There once was a turkey who wanted to be free. His name was Tom. The other turkeys laughed at him and insulted him.
The turkeys were comfortable on the farm. They had plenty of food and shelter. It was getting colder now and they all got very fat and slow. None of them wanted to leave the comfort of the farm.
That is except for one turkey. Tom was always looking for a chance to be free. The farmer’s food was very nice, but it just didn’t feel right. He didn’t feel like he belonged there. He felt a strong desire to go to the woods in the distance away from the farm.
Then one day the farmer accidentally left the gate ajar after bringing the food to the turkeys.
It was his chance. The other turkeys gobbled up the food and saw him walk towards the gate.
“There goes Turkey Tom always wanting to be free,” said one of the other turkeys.
“He thinks he’s a farmer,” said another turkey.
“He can’t take care of himself. He will starve,” said another.
“Look how small he is now,” said a very fat turkey. “We are all very plumb and happy. He is skinny and silly.”
Those are the kinds of things they said to him as Tom made his way to the gate. The closer he got to the gate, the more the turkeys laughed at him.
Tom took off in a sprint running from the safety of the farm and the plentiful food that the other turkeys enjoyed.
He ran as fast as he could. He ran through the game and out in the fields between the farm and the forest.
Then he doubted himself. He slowed a bit as he was about to walk into the woods.
Maybe the other turkeys were right. Maybe he couldn’t make it alone. Maybe he would starve and die out in the woods. He was just a plain old turkey anyway.
So, he slowly went back to the farm and saw that now the farmer and his workers were taking the turkeys away starting with the biggest and fattest ones first.
One by one the turkeys were taken away and Tom didn’t want to find out what happened next.
He went running again back into the woods this time faster than ever.
Time passed and he wandered day after day indeed getting hungrier and hungrier. He wondered if he would ever find food fit for a turkey.
Then he heard them. Turkeys who spoke differently than the ones he grew up with on the farm.
These turkeys were excited. They were running and flying. He only knew turkeys that sat and walked. These turkeys were running and talking and . . . free!
He went running with them feeling full of joy that he wasn’t alone.
They took him in and taught him how to be a wild turkey. He never went hungry and never felt alone.
He lived through the winter with the turkey tribe of the woods as free as can be.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11)
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