Cranberry

 

Cranberry and Timid
Cranberry is a Thanksgiving Turkey Extraordinaire. You won’t find many turkeys like Cranberry, for he loves Thanksgiving. That alone makes him pretty extraordinaire but as you will soon discover in the very first story there are lots of other things about Cranberry that stand out too. Cranberry loves to eat and a Thanksgiving Feast minus the “main dish” really appeals to him. But it’s more than just food. Cranberry appreciates the finer points of Thanksgiving as well. Cranberry thinks the whole essence of Thanksgiving is something a bit more. Something that’s almost magical. A grateful attitude toward life, a celebration of the blessings bestowed, and a cheerful, helpful outlook seem to be things Cranberry wants to foster.
Timid, Cranberry’s best friend is a rabbit. He is a rabbit that according to Cranberry has been misnamed. For Timid, is not particularly timid with Cranberry and in fact tends to boss him around a bit. Timid prefers hanging out with a turkey over the other rabbits and sometimes this creates problems with the forest families. But none the less, the two are close as close can be and look forward to sharing their adventures and ideas with you.

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The sun glowed, a bright ball in the sky over head but a gentle breeze played through the trees, shaking loose leaves of red and yellow. Suddenly a small pile of leaves trembled and toppled over. Out of the center popped a turkey’s head. It was Cranberry, Thanksgiving Turkey Extraordinaire.


Cranberry tilted his head to one side and listened intently…nope…no new sounds in the woods that might lead to danger. Sounds like crackling leaves, snapping twigs, or a cough: all meant something was afoot.
Now he stood, ruffled his feathers, and strutted about. A sudden rustling of leaves caused him to jerk in surprise, but it was only Timid. The rabbit thumped his foot on the ground and glared at Cranberry. “Where have you been” he demanded, in a not very timid way. Perhaps as a newborn he had displayed some timid tendencies but Cranberry rarely saw them.
“Sleeping” Cranberry stated. Timid snorted. The two were fast friends and spent a great deal of time in the forest together.
 
Cranberry was pondering something he had heard the previous day while eaves dropping on a gathering of the older turkeys. They had been gobbling about Thanksgiving…and although Cranberry wasn’t quite sure what Thanksgiving was, he thought it sounded delightful. However when he had piped up to say so, the others had rolled their eyes, wobbled their heads, turned their backs and strutted off.
 
Cranberry, who loved to eat and as a result was round and plump and waddled when he walked, thought Thanksgiving dinner sounded particularly yummy. What with pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and an assortment of other delicacies. You see, Cranberry had no knowledge of the “main dish”
He was so deep in thought that he failed to notice the red fox lurking behind the shrub quite near him. That fox, was thinking about Thanksgiving dinner too. And with one last look at Cranberry, the fox scampered away toward her den, mouth watering.
 
Timid thumped his foot impatiently. He did not like being ignored. Shaking his head, Cranberry looked at Timid and suggested that they head down to the edge of the creek, for a drink of brisk cold water.
 
The creek swirled and pushed at the banks for the heavy autumn rains were barely being contained. The water swirled past carrying twigs, colorful leaves, and acorns. Cranberry’s head wobbled as he looked at the creek. It looked really full and really dangerous. But the day awaited and so with only a backwards glance at the creek the two hurried off for their day of adventure.
 
The day past quickly as the two scampered here, there, and everywhere around the forest, visiting with other forest creatures. It was late afternoon when they found themselves next to the creek again.
 
“Stop” Cranberry cried out at Timid who was always ahead and almost lost from sight in the lower branches of a huge fir tree.
Timid stopped so quickly he almost flew head over tail into the pine needles. He had never heard his friend quite so distraught. So he hurried back as quickly as his feet would carry him.
“Look” Cranberry shouted above the roaring water. And it was then that Timid saw what had caught Cranberry’s attention. The rising water was lapping at the door of the skunk's den and the three tiny skunks were squealing in panic.
 
Without a moments hesitation Cranberry stepped into the water and although shivering with cold, he trudged toward the den. The water was deeper than expected and soon Cranberry was waist high in the cold swirling stream. Timid could only watch his progress with mouth open and heart pounding.

The tiny skunks begging for rescue, cheered him on. When he reached them, feathers soaked, he tucked one under each wing and hoisted the third upon his head. Back through the icy water Cranberry slowly and carefully carried them toward the safety of the higher bank.
Timid grabbed the tiniest skunk baby from Cranberry’s head as soon as he was within reach. Then he bustled all of them to the fir tree and under the branches for protection from the colder afternoon breeze. Huddled together, the warmth from their bodies was comforting.
 
Unbeknownst to Cranberry the crafty fox had observed the entire rescue from the safety of high boulders on the opposite bank. For some reason that fox just didn’t have the heart for a “traditional” Thanksgiving dinner after watching the heroic rescue. And so she hurried back to the warmth of her own den with a different dinner plan in mind.

As the days passed, all the animals in the forest heard the story of the rescue over and over again. Along with the story, the other turkeys passed along Cranberry’s fascination with Thanksgiving. When Thanksgiving finally arrived, its been told…that all the animals gathered with a feast of potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin pie to celebrate: Cranberry Thanksgiving Turkey Extraordinaire.
 
And some say…even the crafty fox brought a dish…Cranberry Pot Pie with a golden crust and a delightful combination of cranberries and grains. Without an ounce of turkey, of course!



Copyright 2007 by Ginger Schenck ~ All Rights Reserved