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Tick Tock Turkey and the Disappearing Sandwich
By Michael Brett
This is a story about a very odd bird called Tick Tock Turkey, his friend Future Dog, and a sandwich that disappeared, mysteriously, into thin air….
Tick Tock Turkey and his friend Future Dog live on Egg Island, and float with thier home through time and space. Tick Tock Turkey concentrates his mind on the really important things in life – such as making the best sandwich ever – and when things don’t quite work out as he plans, all he has to do is turn back the hands of his very special watch.
This tale of a scruffy time-travelling turkey has been specially written for Storynory.
Read by Natasha. Duration 23 Minutes
This is a story about a very odd bird called Tick Tock Turkey, his friend Future Dog, and a sandwich that disappeared, mysteriously, into thin air.
Tick Tock Turkey is a brown feathery bird, a bit scruffy, and a bit clumsy. He has a special watch with a red button that he wears on one of his wings.
Future Dog – as you can probably guess – is a dog, and she comes from the future. She has black fur, blue and gold hair on her head, and wears dark sunglasses all the time. Even at night.
Tick Tock Turkey and Future Dog have an interesting talent. They can travel in time. They can go forward into the future, when thing haven’t happened yet, or backward into the past, when things have already happened. Time travel is quite complicated, so it’s a good idea to explain one or two things about it.
You’re probably thinking: ‘It isn’t possible to travel in time. It can’t be done!’ However hard you try, no matter what you do, it’s always right now. It’s never yesterday, and it’s never tomorrow. It is always today. You might say to yourself: ‘I can’t wait until tomorrow! It’s going to be so much more exciting than today!’ and then jump into bed and shut your eyes tight and make yourself go to sleep so that tomorrow comes quickly.
But what happens when you wake up? It’s not tomorrow at all. It’s just a different today. It’s always today, no matter what you do.
Just imagine that you could say to yourself: ‘I’m so bored with Monday. And Tuesday doesn’t look very exciting. Wednesday and Thursday look pretty dull. Now, I was planning to go out for ice cream on Friday, which will be much more fun. So: I’m going to push a button and make it Friday, right now. I’ll just zoom into the future and miss out all those boring days in between…’
So you push a button, and zap! It’s Friday! And there’s so much ice cream you can’t stop yourself even though you know you’re probably going to have a sore tummy and a headache.
Hang on. That doesn’t happen, does it? No one can push a button and zoom into the future.
But what if you could say to yourself: ‘I really enjoyed going to the beach last weekend. The sun was so hot and I got to lounge around for hours and swim in the sea and look for crabs in the rock pools and play football on the sand. But now it’s raining and miserable and I’m stuck indoors. So: I’m going to push a button and make it last weekend, right now. I’ll just zoom into the past and get away from this boring rainy day…’
So you push a button, and zap! It’s last weekend! And you can play and swim and eat ice lollies all day and then, when the day is over, you can zoom back to this morning and do it all over again!
Hang on. That doesn’t happen either, does it? No one can push a button and zoom into the past whenever they feel like it.
Well, that scruffy Tick Tock Turkey, and that flashy Future Dog, they can travel in time. They can go forward into the future, or backward into the past, using a special time-travelling watch.
Now, time travel isn’t always as much fun as it sounds. Sometimes time travel can cause plenty of bother. It’s complicated zooming back to yesterday, or zooming forward to tomorrow, and then zooming back to today and still remembering when it is and where you are. In fact, sometimes time travel can cause so much bother that it hardly seems worthwhile.
Tick Tock Turkey’s disappearing sandwich caused a lot of confusion. The story of Tick Tock Turkey’s sandwich is a good one to hear, if you want to know just how peculiar time travelling can be.
Tick Tock Turkey and Future Dog live in a strange place called Egg Island. Egg Island isn’t the biggest island in the world, but it’s not small either. It has a mountain in the middle, surrounded by a deep, dark jungle, and a bright sandy beach all the way around its shores.
Across the island there are hundreds of stone turkeys, tall statues with enormous stone eggs balanced on their heads, each carved from the mountain rock by clever turkeys long ago. Egg Island used to be part of the land of Turkeytopia, a whole country of birds. But now Egg Island drifts across the seas of the world, like an enormous boat with no sail.
Egg Island also does something mysterious. It doesn’t only drift across the seas, it also floats through time. It drifts forward into the future, and backward into the past, as the tide takes it. When Egg Island comes ashore, which it does every now and then, for a little while, there is no telling where, or when, it could be!
On one very misty morning on Egg Island, with the shadows of the big turkey statues growing ever shorter as the sun rose ever higher, with the strange animals in the jungle making ever stranger noises as it grew ever hotter, Tick Tock Turkey set about making the best sandwich ever.
Tick Tock Turkey didn’t just like sandwiches. Everybody likes sandwiches. Tick Tock Turkey thought that sandwiches were the best kind of food that had ever been invented. And this particular sandwich was going to be the single best sandwich that had ever been made. Ever.
Tick Tock Turkey took the business of making sandwiches very seriously, and everything had to be done just right. First of all, he cleared some space on a flat tree stump at the edge of the jungle by the beach. This would be his sandwich-making table. He scampered into the jungle and gathered up some thick crusty bread slices from the bread bushes beside one of the jungle lakes. On Egg Island, all kinds of food grow just like this. When it comes to the best sandwich ever made, only the flattest, crustiest, chunkiest pieces of bread will do. Tick Tock Turkey picked two of the crustiest and chunkiest.
He took an empty coconut shell and dipped it into the lake – which was made of warm butter – filled it up to the brim, and brought the bread and butter back to the table. Next, Tick Tock Turkey fetched some orange lettuce, some blue tomatoes and a big yellow onion. Things are sometimes unusual colours on Egg Island! When he had taken those things and put them on the table, he went back to the jungle and fetched a big wedge of purple cheese from the cheese tree, and some peppery mustard from the mustard swamp. Mustard was Tick Tock Turkey’s favourite.
He was getting extremely hungry now – his mouth was starting to water, and he couldn’t wait to put all the ingredients together. But he didn’t have everything he needed. Two more essential ingredients would give the sandwich that special something. Can you guess what they were?
That’s right – pink gravy, and hot chocolate sauce.
No sandwich is complete without pink gravy and hot chocolate sauce.
Tick Tock Turkey rummaged through the jungle vines until he found a nice, healthy gravy plant. He picked a pair of plump, pink gravy fruit. He climbed up a rocky slope to the huge, old chocolate tree, pecked into the trunk with his beak, and out oozed some thick, sugary chocolate. He filled up another coconut shell, carrying it to the beach on the end of his wing like a bucket, swishing little drops of hot brown chocolate behind him.
Finally, with all of the ingredients in front of him, Tick Tock Turkey was at last ready to begin making the best sandwich ever!
‘You’d better watch this, Future Dog,’ he called out across the beach, ‘this is going to be an absolutely incredible sandwich. Big and tasty. The best!’
All this time, Future Dog had been sitting on the beach nearby, lounging in the shade of a tall turkey statue, reading her book, and sipping from a cup of cool, delicious papaya fruit juice. Future Dog knew that Tick Tock Turkey was always up to some silly plan or another, trying to make sailboats from banana skins or trying to build beach houses with sand. And even though Tick Tock Turkey had been scampering backwards and forwards all morning, dashing into the jungle one minute, and dashing back onto the beach the next minute, gobbling and squawking excitedly with his wings laden with weird food,
Future Dog hadn’t been paying much attention. She’d seen it all before.
When the sandwich was done, with all the ingredients – including the pink gravy and chocolate sauce – packed inside the chunky slices of bread, Tick Tock Turkey decided that his sandwich looked absolutely delicious.
‘Have a look!’ he squawked. ‘Come on, Future Dog. Come here and have a look at my fantastic sandwich!’
Future Dog wasn’t in the mood. ‘Do I have to?’ she asked. ‘Only that smell of onions and mustard and gravy and chocolate all mixed together is wafting around and making me feel a bit queasy.’
Tick Tock Turkey scampered over to Future Dog and pulled the book from her paws.
‘Come on!’ he said. ‘Even if it’s not your favourite, I’m telling you it’s an amazing job – in fact, it’s a work of art, and you’d better look quick before I gobble it up!’
Future Dog shrugged: ‘Oh well, I suppose I should have a look,’ she said. ‘After all, you have been working very hard.’
Then, as they were about to look at Tick Tock Turkey’s sandwich, there was a sudden loud WHOOSH, quickly followed by a second loud WHOOSH. They jumped. In fact, the second WHOOSH wasn’t so much a WHOOSH as a WHOOSH backwards. A sort of SHOOWH.
‘What the egg was that?’ said Tick Tock Turkey.
‘I’m not sure,’ said Future Dog. ‘Although it did sound a bit familiar…’
‘Forget it,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, ‘I’m too hungry to care. It’s just some stupid island wind. Future Dog, here it is… the best sandwich ever!’
They looked over at the table to admire Tick Tock Turkey’s work.
But there was nothing there.
‘Whaat?!’ cried Tick Tock Turkey. ‘Where’s my sandwich? Where’s it gone? Whaat?!’ He flapped his wings until feathers fluttered to the sand. He ran around in a tiny circle.
Future Dog scratched her head. ‘Well, that is peculiar,’ she said. ‘But no one’s been here. It seems to have gone very quickly.’
‘Whaat?’ gobbled Tick Tock Turkey. ‘It was there a second ago! I only turned my back for an instant.
‘And you didn’t see anyone else?’ asked Future Dog.
‘No one. Whaat?’
‘And you’re sure it was there?’
‘Of course it was there! It was big and huge and delicious and it smelled wonderful!’
Future Dog nodded. ‘Well, I don’t agree that it smelled wonderful, but it certainly stunk enough to have been there alright.’
Tick Tock Turkey fumed and squawked and ran around in another tiny circle.
Suddenly he stopped in his tracks, and stuck one wing up in the air.
‘There’s nothing for it,’ he said. ‘I’m going to use the Time Watch!’
‘The Time Watch?’ said Future Dog, ‘are you sure that’s really necessary? The sandwich can’t be far away. Even if someone has pinched it, they can’t have got far into the jungle and I’m sure we can catch them up.’
‘No,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, fiddling with the winder on the watch, ‘the only way to be absolutely sure
that I get my sandwich back in exactly the way I want it – and that means without anyone else having got their grubby hands on it or nibbled at it – is to go back in time to when it was there, and stop the thief before he makes his getaway!’
Future Dog scratched her chin. ‘Yes,’ she said thoughtfully, ‘I suppose that makes sense. You could turn the watch back a few minutes, pop through a time hole, and stop the thief in his tracks. Well, Tick Tock Turkey, for a very silly bird, that sounds like a clever plan.’
‘You bet,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. He stood by the empty table and twisted the winder on the watch so that the big hand turned backwards. Two minutes – to when the sandwich was still there.
He pushed the red button on the side of the watch… And WHOOSH! A time hole opened in front of him, like a hazy cloud of light and sparks, floating in the air.
‘I can see my sandwich!’ he squawked, peering through the hole. ‘And it looks delicious! And I can see myself talking to you, Future Dog, and I’m asking you to come and have a look at it! That means the thief will grab the sandwich any second now!’
‘And can you see the thief?’ asked Future Dog.
‘Not yet,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, ‘there doesn’t seem to be anyone else there. He must be hiding. But he’ll strike any second. I’m not taking any chances – I won’t let my sandwich get stolen twice!’
And with that, Tick Tock Turkey dived into the time hole. He vanished for a moment, and then, as quickly as he had gone, he reappeared, popping out with his sandwich safely between his wings. The hole shut behind him with a loud SHOOWH!
Tick Tock Turkey looked triumphant. ‘I’ve got my sandwich back! Yes! I’ve foiled the thief!’
‘Hang on,’ said Future Dog. ‘I thought those whooshing and shoowhing sounds we heard earlier were a bit familiar. It was a time hole opening and closing.’
Tick Tock Turkey shrugged. ‘Whatever. I’ve got it back – that’s the important thing.’
Future Dog sighed. ‘Well, Tick Tock Turkey, it means that means the thief who stole your sandwich was a time traveller, just like us.’
‘Doesn’t matter,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘What’s important is that I’ve beaten the thief at his own game, and now the best sandwich ever is back!’
Future Dog slapped her forehead with her paw. ‘Oh dear,’ she said. ‘I think I know who took your sandwich.’
‘Nonsense,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘I grabbed the sandwich before the thief got there, so we’ll never know.’
Future Dog sighed, ‘Well, I do know. You took the sandwich, Tick Tock Turkey.’
Tick Tock Turkey shook his head: ‘Whaat?’
‘You stole it from yourself!’
‘The time traveller who stole your sandwich was you, from the future, coming back to get it!’
Tick Tock Turkey shook his head again, this time so hard that feathers flew off in all directions. ‘I’m so confused!’ he squawked.
‘It’s the only explanation,’ said Future Dog. ‘You stole your own sandwich from yourself. I’ve been time travelling for much longer than you, Tick Tock Turkey, and it’s the only possible explanation.’
‘Well, I reckon it’s just stupid,’ said Tick Tock Turkey, quite annoyed, ‘because why would I have gone back in time and taken it if someone hadn’t come and taken it into the future in the first place?’
Future Dog nodded thoughtfully. ‘It is rather complicated.’
Tick Tock Turkey squawked crossly. ‘I can’t believe that someone would come from the future and steal my sandwich. The cheek!’
He looked down at the big sandwich in front of him. ‘Oh,’ he said, frowning, ‘but I’ve still got the sandwich. Does that mean I’m the thief? Whaat? Ow. My head hurts from all this thinking.’
‘Cheer up,’ said Future Dog. ‘You can’t really steal from yourself, can you?’
‘I suppose not,’ said Tick Tock Turkey. ‘But I think I just did!’
‘Tuck in to your sandwich,’ said Future Dog. ‘After all, you’ve travelled in time to get it, and isn’t it supposed to be the best sandwich ever?’
Tick Tock Turkey shrugged, took an enormous bite from his sandwich, and started to gobble it down.
And aah… It was indeed. The best sandwich ever.