When Father Carved the Turk
Ma always did the carving in the old days on the farm
When roasted bird at meals occurred she'd slice it to a charm;
But last Thanksgiving Father said, when Ma was carving ducks,
Her cooking, though 'twas passable, she couldn't carve for shucks.
Dad said agen, he noticed when a chicken came on deck,
Though all the rest got legs or breast, he always got the neck;
Henceforth he'd wield the knife himself, and now I'll go to work,
Events I'll trace, tell what took place when Father carved the "turk."
Christmas mighty soon rolled round, and Dick and me and Sue
Had fixed a little game on Pop, and Ma was in it, too -
We had a turkey on the farm, I'd heard Dad oft remark
He'd pledge his word that very bird came out of Noah's ark.
We chloroformed the gobbler, and though for hours we tried,
No ax or gun (we tried a ton) would penetrate his hide.
When in the oven birdie went Mom whispered, with a smirk,
There'll be some fun for every one when Father carves the "turk."
'Twas Christmas day, the table gay with fixings for the feast,
And ev'ry guest dressed in his best, a score of them at least;
A hungry horde sat round the board as Dad took up his knife,
All sharpened like a razor, for the battle of his life.
Hushed was the din as Ma brought in the gobbler, brown and slick-
Mom winked at me, I winked at Sue and Sue she winked at Dick;
All bowed their heads as grace was said by Reverend Joseph Burke,
Then still as death we held our breath while Father carved the "turk."
Dad shed his coat and bared his throat, and then he butted in,
The gobbler's hide to cut he tried, but couldn't pierce the skin ;
Its breast he jabbed, its neck he stabbed, and gave it such a slap
It went right swish clean off the dish and flopped in Sal Smith's lap.
'Twas soon put back, again Dad hacked; oh, things were going some!
When Dad's knife slipped and off it whipped the top of Father's thumb;
Dad stomped the floor, and strange oaths swore, while Reverend Mr. Burke
Begged Heaven, in prayer, our lives to spare while Father carved the "turk."
We fixed the old man's damaged thumb, then Dad, sad to relate,
Upon the table knelt and chased the turkey round the plate;
One knee was on the gobbler's breast, the other in the pie,
While gravy flew on me and Sue and hit the ceiling high,
We ducked beneath the table, 'twas the safest place to go,
While Pop was wrestling up on deck we breathed a prayer below;
Then came a crash, an awful smash; in my brain long 'twill lurk;
That deafening roar, when on the floor, went Father and the "turk."
We scrambled out and picked Dad up; you should have seen him prance -
The carving knife lodged in his shoe, the fork stuck in his pants,
His face was smeared with grease, his beard and whiskers full of pie,
Ere he could see Ma dug out three potatoes from his eye.
Then old "Doc" Jupp patched father up, and said 'twas very plain
He'd turkeyitis of the pants and gravy on the brain-
Another gobbler soon was cooked and each one went to work,
And ate, you bet, but don't forget 'twas Mother carved the "turk."