“Quick, quick, get in the house. Got your camera handy? You gotta see what Bridget is doing now.” My aunt ushered us all into the house. My mother handed her camera to her. Thanksgiving day had officially begun.
My sister and I headed down the hall to find our cousin, Tina. We were all adopted and looked like sisters. Tina was one year younger than me and one year older than my sister. We looked like stair steps when we lined up. I was always the one on the end. Tina was always the one in the middle. We were all best friends.
Part of the mishaps for this day was my fault. I was the one who had helped a friend find homes for her red setter puppies. My mother got one and her sister got another and named it Bridget. Apparently, Bridget had started grinning every time my aunt said, “Smile Bridget.” It looked awful to me. She looked like Bridget was going to bite you. But she would wag her tail and sit very properly and grin up at you. She loved the attention she got for doing it. She got to where if she did something wrong she would run and get in front of my aunt, sit very properly, wag her tail, and grin. I am getting ahead of myself. Today was the day that Bridget had first mastered “smiling for the camera.”
My older cousin and his dad had run off to the store and taken the camera with them. My aunt was beside herself with excitement. My grandmother had been staying with them over the Thanksgiving holiday. Grandmother was in the kitchen cooking as usual.
“Are the girls’ dresses ready?” My mother asked. My aunt was a very talented seamstress and every year made new dresses for us girls. We would wear them to church and we looked like triplets for that one weekend every year. Thanksgiving was always fun because my grandmother and her two daughters were busy in the kitchen cooking everything from turkey, pies, ham, vegetables, and all the side dishes. The breakfast nook was right off the kitchen so we girls could sit there watching and listening as they chattered on and on about what they were cooking and catching up with one another. “Yes, I have them all laid out in Tina’s room.” My aunt then suggested that they get all the food set to finish cooking while we girls went into change and put on our new dresses. That was the plan. My aunt had finished turning everything to simmer and stopped to do one last basting on the turkey. We little girls headed down the hall.
She had fixed the turkey in the lower oven. (Her first mistake). She opened the oven door and pulled the big bird out and left the door open (her second mistake) while she went to fetch the spoon to do the basting. She decided to leave the kitchen for just a minute to check the table (her third mistake).
Bridget did not know any better. She was just tall enough to be able to put her nose right between the legs of that turkey. Yes, it was hot… but boy she really wanted it. She pushed past the heat just far enough to get her collar stuck on the wire that held the legs together. My aunt had unhooked the wire to use the juices inside the bird to do the basting. Yes, Bridget jerked back, the turkey followed her. She whimpered and threw her head back which brought the hot turkey straight up and back down again on her head. Now, we had a red Irish Setter with a very hot turkey stuck on its head. Bridget could not see and was in pain. She started running into walls and down the hall. My mother, my aunt, and grandmother had gone out onto the back patio to escape the kitchen heat. My aunt had totally forgotten she had left the oven door open, (her final mistake). They had no idea what was going on inside the house.
Bridget heard us three girls giggling in Tina’s room where we had gone to try on our new dresses. We were all standing there in little white slips, white ruffled bottom panties, black patented leather shoes, and white socks with lace trim. Bridget burst into the room. We screamed at the dead bird running into the room. We threw our hands up in the air and started running. Bridget followed the screams and ran after us.
We ran out the front door waving our hands in the air and screaming as this dead turkey chased close behind us. The neighbors came out of the houses and watched as the three of us ran down the street. Finally, we glanced back and saw the turkey suddenly fall off Bridget’s head. A turkey ghost of steam rose from her head. We screamed again and ran back towards the house. Bridget snatched the pour dead bird in her mouth. The run had cooled it off some; she trotted around the end of the block and back up the alley.
She was found finishing off the entire bird. When my aunt yelled her name. Bridget ran up to her, sat very properly, and grinned. She remained outside while we ate. She had both her paws up on the glass door looking in for the whole meal.
We had no idea that the neighbors had gotten such a kick out of our little adventure. They had named it The Flight of The Cherubs. Years later when we were all adults one of the neighbors started telling the story and ran into her house to show us the picture she had taken that day. She said it was one of her fondest memories.
When we all sat down to share Thanksgiving; it was a custom for each person to say what they were thankful for.
Each person had stated different things, grandmother was the last one. She bowed her head and thanked God we had also cooked a ham. We all said Amen on that one.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in