By Bob Hueston on Feb 12, 2008
"Because it's turkey," I answered, matter-of-factly.
"No," she continued, "I mean, why do they call the food 'turkey' the same as the bird 'turkey'?"
It was then I realized that she had not yet come to the realization that the animals on the farm and the food on our plate where one and the same. So I started to explain. At one point I flipped the turkey onto its legs, had it walk across the counter doing a can-can and flapping its wings. Perhaps not my best moment in parenting, but it got the message across. She nodded her head in patronizing agreement, and wandered away.
I was worried how she would handle dinner with her new-found knowledge. Would she eat the bird? Would she become a devout vegetarian on-the-spot? Would she enter the dining room chanting protest songs and holding a sign that reads, "Let my turkeys go!"?
But things went fine. She had no qualms about eating the turkey on her plate. She finished one slice, and asked for seconds. I was somewhat relieved, until I noticed she hadn't touched her vegetables. "Eat your veggies, too," I reminded her.
She took one legume with her spool and rolled it around on her plate, examining it carefully from every side. Finally she paused and got that inquisitive look on her face. "Daddy," she asked, looking up at me, "why do they call it 'pea'?"