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December 11, 2016
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The Hickory Farms Escape

Previously, we learned about the origin of the Turkey Bandit. As a young turkey (poult), he escaped a local organic farm after his father was chosen as the “guest of honor” for the farmer’s Thanksgiving table; his father was never seen again. The young Bandit escaped and began his quest to free as many turkeys as he could, one farm at a time.

“I’m in position,” the Turkey Bandit’s radio crackled 10 years later. His partner had the farm under surveillance; he knew where the turkeys were kept and where the Bandit would enter to switch off the alarm.

“Copy that,” the Bandit whispered. “I’m on my way.”

He pulled his cab to the side of the road and switched the “Off Duty” light on. He popped the trunk and flipped over a secret compartment, revealing a black mask, utility belt and cape. He changed quickly, grabbed the walkie talkie from the dashboard and took off into the night.

A few moments later, he came upon Hickory Farms. A large sign swung in the moonlight. Beneath it, a smaller sign read: “We have the freshest turkeys around.” The Bandit chuckled. “Not for long,” he said to himself.

The Bandit’s partner’s name was Estajoca, which the Bandit couldn’t pronounce, so he called him Jack instead. Jack was a wild turkey and a very good tracker of Native American decent. The two of them had been working together for the past five Thanksgivings.

Jack was peering through his night vision goggles when the Bandit approached.

“’Bout time,” said Jack. “If you were much later we would have missed Thanksgiving all together.”

“Yeah, yeah,” said the Bandit. “Let’s do this.”

The Bandit tiptoed over the porch and entered the house through the dog entrance cut into bottom of the door. He took a few steps and felt the floors creak under him.

Jack took his place by the coop, ready to pick the lock.

“Okay, I’m coming upon the alarm system,” the Bandit said over the radio. He hooked up his scanner and waited as it decoded. The light upstairs turned on. The Bandit froze. He pressed himself up against the wall as the farmer came down the stairs. He was dressed in boxers and a white tee shirt and seemed to still be asleep. The Bandit crossed behind the farmer stealthily and dove behind the couch.

The farmer continued to the kitchen and filled up a glass of water. The Bandit held his breath as the farmer went back upstairs. When all was clear, the Bandit crossed carefully to the alarm and entered the code. “We are good. Break them out of there.”

Jack went to work on the lock. “That was close,” he said.

“Too close,” said the Bandit.

“Oh, it wasn’t that close,” said a deep voice from the darkness.

Startled, the Bandit whipped around as the Dog stepped into the light.

Meanwhile, Jack got the door to the coop open and quietly moved through the turkeys, explaining that they were being rescued. The flock gathered quickly. “So there really is a Turkey Bandit,” said a young poult.

“There is indeed,” said Jack, as he started shuffling the flock out the front gate and on to safety.

Back inside, the Bandit and the Dog glared at each other as if in a Western stand off, each waiting for the other one to make a move.

“Give it up,” said the Dog. “There’s no way out alive.”

The Bandit calmly took a dog treat from his pocket. “Fresh bacon,” he said.

The Dog looked nervous. The Bandit smelled the treat and scrunched up his face. “Mmmmm,” he said.

The Dog’s mouth started to water. He tried to resist but he started to pant. The Bandit threw the treat over his shoulder into the kitchen. The Dog barreled after it. The Bandit shook his head as he slipped out of the house and into the night.

The next morning, the Bandit sat at his dining room table eating breakfast. His cab was parked outside. His wife and two young poults clucked around getting ready for the day.

The cover of the morning newspaper read, “Turkey Bandit strikes again. Hickory Farms emptied.”

“Wow” said the son. “Do you think it’s really true? Is there a Turkey Bandit?”

“I don’t know,” said the Bandit himself. “A turkey who runs around in a mask and cape seems to be a little confused. I can’t say I approve of his methods but he certainly is doing a good thing.”

With a grin, the Turkey Bandit leaned back in the chair, thankful for alarm decoders, dog treats and his family.