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Give Thanks

By Marie Lemond

Here she is, a first-class turkey wrestler in her prime. Each Thanksgiving, she enters the hallowed kitchen grounds to face the mighty Tom turkey. She goes in at 5 a.m. She goes in alone. She goes in unafraid.

Tom is a lean, mean poultry machine weighing in at 25 pounds. She is a welterweight with 40 years of turkey wrestling under her belt. For her, this is a brains-against-bird bout. The stakes are high. Thanksgiving dinner is on the line. She plans to pin his giblets to the mat.

The first round features her aggressive fighting style. She leads with a stiff grab to the gullet, then follows with a devastating yank out of neck parts (shown above). Notice her foot braced on the counter as she grapples with the carcass. No wonder they call her Twinkle Toes.

After a break to towel down, she is back on offense — this time wielding a stick of butter. Fast and furious, she unleashes a hide-buttering barrage, then lands a hard punch of stuffing to the gut. Just as the kitchen timer sounds, she closes out the round with a poultry power-slam into the pan.

In the final third round, she executes a tricky turkey tie off. Then she closes out the bout by putting the bird into a slow, hours-long roasting that culminates in a golden-brown gift to her dinner guests.

Every home has a turkey wrestler. Be they man, woman, young or old, they go to the mat to make dinner happen. This Thanksgiving remember to thank them…because that turkey didn’t cook itself.

— Marie Lemond

Marie Lemond is an essayist living in Washington State. Her work has also appeared in Country Magazine, Women and Golf Magazine and Inside Golf

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