Read Turkey Trouble on the National Mall Online
Authors: Ron Roy
Tags: #Ages 6 & Up
Photo credits: pp. 90–91, courtesy of the Library of Congress.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright © 2012 by Ron Roy
Interior illustrations copyright © 2012 by Timothy Bush
Cover art copyright © 2012 by Greg Swearingen
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Random House and the colophon are registered trademarks and A Stepping Stone Book and the colophon are trademarks of Random House, Inc.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Turkey trouble on the National Mall / by Ron Roy; illustrated by Timothy
p. cm. — (Capital mysteries; #14)
“A Stepping Stone book.”
Summary: “KC and Marshall convince the President of the United States to pardon more than one turkey for Thanksgiving, but all 117 of them are stolen off the National Mall.”—Provided by publisher.
[1. Mystery and detective stories—Fiction. 2. Turkeys—Fiction.
3. Presidents—Family—Fiction. 4. Stealing—Fiction. 5. Thanksgiving Day—
Fiction. 6. Washington (D.C.)—Fiction.] I. Title.
PZ7.R8139Tur 2012 [Fic]—dc23 2011051794
Random House Children’s Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read.
Dedicated to readers all:
big and small, short and tall
“I didn’t know turkey feathers were so smooth,” Marshall said. Next to him stood a large white turkey with a black circle around one eye. Marshall ran his fingers along the turkey’s broad back.
KC tossed some popcorn on the ground. She and Marshall watched the turkey dip his head and gobble up the food. It was early Monday morning, three days before Thanksgiving, and they were on the White House lawn. KC had lived in the White House since her mother married the President of the United States.
“I’m glad the president is pardoning this turkey,” KC said. Every Thanksgiving, the President of the United States gave one turkey a pardon. That meant the turkey
wouldn’t be part of Thanksgiving dinner. “He’s going to Mount Vernon to live.”
“You mean he’s going to George Washington’s house?” Marshall asked.
KC nodded. “There’s a big farm there now, with lots of animals.”
The turkey finished eating the popcorn. He started picking at KC’s sneaker laces. “Hey, Marsh, let’s give him a name,” KC said.
Marshall looked at the black circle around the turkey’s left eye. “How about Spot?” he said.
The turkey let out a loud
KC laughed. “He doesn’t seem to think Spot is a good name,” she said. “Besides, it sounds like a dog’s name. Why don’t we call him Cloud?”
“Because he’s white?” Marshall asked.
“And because he’s big and soft,” KC said. She held out a handful of popcorn. “Do you like your new name?”
The turkey dipped his head and ate out of KC’s hand.
“He likes it!” KC said.
“When does Cloud go to Mount Vernon?” Marshall asked.
“The day after Thanksgiving,” KC said. “The president said we’re going to drive him there. Want to come?”
“Sure,” Marshall said. “Are there other turkeys for Cloud to play with?”
“I don’t know,” KC said. She looked at Cloud, then grinned at Marshall. “You just gave me a great idea!”
“I did?” Marshall asked. “Are you going to tell me what it is?”
KC and Marshall left Cloud’s pen, and KC latched the gate behind them. “Yes, but I want to tell Mom and the president at the same time,” KC said. “Race you!”
KC and Marshall bolted around the rose garden and into the White House. They
charged up some stairs, around a corner, and past Arnold, the marine guard standing in front of the private quarters.
KC could hear her mom laughing in the kitchen. She and Marshall walked toward the sound.
“Hi, Mom. Hi, Yvonne,” KC said.
Yvonne had come from France to work in the president’s private residence. She planned meals, shopped, and cooked for the First Family. She looked after KC, too, like an aunt.
“Hi,” KC’s mom greeted them. She and Yvonne were sitting at the kitchen table sharing sections of the newspaper.
“Only a half hour before school,” Yvonne said. “Would you like some cereal?”
“Yes please.” KC pulled out a chair. “Can I talk to the president?” she asked her mother. “I have a great idea for Thanksgiving!”
Yvonne set a bowl of cereal in front of
KC. She handed Marshall a glass of juice.
Her mother grinned. “Now you’ve got me curious,” she said. “How about a hint?”
“She won’t even tell me!” Marshall said.
“Won’t tell you what?” a voice said from behind Marshall.
The president walked into the kitchen. He was tall, and his dark hair had a little gray around his ears. With him was Vice President Mary Kincaid.
“I have an idea, Dad,” KC told him. “It’s about Congress.”
The president sat next to his wife. “You’re too young to run for Congress,” he said to his stepdaughter.
KC giggled. “You know the turkey you’re going to pardon?” she asked him.
“Big fellow with white feathers?” he said. “We’re taking him to Mount Vernon on Friday.”
“We named him Cloud,” Marshall said.
“Nice name,” the president said. “So what’s your idea?”
“Well, Cloud might be lonely on the farm. He should have playmates,” KC said. “So I was thinking, we could pardon—I mean
could pardon—a bunch of other turkeys to go to Mount Vernon with him!”
“Other turkeys?” the president echoed.
KC grinned. “You could ask all the senators to pardon their turkeys,” she said. “You could ask all the members of the House of Representatives to pardon their turkeys, too. Then the turkeys could go to live at Mount Vernon together!”
“Goodness!” Yvonne said, setting mugs of coffee in front of the president and vice president. “That would be hundreds of turkeys!”
“Five hundred and thirty-six, to be exact,” the vice president said.
Marshall nearly choked on his juice.
“Sweetheart, I don’t know,” the president said. “The senators and members of the House make their own Thanksgiving plans. I can’t tell them what to do and what to eat.”
“I know,” said KC. “But couldn’t you ask?”
“And what if they agree?” KC’s mom asked. “I hope you’re not suggesting they bring their turkeys to the White House.”
“How about there?” Marshall said. He pointed to a headline in the newspaper that said N
. “There’s tons of room!”
“We can’t bring hundreds of turkeys to the National Mall,” the president said. “Who would take care of them?”
“I would, and Marshall would help me,” KC said.
Everyone looked at Marshall.
Marshall just shrugged.
“I like KC’s idea,” the vice president said. “I’ll bet a lot of senators and representatives would pardon their turkeys if asked.”
The president shook his head. “I don’t feel it’s the president’s place to ask others not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving,” he said. “But I’m still going to pardon Cloud!”
KC’s mother gave her a hug. “Time for school,” she said. “Take some fruit.”
KC and Marshall each chose an apple from the bowl and headed downstairs.
“Sorry our idea—I mean your idea—got chopped,” Marshall said.
“Who says it got chopped?” KC asked.
“Well, you heard what the president said,” Marshall said.
KC grinned. “Maybe he can’t ask people
not to eat turkey on Thanksgiving,” she said.
“But I sure can!”
The last class of the day was art. KC drew a huge picture of Cloud. She used the biggest drawing paper Ms. Vango, the art teacher, had. She drew a black circle around his left eye, then used a red crayon for the wattle that hung under his chin. The picture was almost life-sized.
“Great drawing,” Marshall said. “It looks just like Cloud.”
“Thank you.” KC carefully folded the picture and placed it inside her backpack. Then she asked Ms. Vango if she could take home another large sheet of drawing paper and a black marker.
“Take two sheets,” Ms. Vango said. “Are you and Marshall doing an art project at the White House?”
“Something like that!” KC said.
When the bell rang, KC and Marshall were the first kids out the door.
“What are you up to now?” Marshall asked as they headed down the street.
KC just grinned.
A short walk took them to the wide marble steps of the Capitol building. KC dropped her backpack on one of the steps. She took out her picture of Cloud, unfolded it, and handed it to Marshall. “Hold this, please,” she said.
“Not until you tell me what we’re doing here!” Marshall said. “This is the Capitol!”
KC pulled out one of the sheets of drawing paper and the marker.
“I know that,” she said. “Congresspeople come here all day long. And they’re all going to see our sign.”
KC sat on the step and began writing on the drawing paper. “The sign asking people
to pardon their turkeys this year!” she said. “The sign I’m making right now!”
“But you can’t do that!” Marshall said, plopping down next to her.
“Who says?” KC asked. “It’s a free country!”
“The president says, that’s who,” said Marshall.
didn’t want to ask people to pardon their turkeys this year,” KC said. “But I’ll do it instead!”
Marshall watched as KC made big block letters on the paper. “I have a feeling this is going to get us in trouble,” he said.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take the blame,” KC said. “And if I go to jail, you can bring me cookies.”
Marshall grinned. “Okay. What’s your sign going to say?” he asked.
KC finished what she was writing, then held the poster up so Marshall could read it.
THIS IS CLOUD, THE WHITE HOUSE TURKEY. THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO PARDON HIM. CLOUD IS GOING TO A FARM AT MOUNT VERNON TO LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
WON’T YOU PLEASE PARDON YOUR TURKEY, TOO? BRING YOUR LIVE TURKEY TO THE PEN ON THE NATIONAL MALL BEFORE THANKSGIVING. THANK YOU!