared. "You've got to come and meet Bob!"
Jared's Grandpa Josh laughed and said, "Now don't you worry, Jared, your mom and dad will be introduced to Bob the day after tomorrow!"
Jared's favorite was Bob the turkey | Source: Unsplash
"Really, grandpa?" asked Jared.
"Oh yes, Bob's going to be the guest of honor for Thanksgiving dinner -- in a manner of speaking!" Grandpa Josh laughed even louder, slapping his knees.
Jared was doubtful. "I don't think Grandma Sadie likes animals in the house," he said.
Grandpa Josh winked and licked his lips. "She'll make an exception for Bob, I promise you, boy!"
That was when Grandpa Josh explained that Bob was going to be roasted and carved up | Source: Unsplash
"Hush now, Josh!" Grandma Sadie said. "Leave the boy alone. Go and play Jared," she ordered. But as Jared was walking out of the kitchen, he heard Grandma Sadie talking to Grandpa Josh.
"Josh, you can be nasty sometimes! You saw the boy like the turkey, you don't have to go tell him we're cooking it for Thanksgiving!"
A shiver of horror ran down Jared's spine. Cook Bob? For Thanksgiving dinner? And suddenly Jared remembered all those big brown roast turkeys with their delicious stuffing that he'd been eating as far back as he could remember. They were going to do that to Bob?
Jared stood up straight and clenched his little fists. No one was going to pluck, stuff, and cook Bob! He was going to save him! So as soon as his parents were asleep and the house was quiet, Jared snuck downstairs.
Jared couldn't believe his new friend was going to be plucked and stuffed | Source: Pixabay
He crept across the yard to the barn where the chickens were sleeping, with their heads under their wings, and went straight to the small enclosure where Bob was being kept prisoner.
When Bob saw Jared, he started to gobble, but Jared hushed him. "Shush," he whispered. "This is an escape!"
The next morning, Grandma Sadie was the first up and the first thing she did was throw some pancakes on the griddle and call Jared down for breakfast. To her surprise, there was no answer.
She peeked into his room and saw that his bed was neat and tidy. Where could Jared be? "He must be out playing with those animals!" Grandma Sadie said to herself. But when she got to the barn, Jared wasn't there...and Bob was gone!
Grandma Sadie was shocked when she discovered Jared and Bob were missing | Source: Unsplash
Grandma Sadie immediately woke Jared's parents and Grandpa Josh. "That fool boy ran away with the turkey!" she cried. "He could be miles away by now!"
They were all very worried until one of grandpa's friends dropped by. "I just saw the oddest thing," he said. "A kid walking all the way to town with the biggest turkey you've ever seen on a leash!"
"To town!" cried Jared's mom. "Let's go!"
When they got to town they found Jared sitting at the bus stop with Bob. When he saw them he started to cry and put his arms around Bob. "Please, Grandma," he begged. "Please don't cook Bob! He's my friend! People don't eat friends!"
The most thankful of all that year was Bob | Source: Unsplash
Poor Jared was so upset that Grandma Sadie promised him she wouldn't cook Bob or any other turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. "Thank you, Grandma Sadie!" cried Jared. "The stuffing is the best part anyway!"
"You've just given me a brilliant idea, Jared!" said Grandma Sadie.
At Thanksgiving, Grandma Sadie served a gigantic crusty turkey-shaped pie full of her delicious stuffing and accompanied by cranberry sauce and all the trimmings.
Some of the family grumbled a bit at this breaking with tradition, but Jared was delighted -- and we are sure that Bob, who ended up living for many many years, was especially thankful.
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