A Turkey For One by Lavinia S. Goodwin

Lura's Uncle Roy is in Japan. He used to take Christmas dinner at Lura's home. Now he could only write her papa to say a box of gifts had been sent, and one was for his little girl.

The little girl clapped her hands, crying, "Oh, mamma! don't you think it is the chain and locket dear uncle said he would sometime give me?"

"No," replied her papa, reading on. "Your uncle says it is a turkey for one."

"But we do not need turkeys from Japan," remarked the little daughter, soberly.

Her papa smiled, and handed the open letter to her mamma.  "Read it aloud, every bit," begged Lura, seeing her mamma was smiling, too.

But her mamma folded the letter and said nothing.

live turkey on table

On Christmas eve the box, which had just arrived, was opened, and every one in the house was made glad with a present. Lura's was a papier-mache turkey, nearly as large as the one brought home at the same time by the market-boy.

Next morning, while the fowl in the kitchen was being roasted, Lura placed hers before a window and watched people admire it as they passed. All its imitation feathers, and even more its red wattles, seemed to wish every man and woman, boy and girl, a Merry Christmas.

Lura had not spoken of the jewelry since her uncle's letter was read. It is not nice for one who receives a gift to wish it was different. Lura was not that kind of a child.

When dinner was nearly over, her papa said to her, "My dear,  you have had as much of my turkey as you wanted; if you please, I will now try some of yours."

"Mine is what Uncle Roy calls a turkey for one," laughed Lura. She turned in her chair towards where her bird had been strutting on the window-sill, and added, in surprise, "Why, what has become of him?"

At that moment the servant brought in a huge platter. When room had been made for it on the table it was set down in front of Lura's papa, and on the dish was her turkey.

"Oh, what fun!" gayly exclaimed the child. "Did uncle tell you to pretend to serve it?"

"I have not finished what he directs me to do," her papa said, with a flourish of the carving-knife.

"But, papa—oh, please!" Her hand was on his arm. "You would not spoil my beautiful bird from Japan!

A hidden spring was touched with the point of the knife. The  breast opened, and disclosed the fowl filled with choice toys and other things. The first taken out was a tiny box; inside was a gold chain and locket; the locket held Uncle Roy's picture.

It was a turkey for one,—for only Uncle Roy's niece. But all the family shared the amusement.