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Thanksgiving Without a Robot


Izzi was seated at their round oak table dipping into a cherry yogurt while turning the pages of a magazine. She heard a little squeaky sound and turned to see Ruby Jane standing behind her holding Brownie—her guinea pig.

The back door swung open, and Ike and Charlie clomped in. Ike was wearing his East High football jersey. Ike sat down at the table, while Charlie scooted

himself under the table.

"What's that?" Ruby Jane asked, leaning closer to look at the photo in the magazine.

"It's a picture of some glazed parsnips. It has the recipe on the next page."

"Yuck," Ruby Jane said. Brownie squirmed, doing his best to attack the cherry yogurt.

"Who'd eat that?" Ike said, pulling a face.

"It's one of the dishes featured in this Thanksgiving menu," Izzi explained.

Ruby Jane and Ike exchanged startled looks.

"Turkey days so soon?" Ike exclaimed. "Yum, I love all that great food."

"Yeah," Ruby Jane said, as she stuck Brownie back in his cage before he could demolish the yogurt. "Especially smashed potatoes. They are the best, I tell you."

"Don't forget the pumpkin pies, homemade rolls, and all the other great stuff," Izzi said, spooning out the last bite of her yogurt. "It's all sooo good, but so much work for Mom."

Ike scratched his nose. "There was a show about robots on TV. Maybe we could build one to cook Thanksgiving dinner, so Mom wouldn't have to."

"And do dishes?" Ruby Jane asked, grinning

"I think I saw that, too," Izzi tucked her hair behind her ear. "Maybe it was on David Cook's Robot Room. Let's build one that dusts, too."

"I got a girl robot for Christmas last year, but all she does is walk in circles—unless her battery is dead," Ruby Jane twirled around the table.

"Back to Robot Room," Ike said, sounding official. "The program gave instructions on how to build a robot. Said all that was needed were a few parts and a breadboard."

"Well, we've got a breadboard," Izzi said, tugging out the one that was kept by the sink.

Ike thought a moment. "Yeah, but I think you also need a remote control, so the robot knows what you want it to do."

"Are we going to do a girl robot or a boy?" Ruby Jane asked.

"If it's going to do Thanksgiving dinner, better do a girl. I think they know more about cooking."

"I saw a show on robots, too. They do lots of things. Some are flying robots and go on big airplanes to help deliver supplies," Izzi said.

"Yeah," Ike replied. "when there's an epidemic of some yuck disease somewhere. They help get medical stuff delivered faster on those huge cargo planes and save people's lives."

Ruby Jane, who had been listening closely, jumped in to add her bit. "My science teacher told us about creepy spiders."

Izzi frowned. "Ruby, we are talking about robots—you know—mechanical things built like people. We're not talking about bugs."

"Just listen," Ruby Jane stomped her foot. "There are other things called robots besides people robots, and these robot spiders were stuck in with some fake flowers to teach the bees how not to get mangled by real live spiders. So there!"

Ike looked thoughtful. "Oh yes, I read about that, too. The flowers were camouflaged. I think the experiment really worked and helped the bees learn to avoid the spiders."

"Cool. Remember when Aunt Mary Lou told us about their trip to some foreign country?" Izzi asked.

Ike and Ruby Jane nodded.

"It was pure scary as the pilots thought someone had put a bomb on the plane. But, instead of live people going in to check out the plane, they sent in a robot."

"Super cool," Ruby Jane said, twirling around again.

"I hope the robot had some health insurance," Ike said with

a giggle.

Later that day when their father came home from work, they surrounded him.

"We want to build a robot, so it can cook Thanksgiving dinner," Izzi said.

"And do the dishes, too!" Ruby Jane added.

Ike, who had been busy on the computer, handed Dad a printout of instructions for robot building.

Their father's forehead crinkled as he read the detailed instructions that showed the gigantic list of parts that were needed to build it. He shook his head as he set the instructions on the table. "I know Mom would much rather have 'live' robots helping her with the dinner," he said, "less expensive, too, and I don't think the robot would be a good conversationalist."

Ike looked relieved. "Yeah, the robot might not be too good at carving the turkey, either."

"Well, Ruby Jane said, "I'm making an apple turkey for everyone for a favor."

"And I," Izzi said, as she pushed her hair back and got up from the table, "will help Mom make the rolls. Besides, 'live robots' are much more lovable."

While they had been talking, Mom had quietly come into the room. "Sounds like a great day," she said with a smile. "And I don't think we need a robot to help us remember that Thanksgiving is really about being thankful."

Charlie from beneath the table, came forth with a resounding "yap," adding his approval.

For Nanny's Thanksgiving Day craft, click on our Kids' Activity Page link. You can download the page to print out at home or email to a friend!
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