Friday, December 26, 2014

AAI.'s First-Ever Christmas Spelling Bee

(Image will be uploaded soon)

In case you haven't noticed, we here at Animal Adventures Inc. (AAI.) love Christmastime! I love everything about Christmas! I love the festivities, the snow, Christmas movies (Lizzy, Daniel and I normally start watching them in October) Christmas cards, Christmas presents (which we like to open after Christmas), the decorations, the Christmas trees  and of course, the true meaning for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ. Another thing I love is the Christmas carols! They always mentally take me back in time whenever I sing them, because they were songs I and many others often sang as a child. Who couldn't love them?

In fact, Christmas carols are what inspired AAI.'s upcoming event: our first-ever Christmas-themed spelling bee! The event will be held in AAI.'s head chef Rack-coon's Cafe and it will be headed by Mrs. Lohan Gregor. As usual, when we heard the event was going to happen, my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater and I went over to the Gregor household to get an exclusive interview with Mrs. Gregor. When asked what led her to do this, she was quoted for saying, “I was inspired by my favorite Christmas carol, 'The 12 Days of Christmas'. Just the other day, I was singing 'On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eight maids 'a milking...' and this made me think of milk, and that in turn made me think of figgy pudding, and about how funny the word is. I mean, everyone sings about it, but only a few people actually know what it is. This made me think of Christmas words in general...[and] I finally thought it would be fun to spell out all the popular Christmas words.”

Even though it's taking place two days after Christmas, there has been much interest in the project and many kids living at AAI. have signed up to take part in the AAI. Christmas Spelling Bee. So far, the contestants are as follows:

  • Ryan Gregor
  • Tiger Stevenson
  • Claire Stegosaurus
  • Rooney the Red Kangaroo
  • Max the African Elephant
  • Little Clint the T. rex
  • Cassie the African buffalo
  • Gordo the Spider Monkey
  • Belle Black Bear (or as she's better known, “Little Black Bear”)
  • Thalia the Bengal Tiger

Submissions for new admissions into the spelling bee were closed four weeks ago, and Mrs. Gregor says that the contestants have been studying all the words ever since. “I'm going to be the announcer who quizzes the children,” says Mrs. Gregor. “I don't exactly have to remember anything, but I like knowing what words I'll be asking them to spell out. It's going to be a lot of fun!”

For anyone interested, the event will take place at AAI.'s Rack-coon's Cafe on December 27, 2014. I think those in attendance will have a holly, jolly good time! That's H-O-L-L-Y J-O-L...

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan

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Next Issue: Rerun Article: Waking the Sleeping Dinosaurs

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Decking the Halls with Lots of Animals!

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As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I convinced Mr. Smiley to let us decorate the office with Christmas decorations. Randy the reindeer was in charge of the Christmas lights while Ludwig the  polar bear went to go look for a nice Christmas at a nearby tree lot. I was busy taping snowflakes and ornament pictures to the walls. Chef Rack-coon was already excited about cooking the Christmas goodies.
“I've already planned out the raspberry cheesecake, the nutmeg drink, and my famous Christmas cookies!” he informed me.
Tina the tiger was already planning out the Christmas party and she was very happy.
“We'll have those fake silver dishes,” she stated, “The plates that look real but they're plastic.”
“OH and don't forget about the Secret Santa!” squealed one reporter. “I just love the giving and the receiving. It's such a much suspense!”
The office was full of loud noises and excitement that it took Mr. Smiley about ten minutes to get us to notice that he was trying to talk.
“Guys! Hey, guys!” Mr. Smiley yelled, over the noise.
He finally got out attention, by flickering the lights.
“What's with all the noise?” he asked.
“Oh you know, just getting into the Christmas spirit,” I replied, with a smile. “I have a question though, where are we going to put the Christmas tree? I think it should go in the lobby or...”
“Are we going to have the party at the office or somewhere else?” Tina interrupted.
“Is anyone going to help get me some ingredients for the food!” Chef Rack-coon exclaimed.
Mr. Smiley suddenly found himself bombarded with tons of questions.
“Hold on!” He yelled, “QUIET PLEASE!”
Six minutes was what it took to get our attention.
“Thank you,” Mr. Smiley continued, “now first off...does anyone know Christmas is really supposed to be about?”
The room got silent for a total of five minutes, a new record.
“It's about the birth of Jesus,” one reporter suggested.
“It's about spending time with family and getting gifts!”
Mr. Smiley looked out us with general amusement.
“Christmas is generally about the birth of Jesus Christ,” stated one hedgehog. “But in reality, Jesus' birth was not in December, still many celebrate it just as a holiday for family or receiving gifts. Others, celebrate it as Jesus' birth when God's plan first came into action. Jesus' purpose was to teach people the way to God and eventually had to die on the cross to pay our debt of sin so that we would be free to join God in Heaven instead of going to Hell for the price of our sin. Then of course, Jesus rose from the dead and reunited with his disciples and many others before finally returning home with God.”
“Thank you, Harry,” Mr. Smiley stated. “That was very accurate. Now everyone, the party, the food, the decorations, and everything is all fun and exciting but don't forget that in the rush of Christmas, you might forget the reason we celebrate it.”
No one had talked within that whole hour. Finally everyone agreed with him, a small nod of the head or a grunt in agreement.
“Now, did I hear something about pie?” Mr. Smiley turned toward Chef Rack-coon with a smile.

Written by: Lizzy the Lizard
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond and Mr. Smiley

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Next Issue: AAI.'s First-Ever Christmas Spelling Bee

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sarah-Neezer Scrooge: A New Twist on a Classic Tale

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Last year, May 17, 2013, the dinosaur film Sarassic Park was released in theaters. The film did better than expected, considering it seemed to be a mock-up of Jurassic Park. Now the director of that film, Stephen Iceberg is back with an all-new movie that he believes is going to rock the theater this Christmas! The movie is called Sarah-Neezer Scrooge and as you might expect, it's inspired by the classic story of A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens and first published on December 19, 1843. The story was published over 171 years ago, but it's still one of the most beloved Christmas stories today.

After hearing about Sarah-Neezer Scrooge, my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater and I went over to Galaxy Pictures movie company to have an exclusive interview with the film's director, Stephen Iceberg, the writer, Michael Engela, and the producer, Katelene Cassidy. The first question I asked was what the story was about and why it had its specific title. Michael is quoted for saying, “Well, after we completed Sarassic Park, we wanted to create a movie based on an older movie or book, but through in some amazing new twists. That's when I figured out that the perfect story to put a new twist on was A Christmas Carol.”

A Christmas Carol,” says Katelene, “is a very incredible and heartwarming story. It's impossible not to like it. Many adults, including myself, remember hearing the story or watching the 1951 film adaptation with our families as children.” After the success of their last film, they decided to change put a new twist on this classic by basing their main character on one person: Sarah Bus Stop Guy. (If you are not familiar with Sarah, please check out these links: link 1, link 2) Sarah's popularity as a knuckle-head has only increased worldwide (though her legitimate fan club has grown too) and the way she behaves is the perfect model for the film's “Ebeneezer Scrooge”.

“The main character of our movie is Sarah-Neezer Scrooge,” says Stephen. “She's very similar to the traditional Ebeneezer Scrooge, as we don't want to get away from that too much, but Sarah is younger and obviously female instead of male. Sarah Bus Stop Guy . . . is famous for not thinking before she says or does something, which often results in her doing something dumb. This is going to play a crucial part in the character development of Sarah-Neezer. We're going to portray her as the kind of person who is greedy, selfish, oblivious, self-centered, bratty and an annoying pest to everyone around her.” Then Michael added to that: “Actually, my co-writers and I were so determined to capture life-like Sarah behavior in the script, that we got permission from Animal Adventures Inc. CEO Nigel Milligan to put up well-hidden cameras around the places Sarah typically goes everyday in order to capture the dumb stuff she says and does on camera. Much of what we've seen and heard was worked into the script.” As with the last film, Sarah Bus Stop Guy declined the offer to portray Sarah-Neezer in the film, so another actress, Sarah Sillyheart, who portrayed Sarah in Sarassic Park, will do the part. It's amazing that they were able to get someone who looks almost like Sarah Bus Stop Guy. With some make-up, the two can't be told apart easily.

“Also, we used people Sarah interacts with on a daily basis to construct the characters Sarah-Neezer meets in the story,” says Katelene. “I don't want to reveal too much about all the characters we'll have in the film, but I guarantee that all of them have at least a little bit of inspiration from real people, not too little inspiration so that they're completely differing in personalities, but also not too much so that we don't have legal issues.”

Sarah-Neezer Scrooge will be released into theaters this Christmas season, on December 12, 2014. Be sure to get your tickets nice and early, because I believe the seats will be full . . . full of people anxious to see this new twist on a classic tale!

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan

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Next Issue: Decking the Halls with Lots of Animals!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lizzy's Leap Year and Daylight Savings Time Explanation

Daylight Savings Time is carried out in the states that are colored.
Killing two birds with one stone, or as I'd like to say, diving into two topics in one article. Here are two of the most frequently asked questions by me: Why do we have a leap year? How is daylight saving time important? So I'm going to discuss those two topics.

Leap year happens every four years. This when February gets that extra day, making it twenty nine days instead of twenty eight. So why do we have Leap Year? Easy...well, not really. Let's start off with the main point: if we didn't have leap year...well, we would lose six hours off our calender each year. That means by one hundred years, we'd be off by twenty four days! Our calender has to be aligned with the Earth's revolutions around the sun, which has it's complete rotation, every 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. It's because our calender is set up with the Gregorian calender (has only 365 days), that we have to add an extra day to keep the balance of day and time in check. Well, leap year won't back until 2016 because last leap year was in 2012, but it's hard not to be a little anxious for it to arrive.
Daylight savings time is that wonderful time of the year, where we all set our clocks forward or backwards an hour. Daylight savings “tittle” is literally the purpose for changing our clocks. It's to save or use our daylight better by moving one hour of the morning to the evening. Funny how that came to pass. It just added another hour at night when we are more awake. Well that's all for today folks, tune in next time for more interesting facts on the world we know today.

Written by: Lizzy the Lizard
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond and Mr. Smiley

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Next Issue: Sarah-Neezer Scrooge: A New Twist on a Classic Tale

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Grizzly's Turkey-Carving Contest

(Picture will be uploaded as soon as possible)

Disclaimer: I know it's past Thanksgiving, but I found this article that I had forgotten to publish BEFORE that date. Please enjoy!

Turkeys are a staple part of November, specifically around Thanksgiving time. They are a major part of Thanksgiving dinner for Americans all over the country. This is kind of ironic, because turkey was likely not part of the meal served during the first Thanksgiving.

To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, resident of Animal Adventures Inc. (AAI.), Grizzly the brown bear. Grizzly has started planning for a Thanksgiving-themed event called the “Annual AAI. Turkey Carving Contest”. Upon hearing this, my trusty, junior photographer, Daniel P. Smithwater and I, went to the location of the event – right in front of the AAI.'s main building – to get an interview with Grizzly.

“It's a pretty straight forward event,” Grizzly explains, “we're going to be carving turkeys. There's not too much to explain.” I then asked the large ursine (bear) exactly what they were carving the turkeys into. Grizzly's quoted for saying, “Now that I think about, there is a lot to explain about this event. When most people think of carving a turkey, they think of fixing up a turkey for dinner. That's not what we're doing. Contestants are going to carve the turkey into a specific shape or image!”

This definitely caught my attention. To better emphasize his point, Grizzly showed us a turkey he'd carved earlier into the shape of a bear. It looked really cool. Using his claws, Grizzly had carved a little face – complete with ears, a nose and mouth and green caper eyes – two front arms and the turkey legs were the bear's back legs (feet made of apples were attached to the ends of the turkey's legs). “Contestants will receive a turkey from us a week before the contest,” Grizzly explained, “afterward, they'll take it home and begin carving. Since they lack claws like mine – which are as thick as crayons – they have to use turkey carving knives.”

Many residents of AAI. have already signed up to join the contest and have received a turkey, including Mr. Gregor, Dr. Samuel Adamson, Methuselah the African elephant, Mr. Fred Fish, Buck the Velociraptor, Carrie the cat, Fido the Guinea pig, Sarah Bus Stop Girl, Mr. Smiley . . . oh wait, that's me. Heh, heh. Anyway, lots of people and animals have already signed up and it's likely that many more will sign up as well before it's seven days before it's time to present the carved turkeys.

“The winner will be decided based upon several things,” Grizzly explains. “Attention to detail, creativity and its relation to Autumn will all be considered to help choose a winner.” The contest begins on the 14th of November, when contests receive their turkey to carve and admissions close; however, you can sign up now and join the contest to see who can carve the better turkey!

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan

Weekly Cartoons

Next Issue: Lizzy's Leap Year and Daylight Savings Time Explanation

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rerun Article: Pie in a Glass and Turkeys?!? Oh MY?!?

Thanksgiving centers around food . . . and so does today's article! Read on to learn from Lizzy the Lizard how to bake some yummy Thanksgiving-themed treats!
Hey there everyone! Lizzy here! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and here's a recipe that will definitely make your mouth water . . . if you like pumpkin pie. It's practically like a smoothie!
  1. Gather 15-ounce can pumpkin, if you can't get a fresher form of it (not pumpkin pie mix!)
  2. 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  3. 1 cup of vanilla yogurt
  4. ¼ cup of sugar
  5. ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  6. whipped cream
  7. cinnamon
Here's what needs to be done to create this treat:
  1. First pour the canned pumpkin and evaporated milk into a bowl
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight
  3. Second, combine pumpkin, milk, yogurt, sugar, and spice into a blender
  4. Blend until smooth
  5. Then pour into a cup
  6. Lastly, top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.
Wait, don't go yet! This lizard's got another recipe and this is a fun one for kids. TURKEYS!
  1. Gather 4 tablespoons (½ stick) of butter
  2. 10-ounce bag of marshmallows
  3. 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  4. Chocolate sandwich cookies (you can use Oreo cookies if you like)
  5. Chocolate frosting
  6. And candy corn.
First . . .:
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted
  3. Remove the pan from heat and stir in cereal
  4. Let cool for 10 minutes
  5. While the mixture is cooling, twist apart the cookies and removing the filling (this is easier if the cookies are warm)
  6. Now you butter you're hands and shape the gooey cereal into 1 ½ -inch balls
  7. Next, make the tail by frosting the inside of the cookie half and pressing three candies into the frosting to make a fan shape
  8. Create the body by frosting the other cookie half and sticking it to the bottom of the Rice Krispie ball
  9. Add a little frosting below the candy corn and stick the tail onto the body
  10. Then stick another corn on the front of the Rice Krispie ball to make a head
You can use them to decorate the table and after dinner you can gobble them up! Happy Thanksgiving from Lizzy the Lizard!

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond

We here at Smiley’s News, I have been working night and day to get articles ready. I could really use some help! So we are looking for people interested in writing (especially kids and teens). If you are interested, PLEASE(!) send an email to and save me from working night and day! I’m exhausted!

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Next Issue: Grizzly's Turkey-Carving Contest

Friday, November 14, 2014

Agent X - Operation Eden pt. 2

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“I'll tell you what happened, Adam cried. Eve, here, was strolling through the garden when she decided to take the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which God specifically told us not to eat from!, and she ate it!” Adam cried, in disbelief. “Then she came to me and gave me the fruit and I ate it out of sheer trickery!”

“No! NO!” Eve shrieked. “You've got it all wrong! The serpent! The serpent tempted me and said that I would be like God...That I wouldn't die...that God was keeping things from me...from us!”

“Please, she did it by her own will,” the Serpent replied. “Besides, would you ever give up the chance to eat a fruit that will open your eyes and make you like God?”

Before I could conduct a better interview, I started to hear footprints in the garden. Adam and Eve froze with fear.

“He's here,” Adam whispered.

“Who?” I asked.

Adam and Even quickly hid in some bushes before answering my question.

“Where are you?” asked a Voice, deep and pure.

It almost sounded like it came just behind me. Adam finally reappeared from behind the bush.

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked: so I hid.”

“Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” asked the stern, yet gentle Voice.

Adam glanced at his wife, Eve.

“The woman you put here with me-she gave me the fruit from the tree and I ate it.”

“What is it that you have done?” the Voice asked, calmly.

Eve got out from the bushes and trembled.

“The serpent deceived me and I ate,” she replied.

Suddenly a heavy silence fell over the garden.

“Because you have done this,” the Voice talked to the talking serpent. “Cursed are you above all livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life...To you, woman. I will increase your pains in childbearing...and you're husband will rule over you.”

Adam trembled with fear.

“To you, Adam. Because you have listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'you must not eat of it.' Cursed is the ground because of you...It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the file. By the sweat of you brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

I find myself outside the entrance of the garden, staring as Adam and Eve were clothed in skin garments and then banished from the garden.

“The man has now become like us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever,” replied the Voice, with a saddened heart.

This is when I saw what looked like a glowing animal or person standing on the east side of the garden. It's flaming sword drawn and guarding the way to the tree of life. Before I could do anything, I heard a distinct beeping coming from my Timer3000:

It's time to go home. You've learned all that you can here. Now will you be able to put it together and believe.- Anonymous

I mutter and then punch in the coordinates for home. It's been at least a week since that strange trip. My mind is still processing the events. I've solved at least ten cases since then. None of them were quite similar to the "Eden" one. That's when I hear the sound. I lunge for my desk drawer. I have an incoming message:

So you thought I was done, so quickly? Not even close. Agent X, I've got another assignment for you. Are you ready to proceed? -Anonymous.

 With a smile, I see coordinates already plugged into the Timer3000.

“Well there's no time like...the Past!” I announce, to no one in particular and then I press the button.

*Note from Agent X. Besides my little side story, the events unfolded are real. If you'd like to separate the truth from this story, look in Genesis 2 &3 in God's Word for the answers you seek.

Written by: Lizzy the Lizard
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan, Joy Hammond & Mr. Smiley

Weekly Cartoon

Next Issue: Rerun Article: Pie in a Glass and Turkeys? Oh MY?!?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Rerun Article: A Gobbler's Protest

Dr. Turkey making his speech to his fellow game birds.
Disclaimer: The views presented in the following article do not represent the views of Smiley’s News. Please note that they are merely the views of the interviewee.

Thanksgiving is rounding the corner. Wait, I’m wrong, it’s here! Oh the joy! A lot of people will be doing special things for Thanksgiving this year. Some will be watching football, some will be doing something special with other family members, some will go over to a friend’s house. But no matter where you are, there’s one thing we probably all will be doing this Thanksgiving - eating turkey! Turkey is prepared in dozens of different ways, most will probably just lay it out on the table, others will be putting their turkey in sandwiches, others will have turkey slices, others will eat theirs right off the bone, and some will even be eating it inside Apple Pie like my grandma does. Boy, she makes her pie weird too. Take her crust for instance. In order to get it just perfect, she takes her false teeth out and . . . wait a minute, I’m getting off topic here! Anyways, this Thanksgiving, some citizens will be going to turn Thanksgiving upside-down! At Animal Adventures Inc. (AAI.), in Riverville, New York, a fowl by the name of Dr. Turkey Curkeywishes to (naturally) change the Thanksgiving tradition of, you guessed it: turkey hunting! He’s quoted for saying, “I don’t like turkey season. Never have. I mean, I’m safe here at AAI., but I have to be careful where I go when fall comes because it’s not often that you see a turkey just walking on the sidewalk. I have to be careful in the spring too.” Dr. Turkey has PhD. in psychology and human behavioral studies and views turkey season as just a chance for humans to go crazy. Recently, he had a speech in which hundreds of regularly hunted and eaten fowl (along with myself and my trusty, junior photographer Daniel P. Smithwater) gathered to hear him. On the issue of turkey season (and fowl season in general), he said, “I believe that the hunting of fowl has gone out of hand. I mean seriously, turkeys and other fowl are living things just like humans. We may not be made in God’s image, so it would make since that we are not treated the same, but still, I firmly believed we are undertreated.” He also went on to say that even living conditions for turkeys and chickens on farms are not satisfactory. He believes they should be cleaned out much more often and they should not be fed that GMO stuff. “Turkey’s hate the taste of GMO and growth hormones,” Dr. Turkey says, “but the only reason why we eat it is because that’s all we’re given.” Dr. Turkey isn’t really for the eating turkey on Thanksgiving, but he understands that humans just have a habit of doing that. Not only that, but he also recalls God’s words to humans in Genesis 9:3, “” On Thanksgiving Day though, he recommends another thing to do instead of killing “poor and innocent” turkeys. “Instead of killing turkeys,” he says, “humans should be generous and adopt a baby turkey for a Thanksgiving tradition. I mean, compared to animals such as dogs and cats, turkeys require much less care. Humans don’t have to brush them, pay for weekly visits to the vet, pet them often, play with them often, buy toys for them and etc. Turkeys, chickens and other fowl make much better pets than food. We turkeys are generally looked down on, but it wasn’t always this way. As a matter of fact, Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey instead of a bald eagle. Here, check out this quote from a letter he wrote to his daughter named Sarah Bache on January 26, 1784. He wrote:
            ‘Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon . . . For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our country. He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead tree near the river, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labour of the fishing hawk[Osprey]; and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to his nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him. . . . he is  generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank coward: the little king bird not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district. He is by no means a proper emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the king birds from our country . . .
I am on this account . . . displeased that the figure is  . . . known as a bald eagle . . . For in truth the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original Native of America. . . He is besides . . .  a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on.’
So as you can see, I firmly believe the turkey, and all other hunting/eating birds, need more respect than they are getting.”
Wow! What a powerful speech for such an . . . amazing bird. So why not get a pet turkey. Here’s a good place to start: There, you can buy turkey’s and other game birds. Before the interview, I had no idea how game birds felt. I guess Dr. Turkey really is a motivational speaker . . . or is that gobbler?

Written by: Mr. Smiley
Photographer: Daniel P. Smithwater
Edited by: Christian Ryan

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Next Issue: Agent X - Operation Eden pt. 2