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Worth the Candle
There are a flock of stories about turkeys who get spared at Thanksgiving. Some of these stories are good; some are clichéd; one stands out like a 35-pounder from the rest. That one is Turk and Runt.
The turkey parents at Wishbone Farm have an elder son who’s a real butterball and a younger one who’s scrawny. Anyone who has ever been the baby of the family (or anyone who has ever felt outshone) will identify the family dynamic: Turk is a golden tom, and Runt is easily ignored. As Thanksgiving nears, Pop and Mom become convinced that all the attention Turk is getting from visitors to the farm is appreciation for his talents in sports and the arts. Pop assumes that the football coach wants Turk to play in the big game. Mom assumes the ballet teacher wants Turk to dance the lead in Swan Lake. Runt intuits that these admirers of Turk’s sturdy drumsticks are just looking to feed a team or a cast. He scares the buyers away, much to his parents’ consternation.
It’s only when a little old widow comes to the farm that the oven mitt is on the other hand. Will anyone recognize the danger posed to Runt by someone with a petite appetite?
This is a laugh-till-the-cranberry-juice-comes-out-your-nose book. And the laughs starts well before the surprise ending, in which Runt’s whole family—heeding his warnings at last—comes together to anticipate that other turkey-eating holiday, Christmas.