Tambu T. Turkey
M. C. Arvanitis
(Flannel Board Story)
(Concept taught: self worth)
Tambu T. Turkey strutted around the barnyard fluffing his feathers. He felt proud to be old enough to go out of the turkey
pen by himself.
He wobbled up to Ma Cow who was eating from a pile of hay. “Hello, Mrs. Cow,” he said.
Ma Cow didn’t look up.
Maybe she is deaf,” thought Tambu T. He walked on until he came to Fats Da Pig, who was lying in a mud puddle. “Hello Sir Fats,” he gobbled smiling his best smile.
all Fats Da Pig would offer. He raised his head to peek at Tambu T. Then he laid it down again in the mud.
Tambu T. felt sad that the cow and the pig would not talk to him. He wobbled up to the long whiskered goat.
He didn’t know his name but greeted him just the same. “Hello there. My name is Tambu T. Turkey.
The goat did not answer. He looked at him in a rude way while he chewed the paper from an old tin can.
The big white goose flew from a bale of hay near by.” Well, who have we here?” She squawked. “A turkey?”
“Hello, I am Tambu T. Turkey.” Tambu
smiled his best friendly smile.
“What do I care? A turkey is a turkey, nothing special.” She turned her back and strutted away.
Auntie Hen, sitting on her
nest, watched the sad turkey walk back to the turkey pen. “My, my,” she said to herself.
Tambu felt bad. The goose was right. There was nothing special about a brown turkey. Just then Esmeralda, the
fairy butterfly passed by. “Why are you sad, Tambu?”
“No one likes me. Do you think that if I was another color they would like me better?” He thought for a moment. “Everyone
like bananas. Could your do magic and make me yellow?”
“That may work. Say these words and think yourself yellow. “Riddle de de. Let me be YELLOW.”
The Magic worked. Tambu’s feathers turned yellow. The barnyard animals would surely talk to him now. Wobbling in his best wobble he walked up to Ma Cow. “Hello, Mrs. Cow.” He said.
just stood there swishing her tail to keep the flies off.
Tambu walked on. Perhaps the pig would notice him. “Hello Sir Fats.” The pig raised his head but all he did was grunt.
Tambu did not give up. He wobbled to the goat’ “Hello, I am Tambu T. Turkey.” The goat walked away without saying a word.
Goose, who was watching, called to Tambu. “We
don’t care for turkey’s around here, not even yellow ones.”
Auntie Hen, sitting on her nest, watched as the sad turkey wobbled back to the turkey pen.
cried to Esmeralda, “ They still don’t like me.”
“Try being a red turkey. That might work”
Tambu chanted the magic words again. “Riddle
de de. Let me be RED.” And pouf, his yellow feathers turned red. Again he wobbled to Mrs. cow. This time he shouted, “Hello, I am Tambu T. Turkey.”
This time Ma Cow lifted her head and looked at
him. Still she didn’t say anything.
Tambu walked over to Fats Da Pig who was standing beside the goat. “Good day to you both,” he greeted them.
both looked at Tambu, looked at each other, than went on about their business.
Goose rudely stared at him. “You sure look funny in red.”
Auntie Hen watched
from her nest as Tambu wobbled back to his pen. “Silly little turkey,” she said to herself.
Esmeralda said the magic words again and again each time changing Tambu to a different color.. .”
“Riddle de de. Let me be BLUE, -- ORANGE, -- PURPLE --, and finally GREEN. Nothing worked. Each time the same thing happened. The animals ignored him, except for the goose who laughed and called her ugly.
As he wobbled back to his pen, Auntie Hen called to her. “Tambu, why don’t you just be yourself? “
“No one likes a plain old brown turkey,” Tambu answered.
“Auntie Hen is right, you know.” Esmeralda said. “Brown is a good color and you are just as special as you think you are.”
“Well, I might as well be
brown again.” sobbed Tambu.
Esmeralda waved her antennas. ““Riddle de de. Let Tambu be beautiful brown.”
Pouf! He was his natural self. He looked
at his reflection in the barnyard pond and this time he liked what he saw. He strutted into the barnyard, proud of his brown feathers. Mrs. Cow looked up. Hello Tambu T. Turkey. How nice you look today.”
Da Pig grunted, “He sure does. I like his brown suit.”
Goat buttered the can up in the air. “Hey Tambu, my name is Whiskers. Want to play butt the can with me?
The goose put her bill up in the air. “Humph,” she said, “I don’t care what color they are. I don’t like turkeys.” She strutted off to the barn.
“Auntie Hen stuck
her head out of her nest. “Don’t mind Goose, Tambu. She is nasty to us all. We are happy to welcome a special brown turkey who is not afraid to be his self. “
Tambu felt so proud that he spread
his tail. The others gasped. His tail feathers were red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and purple.
Esmeralda smiles as she flew back to her butterfly bush. It didn’t take her magic to make Tambu special. The
magic was in his head all along.
© 1988 M.C. Arvanitis words and music is free to copy off and use in your classroom but is copyrited to M. C. Arvanitis so it can not
be shared elsewhere in print or electrontically.