Cold Turkey


Our story of the week is an amusing story from the writer Niki Baker.

Niki lives in Oxfordshire and divides her time between pursuing her career as an author, editing her partner’s work, running her own business, and backpacking around places that people have vaguely heard of but might struggle to find in an atlas.

Writing has always been an important part of Niki’s life. She has run a school creative writing club, won the Hummer Prize, performed poetry and self-published a collection, blogged, written stories for children and had several feature articles published as a freelance travel writer. She is currently seeking a publisher for her first full-length novel, Yelling at Cows.

In Cold Turkey, Niki explores Christmas dinner from a new angle.


The snow reflects moon-silver, softening the Norfolk landscape, and the wind carries scraps of carols on its wings. Tom shakes himself to clear snowflakes from his snood, his wattle flapping. Tom’s a bigger turkey than me. He teases me about my ‘superstitious nonsense’, but I have this nagging feeling. Two children walked past yesterday and one said, ‘Nearly Christmas.’ Whatever that means.

I sidle over to the hole in the fence, squeeze through and plop into the field, where the world is big and the white is deep. Giddy with excitement, I set off in big fluttery leaps.

After a while, snow is c-c-caked on my f-f-feathers and my legs are t-t-tired…


I wake up inside a metal box, where it’s really warm. I hear footsteps. One side of the box disappears and is replaced by a woman’s face. She looks me in the eye and then makes a horrid shrieking noise. I rush out and she suddenly lies down on the floor.

Outside, it feels colder than ever. The woman’s voice is shouting things like, ‘…told me it was dead…’ and ‘…going vegetarian…’

I find a cosy corner in the barn and wait for my feathers to grow back.


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