It was a beautiful turkey - plump and golden, with gobs of tasty stuffing in its belly. We all beamed at Mother - it was such a fine turkey and we were so impressed at this, her best turkey yet. I, in fact, was a little hesitant to carve the bird - it was so beautifully perfect that it seemed a shame to mar its golden skin.
Arthur, my youngest, cleared his throat. Clearly the growing pangs rumbling in his stomach had overcome any appreciation for the bird's beauty. Still, I paused until Aunt Sally - my aunt, the last remaining of my father's siblings - began fingering her silverware. I sighed and began to carve. I saw with delight that it was not only the most beautiful turkey my wife had ever roasted, but it was definitely the juiciest. I was not the only one who let out a little noise of anticipation.
Once the bird was carved and served, we each stared at our plates for a few moments, marveling at our own eagerness to eat what was usually the least desirable course in our Thanksgiving meal. It was little Angela, my darling wife who began passing the other dishes. Somehow, our typically lively company was still in silent awe over the succulent morsels waiting to tantalize our turkey weary palates.
It was also Angela who took the first bite of turkey, and then the second, third, fourth, and finally scooped the entire piece of turkey into her mouth and smiled satisfactorily with little bits of gravy dribbling from the corners. I was a little shocked by her unusual behavior, but a quick glance around the table told me that her actions had gone unnoticed - though not because everyone was still staring at their turkey. No, everyone had finished their turkey in just the same manner!
My mother patted my arm with a guilty little grin. "Pat, Pat, won't you give me some more of that wonderful turkey?"
Surprised by her overt compliment of my wife's culinary skills, I'm afraid I stared at her a moment too long, causing her to repeat her request, at which point, I immediately delivered. Six other plates were soon reserved, and I finally took the opportunity to look to my own plate which was still untouched.
Slowly, I cut a piece of the turkey, afraid that I too might succumb to its delicious flavors and act the heathen in gulping it down. I placed my first bite upon my tongue ever so gently, closed my eyes and swallowed. "There," I said to myself, "that wasn't so bad. I can do this. I have the self-control to eat this turkey. It's not that good." The next bite I took more quickly and less judiciously. The next with less dignity. The next with none.
The last should have been four.