Terri and the Turkey
By Wade Bradford
The author grants permission for anyone to use this short play for educational and/or amateur purposes.
Stage Right: The humble home of Grandpa and Grandpa.
Stage Left: The animal pen.
Narrator: Thanksgiving. A time of joy and celebration. Of food, relaxation, and family. A day beloved by everyone. Everyone that is except… Tom Turkey!
(A Turkey named Tom walks on stage left, flapping his wings.)
Tom: Gobble, gobble!
On stage right, Grandma and Grandpa enter. Tom listens to them as they speak.
GRANDMA: I mashed the potatoes, I crammed the cranberries, I yammed the yams, and now it’s time for you to do what you always do on Thanksgiving Day.
GRANDPA: Watch football?
GRANDMA: No! It’s time to prepare the turkey.
TOM: Prepare? That doesn’t sound so bad.
GRANDMA: Prepare? That’s such hard work! I have to pluck the feathers.
GRANDPA: And pull out the innards.
GRANDPA: And toss him in the oven.
TOM: Oh my!
GRANDMA: But don’t forget. First you must chop off his head.
TOM: (Grabs his neck, fearful.) And all this time I thought I was going to be the guest of honor. (PIG enters.) I’ve got to get out of here! These people are going to eat me!
PIG: Oink, oink. Welcome to my world, buddy.
GRANDPA: Well, I guess I better get busy.
A happy couple, Mom and Dad, enter.
MOM and DAD: Hi Grandpa!
MOM: Happy Thanksgiving.
DAD: Is there anything we can do to help?
GRANDPA: I’m glad you asked that. Go out back and chop off the turkey’s head.
DAD: Oh. I was hoping you would have me set the table.
GRANDPA: Too bad. Get chopping!
MOM: Be brave dear.
DAD: But honey, you know the sight of blood makes me queasy.
MOM: I’m needed in the kitchen.
DAD: Well, sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do--
(A son and a daughter (Terri) enter.)
DAD: Make his kids do the work.
SON: Hey Dad, is dinner ready yet?
DAD: Son, this is a very special Thanksgiving because I’m giving you a very special responsibility. I need you to chop off the turkey’s head.
DAD: And while you’re at it, pluck the feathers, take out the innards, and give it to Grandma to put in the oven.
SON: But – but – but…
DAD: Have fun, son.
The son turns to Terri, who has been engrossed in a book.
SON: Terri! Hey bookworm! Did you hear what Dad just said to me?
TERRI: No, I was too busy reading my history book.
SON: You mean you didn’t hear a single word Dad said?
TERRI: No. What did he say?
SON: He wants you to kill the turkey.
He pushes her toward the animal pen, then exits. Note: All of the other human characters have cleared the stage too.
TERRI: Well, I guess if we want a turkey dinner, someone has to do it.
Optional: She picks up a prop ax – make sure its something safe.
TERRI: (Approaching Tom) Sorry, Mr. Turkey. The time has come.
TOM: I – I – I feel faint!
The turkey starts to sway back and forth. He falls to the ground.
TERRI: Oh no! I think he’s having a heart attack!
GRANDMA: (Entering.) Who’s having a heart attack?
TERRI: (Checking the turkey’s pulse.) He doesn’t have a pulse.
GRANDPA: (Entering.) I don’t have a pulse?
TERRI: Not you, Grandpa. The turkey!
DAD and MOM enter.
DAD: Terri, what are you doing?
TERRI: CPR. I learned it in health class.
MOM: She’s such a good student.
SON: (Entering.) What the heck is going on?
TERRI: I think it’s working. Live, Mr. Turkey! Live!!!
(Optional: If you want to get really silly with this skit, the actress can pretend to use a defibrillator.)
TOM: (Coming back to life.) Gobble gobble!
MOM: You did it honey!
DAD: You saved his life.
TERRI: Yep. Now I guess I better cut off his head.
GRANDMA: Now wait, child. It just doesn’t seem right.
TERRI: You know, according to my history book, presidents such as Harry Truman and John Kennedy have spared the lives of their turkeys. And since 1989, the white house has been granting a presidential pardon to each live turkey that is presented to the president. Maybe this year we could do the same kind of thing.
GRANDMA: I think that’s a lovely idea. After all, one of the many things we should be thankful for is simply how many families have been able to have wonderful Thanksgiving dinners all because of this noble bird. Besides we have many other delicious foods we can eat. Yams, cranberries, freshly made bread, and mashed potatoes.
GRANDPA: That’s right, Grandma. Now, who’s up for some pork chops?
PIG: (Feeling faint.) I gotta get out of here!