by: Jamie T.

After a particularly busy day helping families tie their trees on their cars, Farmer Bill turned and said to Sa Chee, his Chinese farm hand, “What do you think about turkey for Christmas dinner next week?”


Sa Chee replied to Farmer Bill, but Buster didn’t stick around to hear Sa Chee’s answer. He started running.


It was the week before Christmas on Sky Valley Christmas Farm near Balsam, Montana. A light blanket of snow covered the ground outside of the cabin used by the farm as an office. Across the dirt road that runs into town, two miles away, was the barn where Buster the turkey lived.


Buster was a large male turkey, who thought he was the boss of all animals on the farm. When families would come from town to buy a tree, Buster would shadow them while they searched for just the right tree. Most of the families enjoyed having Buster follow them. Buster felt he herded them along by puffing himself up and walking in front of the guests using his imitation of a growl.


Buster knew he better hide till Christmas was over. He decided to hide in a Christmas tree. This worked until the tree was cut down, and Buster jumped out, flailing his wings and squawking loudly. He landed on Sa Chee. Sa Chee took Buster to Bill who was in the kitchen sharpening a meat cleaver. Buster looked at the meat cleaver with wide eyes then at Bill and passed out.


Farmer Bill looked puzzled and turned to Sa Chee and said, “I guess he didn’t know we had planned on duck.”


Farmer Bill placed Buster in the barn and went back to sharpening his cleaver.


Two weeks later, they found the duck hiding in a Christmas tree.