A Turkey Spared
by Ansel S. Drummond
Gobbler stood under the shade of the old oak tree, sheltered from the unrelenting stare of the midday sun. He pecked half heartedly at an ant as it scurried to the safety of a nearby rock. He glanced at the venerable old tree and wondered aloud how much he had in common with this twisted, scarred remnant of years gone by, that just refused to die. Years came and went but it was still there, cheating the blade of the grim reaper. It should be dead but wasn’t … he gobbler, a turkey of turkeys, the king of the barnyard … should be dead but wasn’t . He, smiled to himself. But it was a sad smile, devoid of mirth, touching his beak but spreading no further. He had thought the world revolved around him. Eat, drink and be merry had been his motto. A motto that had gotten him into more than his fair share of mischief. He had been the barnyard bully. Oh, a few young turks had tried to stand up to him but he had set them strait, after all there could be only one Gobbler, one king of the farm.
He had not been like the One. The One that looked so peaceful all the time.
Gobbler knew his name but he only thought of him as the peaceful One. There had been something different about that One … something special… it was a pity that … he felt a lump in his throat. Why him, why was he the one to fall to the farmer’s unmerciful blade. What had he done. He remembered meeting his gaze for the first time, not long just a moment, but that moment touched him as no other had. Those eyes somehow saw past his stately plumage and his arrogant looks to uncover his loneliness even his … fears. Fears, yes he had fears. He was afraid that one day some young turk would unseat him as the king of the farm and he was afraid of dying. He had a way of dealing with his fears. Whatever made him uncomfortable or afraid he refused to call by name or made up one for it. He had seen the farmer wield the thing that brought death’ on a few occasions. The humans called it an axe. To him it was ‘the thing that brought death’. He should have been its victim. He should have died, not that One.
Only three days had gone by but what a difference three days can mak e. His mind was assaulted again by unwelcome images. He had been in the middle of his afternoon meal relishing the taste of that golden corn, but as his beak shot out for another gulp he had been grabbed from behind. It must have been planned since several hands seemed to smother him at once. At first he was confused. Why was he, Gobbler, being treated with such disrespect? Then he saw it … `the thing that brought death’. The sunlight glistened on its blade as it leaned against the trunk of the tree. His heart raced, he kicked and scratched and pecked with all his might but he could not get away. Closer and closer he was pulled towards unspeakable agony and death. All his promise was gone, he screeched, he begged, he fought, he did not want to die.
Then something happened. One of his tormentors yelled something about seeing the One they really wanted and suddenly he was free. Terrified he ran for his life hardly pausing to consider the reason for the turn of events. He hid behind a nearby fence. After a moment, shaking with fright, he peeked out for any sign of pursuit. It was then that he saw his tormenters closing in on the One. Flee, Flee, Flee he thought, do you not see the blood lust in their eyes, do you not see that there will be no mercy once those hands, those wicked hands have you in there grasp? But he did not flee. The next moment their hands were upon him and Gobbler saw him being led to ‘the thing that brought death’. He did not fight, he did not scream or beg he was just … led… so peacefully. He glanced in Gobbler’s direction and again Gobbler looked into his eyes and saw him smile. There was peaceful and impossible smile on his face. That smile was like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. His captors brought him closer and closer to that … that thing. He could watch no longer. He collapsed under the weight of fright and exhaustion as his mind screamed why … why … why.
What a difference three days make. He stood there silently under that old tree. For a moment his eyes stared blankly at the horizon and then his gaze fell to the ground.
His thoughts were different now, the food did no seem to taste quite the same and heaviness had replaced the merriment of days gone by. One question filled his mind. He wished he could see him again. He wished he could ask him the question that seemed destined to haunt him for all his days. Why, why did you not flee, why did you die … for me.
Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
This essay was submitted in a youth essay competition during the Thanksgiving Holiday period at the Holiness Born Again Apostolic Church of Miami.