Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

Why did the turkey cross the border?

Preparation of the stuffing: the slicing of the loaves.





There are no photos to prove the tale, but I will tell it to you anyhow. The second turkey, wrapped in insulative material, made it to the US port of entry at the Thousand Islands Crossing late on the evening of December 18, 2020. Arriving at the closed border after a week of isolation to limit the spread of COVID 19, we were asked the usual questions. It was then that I declared the turkey.


“Is it of Canadian origin?” asked the man.

“Yes,” I replied, tho I had not ever procured a passport for the turkey.

“Like, a Walmart turkey?” asked the man.

I thought about it. Yes, a broad-breasted white turkey raised in my back yard had many things in common with a Walmart turkey. Therefore, it was like a Walmart turkey.

“Yes,” I said, honestly.

“Well, I’ll need to inspect it to be sure it has a ‘Canada’ stamp. I need to be sure it’s of Canadian origin.”

I wondered why I hadn’t thought of writing “Canada” on the turkey. It would have been a simple thing.

“There is no ‘Canada’ stamp on the turkey,” I replied.

“Well, then, I’ll have to confiscate the turkey,” said the man. “If there is no stamp, there is no way to be sure that it is a Canadian turkey.”

My eyes blurred. “Can you give it to someone who needs a Christmas dinner?” I asked.

“All items confiscated at the border are disposed of immediately,” he replied.


In my mind I remembered the bright day when we took the turkeys for a walk in the field behind the house. They were big by then, and they had a hard time holding up their breasts. I am certain they enjoyed the bugs, but I felt for them, their weak hearts beating furiously in their chests. They rested frequently. After walking the length of three back yards, they were exhausted. The children and I returned home followed by two brilliant, comical white birds in a field of flowers and green. Despite the fact that the ultimate journey of the birds was toward dinner, we really, truly loved them.


“Well,” I said. “I am certain it is a Canadian turkey. Would you like me to tell you how I know it is a Canadian turkey?”

“Yes,” said the man. “I’m sure you know. Why don’t you tell me how you are so certain it is a Canadian turkey.”

“Well,” I said, not really crying, “we had two turkeys in our back yard all summer. One was for Thanksgiving, the other for Christmas. This Christmas turkey grew up in our back yard.”

“I’ll have to take your turkey,” said the man. “I’m just following the law. If you want to plead your case, you can go inside.”

“I’ll go inside,” I said, and followed his directions to the proper door.


After a good amount of waiting with one extremely tired, whiny child and one extremely anxious, crying child, someone finally came to speak to me.

“So, tell me about the turkey,” he said.

“Well,” I began, “We raised two turkeys in our back yard over the summerβ€””

“What condition is the turkey in?” he interrupted.

“I killed it and plucked it and gutted it and put it in the freezer back in October,” I replied.

“It’s a frozen turkey?” asked the man.

“Yes,” I said, “It’s a frozen turkey.”

The man turned around to his co-workers. “Guys! It’s a frozen turkey!” He turned back to me and smiled. “Take your turkey and enjoy your stay in the US.”

As we left, I could hear him repeating to his co-workersβ€” “Frozen turkey, guys. It’s a frozen turkey. Frozen turkey…”

Aah, the border.


2 Responses

  1. Mom says:

    This story will be funny no matter how many times I hear it.

  2. Bernie says:

    You always have delightful stories!! You need to write a book!

Leave a Reply