Letters: A Thanksgiving Tale

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Guy Raz reads listener reaction to yesterday's Thanksgiving Day story by writer Bailey White.


It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. And now it's time for your letters - all about our annual Thanksgiving Day story by writer Bailey White. This year, Bailey told us about a Florida painter who moved to Vermont, where he has trouble fitting in. At a neighbor's suggestion, he turns to raising turkeys.

BAILEY WHITE: (Reading) The turkeys were so well trained by now they did not need a pen. They were truly that most fashionable of foul - free-range. Every morning, he turned them out and they roamed the woods and fields. At night, when he called them, they came running and gliding to land at his feet and follow him to the safety of their roost in the tight little house for the night.

RAZ: Well, Rosemary Kimble of Sterling, Arkansas writes: Any time I hear a Bailey White story, that's my driveway moment - even at 15 degrees. She says she stayed in her car parked in the garage with the windows open. I've tried reading her books, Rosemary adds, but it's her voice I love to hear.

And from a warmer climate, Kathy Bentley(ph) adds this: As someone who grew up in Vermont who now lives in Hawaii, I could see every person in the story. And the artist is right - it's very difficult to become a Vermonter no matter how hard you try. You just have to grow up there. Vermont values will never leave. Some of you, though, felt the ending of Bailey's story was, well, a little bit of a bummer. Nancy Brad(ph) posted this at NPR.org: Although I love the wordsmith Bailey White, I was offended by this essay. I listened almost the entire time, but when the turkey, who was tame because of all the excellent care he had received, leaned into the painter and pushed his neck around the man's right arm before the neighbor decapitated the bird, I turned off the radio. She continues: That this bird was raised to be food does not justify his end. When will NPR acknowledge that there are listeners who do not see animals as food who would be upset by these words? Well, you can tell us what you think about this or any other story you hear on our program at NPR.org. Just click on Contact Us at the bottom of the page.

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