'Twas the night before Thanksgiving

STORY TIME

November 21, 2001|By Dav Pilkey

* Editor's note: A group of schoolchildren is on a mission to make this Thanksgiving unlike any other.

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving

And all through the trees,

The fall leaves were spinning

Aloft in the breeze.

Eight children had boarded

Their school bus with grins

In hopes that a field trip

Soon would begin.

They sang as they rode

Through autumn terrains,

While visions of drumsticks

Danced in their brains.

O'er rivers, through woods,

With winding and weaves,

Their school bus sailed on

Through the new-fallen leaves.

When out on the road

There arose such a clatter,

They threw down their windows

To see what was the matter.

When what with their wondering eyes

Should they see,

But a miniature farm

And eight tiny turkey.

And a little old man

So lively and rugged,

They knew in a moment

It was Farmer Mack Nuggett.

He was dressed all in denim

From his head to his toe,

With a pinch of polyester

And a dash of Velcro.

And then in a twinkling

They heard in the straw

The prancing and pawing

Of each little claw.

More rapid than chickens

His cockerels they came.

He whistled and shouted

And called them by name:

"Now Ollie, now Stanley, now Larry and Moe,

On Wally, on Beaver, on Shemp and Groucho!

The turkeys were chunky

With smiley, beaked faces,

And they greeted the children

With downy embraces.

So out through the barnyard

They ran and they flew,

And they gobbled and giggled

As friends sometimes do.

Then somebody spotted

An ax by the door,

And she asked Farmer Nuggett

What it was for.

With a blink of his eye

And a twist of his head,

The old farmer told

A grim tale of dread:

"Tonight," said Mack Nuggett,

"These feathery beasts

Will be chopped up and roasted

For Thanksgiving feasts."

The children stood still

As tears filled their eyes,

Then they clamored aloud

In a chorus of cries.

"Oh dear," cried Mack Nuggett,

"Now what shall I do?"

So he dashed to the well,

And the teacher went, too.

And they fetched some water

Fresh from the ground,

In hopes that a swig

Might calm everyone down.

And when they returned

To quiet the matter,

The children were calmer

(And mysteriously fatter!).

The boys and girls drank up

Their drinks in the hay,

Then thanked old Mack Nuggett

And waddled away.

They limped to the school bus

All huffing and puffing --

It's not easy to walk

With hot turkey stuffing.

And then, as the school bus drove off in the night,

Mack Nuggett looked 'round -- not a turkey in sight!

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving,

And the stars up above

Shone down on a school bus

Abounding with love.

The very next evening,

Eight families were blessed

With eight fluffy Thanksgiving turkeys

As guests.

They feasted on veggies

With jelly and toast,

And everyone was thankful

(The turkeys the most!).

So each one gave thanks

For love and for living,

And they all had a wonderful

Happy Thanksgiving.

From 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE THANKSGIVING by Dav Pilkey. Published by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. Copyright c 1990 by Dav Pilkey. Used by permission.

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