You Can’t Pluck a Bald Turkey by Tardiscrew

Summary: Just when Rose thinks she has everything ready for Christmas the Doctor starts acting weird. Is he sick, under the influence of something alien? What should she do?
Rating: Teen
Categories: Tenth Doctor
Characters: Rose Tyler
Genres: Fluff, Humor, Mystery, Romance
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2021.12.14
Updated: 2021.12.21

You Can’t Pluck a Bald Turkey by Tardiscrew
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Author's Notes:

It was a Christmas miracle! Christmas was two weeks away but they were ready!

Rose’s pushing, prodding and cajoling had even nudged the Doctor along without too much whining. The Console room was glowing and twinkling and decorated to the nines! So was the Library and major corridors in the ship. Christmas gifts were pretty much purchased or made and mostly wrapped. Christmas baking, which the Doctor took a keen interest in, including developing new recipes, was all done and frozen. Brilliant!

Christmas was two weeks away yet Rose sat in the library with her feet up by the fire, sipping her tea, thinking this was the way to do Christmas. Start early and the stress was vanquished. Feeling quite superior she basked in her calm sense of control.

Except for a few minor items, her ‘to do’ list was done! It really was the only way when you never knew if you’d be speeding through the universe responding to some sort of galactic emergency or cosmic disaster. But, even if there was an emergency, they were ready!

Digging her list out of her pocket, because she greatly enjoyed striking items off it with a black marker, she turned the list over and there was the one terror she feared above all others, ‘get and cook turkey’! How could she have forgotten the bloody bird! She forgot the bird because turkeys were her arch enemy and a curse of gargantuan proportions!

Last year her turkey had blown up! She didn’t know what giblets were let alone that she was supposed to take the giblets out of the cavity. She didn’t even know they were in the turkey cavity. As a result, the heavy plastic bag they were in had puffed up and blown the stuffing out of the bird blasting off one of the legs and blowing the stuffing all over the inside of the hob!

She’d studied how to cook turkeys for weeks and even though the Doctor had assured her last year’s turkey was perfectly cooked…it blew up! Because of giblets, which no one had told her about, it blew up and it blew up just to cause her embarrassment!

The Doctor had been truly impressed at the devastation, even struggled to control his uproarious laughter without success. But that turkey did it just to show her up. She was convinced.

Omigawd, they needed a turkey! This year she was not going to be defeated. This year the bloomin’ bird was going to bend to her will. She left her calm and her tea behind running down the corridor to find the Doctor.

“Doctor!” she called, running into the console room.

Sensing her alarm the Doctor gave her his full attention. “Something wrong Rose?”

“We have to go the Earth straight away.”

“Very well, what’s up?”

“We don’t have a turkey? We need a turkey!”

The Doctor’s one eyebrow arched. “Ahhh, decided to give it another go?”

“Yes, I’m not lettin’ a bloody gobbler get the better of me. Anyway, you said last year’s turkey was perfectly cooked, except for, well, the melted plastic and blown off leg!”

“That’s the spirit Rose! Third time’s a charm I say!”

“So, can we go to Earth?”

“No need Rose. We have a turkey. Come along and have a gander! See what I did there Rose?”

“Gander goes with goose, not turkey, ya plum.”

Grabbing her hand, the Doctor led Rose down the corridor but after a bit Rose was puzzled. “Hey, why we goin’ to the garden?”

“You’ll see,” the Doctor said mysteriously.

Entering the garden, the Doctor quickly reached for a container he’d left at the entrance and shook it as if it was some kind of signal. Suddenly, something seemed to respond with a truly bizarre sound in the distance.

A very large, very ugly beast was trundling toward them. It had weird red wobbly flesh hanging over and under it’s cruel beak which matched its sharp clawed, deadly toes. It’s eyes were cruelly lifeless like shark eyes.

“Doctor!” she cried, “what is that and are we in danger?”

Quickly she slipped in behind him peeking around his arm as the beast waddled rapidly towards them.

“Of course not Rose. This is Brad the Impossible. He’s a turkey!”

The Doctor was clearly fascinated with the ugly beast, bending to sprinkle feed for him on the grass. Rose had never before seen what a real live turkey looked like.

Still peeking around from behind him Rose asked, “What are those red, fleshy bits over and under the beak?”

“Ahh, well, the bit over the beak is called the ‘snood’”, he explained, pursing his lips and drawing out the sound. “Both males and females have snoods to attract each other but the male snood is bigger. It’s the bit under the beak that is fascinating Rose. It’s called the ‘wattle’ and its purpose is air conditioning. See how Brad’s feathers are dark. Well, in summer when it’s hot, turkeys can overheat but the wattle, the one bit of exposed flesh on a turkey, allows them to perspire copiously so they can cool down.”

“It looks gross and the sweating thing is gross too! Besides are male turkeys even used for meat?”

“Oh yes! In fact, older male turkeys are used for meat because younger ones are too stringy. With females it’s the opposite!”

“Brad is quite magnificent don’t you think Rose?”

“Well, magnificent doesn’t spring to mind to be honest. I can see you are quite impressed with Brad, Doctor. I mean you’ve named the beast and you’re feedin’ ‘im, lettin’ him shite all over your garden so how ya gonna chop off his head ‘n feet, gut him ‘n pluck out his feathers now that you’ve given him a name?”

The Doctor frowned, never intending Brad to be eaten, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t tease Rose.

“Rose, I was thinking that since we don’t have your Mum this year til Boxing Day you’d want to try the authentic approach to turkey dinner, you know, like the pilgrims on Plymouth Rock where they fattened up their turkeys, then ‘offed’ them for a wonderful Christmas dinner with their….err…home made preserves ‘n such?”

Rose wasn’t buying it crossing her arms with one foot tapping which the Doctor knew was not a good sign.

“First off, I’m British, a Londoner to boot ‘n not a Pilgrim! Second, I am not cutting off Brad’s head, guttin’ ‘em ‘n pluckin’ him. So, unless you are prepared to tackle that job, you best take him home ‘n take me to Tesco’s so I can buy a proper bloody bird.”

The Doctor didn’t respond because all his attention was on Brad. Rose didn’t understand what he found so compelling about Brad but then there were lots of things that captured his interest she didn’t fathom.

But the Doctor found all life fascinating, even terrifying life, so Rose aimed to soften the blow.

“Doctor, I reckon you of all people know what it’s like to be separated from your own kind. Brad probably wants a chance to use his snood on a girl turkey, yeah? You could set him free!”

“Okay,” the Doctor agreed, thinking that Rose was truly a stellar companion.

Rose secured a turkey from Tesco’s after tea at her Mum’s. The Doctor hadn’t joined her because he had to find a planet suitable for Brad. He decided against Earth because Brad would just get captured and eaten. They returned to the stars and Rose wondered if she wasn’t being fair to Brad so she decided to go feed Brad on her own.

Entering the garden she took one look, retreated and ran back down the corridor to the console room because she was freaking out.

“Doctor! Doctor!,” she called, “there’s a whole herd of turkeys in the garden!”

“There are thirty-six turkeys in the garden Rose all of which come from different gene pools, both males and females.”

“But, but why?”

“To avoid inbreeding of course.”

“You’re breeding turkeys now?”

“Not exactly but Brad will.”

“But, but Doctor, the whole garden is covered in feathers ‘n guano.”

“Fear not Rose. Guano is great fertilizer and the TARDIS will water it in gradually. We’ll get the feathers picked up bit by bit.”

Rose studied him wondering if he was sick, wondering if she should do something. This did not seem like normal behavior for him.

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