Once upon a time, on a farm in Kansas, lived a turkey that didn’t have any friends. All the other turkeys, with their bright white feathers and names like Tom and Fred, strutted about the barnyard saying, “Gobble, gobble, gobble.”
Dindon preened his black feathers which gleamed in the hot prairie sun, especially his gold-tipped tail feathers. He stretched his long wrinkled neck as high as he could, tipped back his large bald head, and said, “Clou, clou, clou!”
The white-feathered turkeys huddled close together and whispered so that Dindon couldn’t hear. The farmer had paid dozens of dollars for him, a special French turkey, but that didn’t help Dindon make friends. He was different. That’s all it was – as different as night is from day.
Each morning, when the farmer’s wife scattered the delicious yellow corn, all the other turkeys ran pell-mell across the barnyard, shouting, “Gobble, gobble, gobble.”
Dindon sprinted behind them. “Clou, clou, clou!”
The other turkeys crowded tightly around the corn, and Dindon tried to squeeze between their white tails. They twisted their heads back to look at him with their beady eyes, and they waggled their long red wattles. “Gobble, gobble, gobble!”
Poor Dindon – his tail feathers drooped in the dust, and his skinny neck sagged low. By the time the whole flock of turkeys had left, the dirt was picked clean of the delicious yellow corn. There wasn’t even one kernel left.
He missed his old farm in a place called Les Rougets, where the fields were closed in with old stonewalls and the river flowed under the cobblestoned bridge.
The animals there had been such good friends. Their voices sounded softer and sweeter than these that lived in Kansas. Back home, his friend Jacque the rooster had said, “Cocorico” instead of “cocka-doodle-doo.” Pierre the pig had said, “Croin, croin” – nothing like the one here that oinked. Most of all, Dindon missed Adrien the donkey.
Adrien and Dindon were the best of friends. They chased each other around the silo and watched fireflies in the summer evenings. Most of all, they loved to sing together, with a “Hi haan, hi haan” and a “Clou, clou, clou.” Dindon tried to sing by himself, but it didn’t sound the same as when he sang with Adrien the donkey.
One hot summer day, Dindon scratched in the dirt behind the barn, looking for some bugs and grubs. His stomach growled because, as usual, he hadn’t gotten any delicious yellow corn that morning. He scratched and pecked, walked a few steps, and scratched and pecked again.
He hopped on a metal frame with two round wheels and some handlebars, all of which were not very tasty. He hopped on a ball attached to the frame, and his foot squished down its shape. When he lifted his leg, the ball gave out a sound that sounded just like this – “Hi haaaaaaan.”
Dindon looked left and looked right, for he thought surely his friend Adrien the donkey was nearby. He ran all the way around the barn and even peeked in the shed, shouting, “Clou! Clou! Clou!” but Adrien was nowhere to be found.
He returned to the metal frame behind the barn and hopped on the ball again.
He jumped down.
Dindon was not sad anymore. From dawn to dark, he spent every day with his new friend behind the barn, singing, “Clou, clou, clou” “Hi haaaaaaaan!”
dindon – French, (deen-doan) a turkey
clou – Fr. (clue) sound of turkey
croin – Fr. (crwen) sound of pig
cocorico – Fr. (co-co-ree-co) sound of rooster
hi-haan – Fr. (hee-hahn) sound of donkey
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