The Trouble with Turkeys
written by Tabby

Friendly was walking through the walnut grove picking up nuts. As he walked past a clump of goldenrod, Friendly heard a gobble. He looked behind the goldenrod and saw a scared, trembling, turkey.

"Hi!" said Friendly to the turkey. "What are you doing here?"

"Running away," answered the turkey.

"From what?" asked Friendly.

"There were some nasty people who were going to kill me for Thanksgiving!" said the turkey sadly. "So I managed to escape from my pen, and then I found this rainbow. So I climbed up the rainbow and got here."

"That's horrible!" exclaimed Friendly. "Why would anyone want to kill you?"

"For some reason, people think cooked turkey meat tastes good," said the turkey.

"That's sad," Friendly said. "By the way, what's your name?"

"All my friends back home called me Rex," answered the turkey.

"I'm Friendly!" exclaimed Friendly. "Where are you going to go now?"

"I don't really know," said Rex. "Do you have any ideas?"

"Hmmm..." Friendly thought a while, and then said, "I know! You can stay at Paradise Estate with the ponies!"

"So you have ponies, too?" asked Rex. "But why are they staying in an estate? Shouldn't they be in a barn?"

"These ponies are different than the ones you know about," explained Friendly. "They're in all different pastel colors and there're unicorns and pegasuses, too."

"Unicorns? Pegasuses? What in the world are those?" asked Rex, bewildered.

Friendly said, "Unicorns are ponies with horns, and they can all wink and each have their own special power. Pegasuses are ponies with wings and they can fly."

"Only unicorns can wink? Nonsense!" exclaimed Rex, and winked at Friendly. "See? Anybody can do it!"

"Unicorn winking is different," said Friendly. "They can disappear and reappear in a different place."

"That'd be cool to do!" Rex exclaimed. "So let's go on to this Paradise Estate!"

"Okay, just follow me," said Friendly. He got on the path that led to Paradise Estate. Rex followed him, and in a little while they were there. Friendly pushed open the front gate and he and Rex walked inside.

"No one's around," commented Rex.

"They're probably all outside doing stuff," said Friendly. "Do you want something to eat?"

"Sure, that would be great!" exclaimed Rex.

Friendly walked into the kitchen and pulled open the refrigerator door.

"Let's see, there's some apples and lettuce in here... and some cake. That's about all," said Friendly, after looking in the fridge.

After thinking awhile, Rex said, "I'll try some lettuce. Not what I usually eat, but it'll do for now."

Friendly pulled some lettuce leaves off and handed them to Rex. He ate them all up in a few minutes.

"That was pretty good," he said, "but now I'm thirsty. Is there anything to drink around here?"

"You can drink out of the pool," said Friendly. He walked over to the pool with Rex following.

Rex took a sip of water from it and exclaimed, "Wow, warm water! How does it get like that?"

"The pool's heated in autumn and winter," Friendly explained. "Then it doesn't freeze over and the ponies can still go swimming."

"Interesting," remarked Rex. "I want to see some of these ponies; let's go find some!"

They walked outside and found Medley and Sparkler raking leaves.

"Hey, come over here!" Friendly yelled to the ponies. "There's somebody you have to meet!"

The ponies walked over, and Friendly told them, "This is Rex. He's a turkey. He just escaped from over the rainbow from some people who were going to eat him!"

"Nice to meet you!" exclaimed Medley.

"It must have been so exciting to escape!" said Sparkler. "You'll have to tell us all about it!"

"Are you one of those Pegasuses?" Rex asked Medley. "Friendly said Pegasuses have wings."

"It's actually Pegasi," answered Medley. "And yes, I am one."

"And you must be a Unicorn!" Rex said to Sparkler.

"Yup, I am!" exclaimed Sparkler.

"I want to see a regular pony," said Rex. "Are there any around?"

"There's Tootsie over there!" said Friendly. "She's a regular one. They're really called Earth ponies, though."

Friendly and Rex ran over to Tootsie.

"Are you a turkey?" exclaimed Toosie when she saw them. "I've never seen one before!"

"Yes, and I just came here from another land," answered Rex.

"This is just so cool!" said Tootsie. "Just this morning I was wishing I could see a real, live turkey!"

"And I found him!" gloated Friendly. "Come on Rex, I have to introduce you to everyone else."

By supper that evening, all the ponies knew about Rex. Everyone was talking about him.

"His escape story is so SO great!" exclaimed Night Glider to Blueberry Baskets.

"Yes, I know," Blueberry Baskets said. "I especially like the part when he breaks down the fence to get out!"

"And when he had to swim across the river!" added Night Glider.

* * *

The next morning, Friendly was talking to Rex next to the pool.

"What're you going to do today?" Friendly asked him.

Rex answered, "I'm going to try to get back to the farm I escaped from and try to get more of my friends back here. Save as many as I can."

"That's a great idea!" exclaimed Friendly. "I hope it works!"

"Me, too," Rex said. "Well, I guess I'd better start off. I'll see you later."

"See ya!" Friendly called, as Rex walked off.

Friendly wandered around outside, waiting for Rex to get back. When he walked past the garden, he ran into Posey.

"What do you think of Rex?" he asked her.

"He's great!" Posey answered. "I just hope he doesn't get into my garden. Even if everything's pretty much dead, he might damage it somehow."

"I don't think one turkey will do anything," said Friendly. "But when he brings back the others you'd better watch it.

"WHAT??" screeched Posey. "There's going to be MORE?"

"Yes, Rex just left to save more of his friends," said Friendly, "He should be getting back soon."

Posey ran over to the garden gate and locked it. "I hope that keeps them out!"

"It might," said Friendly. "Hey, I think I see him! He's back!" Friendly ran off.

Rex had just reached Paradise Estate when Friendly got there. Behind him were ten more turkeys.

"Is that all of them?" Friendly asked Rex.

"No, there's still five more from my farm. They're coming a little later with turkeys from other places," Rex answered.

"Wow, there's going to be tons of you!" Friendly exclaimed. "Come inside!"

All the turkeys crowded around the pool and took a drink. Then they sat down and rested. Rex told Friendly, "Let me know when some more get here!"

Friendly nodded, and walked off. Half an hour later, he saw another line of turkeys approaching Paradise Estate. He ran over to Rex and said, "There's some more coming!"

Rex said, "Okay, just let them inside when they get to the doors."

Friendly went back to the entrance, and opened the doors when the turkeys got there. He told them to go over to the pool. By the time they had gotten settled, another group of turkeys was there. By evening, Paradise Estate was swarming with turkeys, and there were still more coming. They were starting to stand around outside. A line had formed at the pool, to take turns getting a drink. One turkey was even swimming in it. Some were passing around corn cakes and sunflower seed biscuits to snack on. Another was standing by the oven, making more cakes and biscuits for the growing numbers of turkeys.

Friendly was trying to find Rex. He'd looked all over for him and finally spotted him in the Paradise Estate living room. Friendly pushed his way over to Rex. When he got to him he asked, "Are they all going to stay inside over night?"

"I suppose I can get them to go outside," Rex said. "Do you want them to go out?"

"Oh, no, that's okay," said Friendly. "They can stay in. I'm sure the ponies won't mind."

"But, then, it is getting crowded in here, even for me. Maybe I'll get some to go outside," Rex said. He said something to the turkey next to him and soon Paradise Estate was a lot less crowded. Now there were more turkeys outside, though.

Just then Seashell and Sherbet walked over to the pool.

Seashell said, "Hi, Friendly!" when she saw him.

"Hi! What are you going to do?" Friendly asked them.

"We were just going to go for a swim," answered Sherbet.

Seashell looked in the pool and exclaimed, "Yuck! There're feathers floating all over the place in the water!"

"And there's only about half the water left," added Sherbet.

Sherbet took a step back, and then started screaming and hopping around. "Oh NO! Get if off!"

"What, what is it?" Seashell asked.

"Turkey dung. I just stepped in it!" yelled Sherbet.

Seashell and Sherbet ran off to wash off Sherbet's foot, and Friendly got a hose out to wash off the floor. Then he fished all the feathers out of the pool and filled it up to its normal level. By the time he was done, everyone was asleep. Friendly went home to his Bushwoolies' hole.

* * *

The next few days were the same. The ponies kept getting more and more annoyed at the turkeys. The turkeys kept getting Paradise Estate more and more messed up. Finally Thanksgiving came around.

Friendly and the other Bushwoolies were helping the turkeys set up tables and chairs to eat at. A bunch of turkeys were busy in the kitchen, baking food. Awhile later, everything was set up. All the turkeys, Bushwoolies, and ponies sat down to eat.

Friendly was sitting next to Rex. He tried a corn cake, and had a second because they were so good. Then he was full. Also sitting next to Friendly was Baby Blossom. She complained, "Why isn't there any turkey like last year?"

Blossom whispered to her, "Don't ask that with our guests around!"

After everyone was done eating, Lickety Split brought out ice cream for dessert. All the turkeys thought it was delicious, and Lickety Split gave her ice cream recipe to one of them. Then all the turkies got up and played games, like Spot the Vulture and Run, Turkey, Run.

It was late at night when they finished playing. Then Rex got up and announced, "We turkeys have had a great time here over Thanksgiving, but now that it's past we can all go back home!"

All the ponies felt bad that the turkeys had to leave, even if they had been annoying. Posey even pleaded with Rex that they could stay, but he said they had to go back home no matter what.

So everyone wished them a safe trip home, and the turkeys got in a line to go back over the rainbow. Rex called to them, "But don't worry, we'll be back next year around this time!"

That cheered everyone up. They watched the turkeys climb up the rainbow. It was midnight when they had all gotten across safely.

Friendly went to bed, happy that he had saved all those turkeys from certain death.

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