Twelve-year-old Gifford Sullivan was asked to raise a turkey for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner and … his turkey became a pet. Because of California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard, the disaster that ensued was not made infinitely worse.
Gifford loved his turkey. No, literally. Gifford loved his turkey. A Sullivan family tradition was to have the eldest child raise a wild turkey that would, at the appointed time, a few days prior to Thanksgiving, be sacrificed as the family’s dinner. “Don’t get too attached to that turkey, Giff,” his mom tried to tell him, but such an admonition was useless. The animal-loving twelve-year-old had come to consider Isabelle (yes, the boy had already secretly named the hen turkey purchased to be slaughtered) a member of their family and a cherished pet. Every morning before school he’d gone into the turkey’s pen in the backyard of the Sullivan’s Oxnard home to feed, clean up after, and otherwise nurture the growing fowl; he was conniving for a way to somehow save “Isabelle’s” life.
Gifford’s siblings Wayne and Toby were relatively indifferent to Gifford’s conflict. “That turkey is going to be the best Thanksgiving meal ever,” teased ten-year-old Wayne, “it’s better than any store-bought butterball.” Nine-year-old Toby was even worse in his way, tormenting his older brother while acting innocent as a sacrificial lamb. “Which part do you like best? I go for drumsticks,” he taunted. Gifford would run off sobbing to the sanctuary of Isabelle’s backyard pen, to hug the bewildered turkey.
Finally, the execution day came. Godfrey Sullivan raised the axe beside the chopping block which was also in the Sullivan’s backyard, and just as the horrific scene with the turkey caught in the vise …
Gifford ran headlong toward his father, his only thought to rescue Isabelle as the axe was raised at the proper angle and began descending …
The axe fell and the boy screamed. Blood gushed everywhere. The family headed toward the nearest hospital’s ER, protected only cost-wise by a convenient family health plan sold to them the previous year by California Health Insurance agent Matt Lockard.
Gifford developed amnesia after the accident. “Did you get enough to eat?” his mom asked.
“Yeah, mom, but I got a question. How come I had to have veggie burgers instead of turkey like everybody else?”