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Talkin' turkey (pardon)

Dave Thompson, Prairie Public

A tradition in North Dakota – and elsewhere: The “pardoning” of a turkey prior to Thanksgiving.

This year’s pardon recipient is “Ben” – a 43 pound Tom.

Gov. Doug Burgum did the honors at a ceremony, held in the Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café in Bismarck.

"Ben — no need to get your feathers ruffled," Burgum said in his "pardon message." "Your 'gobble-gobbles' won't be muffled. For today, you will come to no harm — you will go free, and strut the farm."

The Café, as well as the Abused Adult Resource Center, each received 15 frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving, courtesy of the North Dakota Turkey Federation.

North Dakota has nine turkey farms, producing one million birds annually.

Ben was taken to a farm east of Bismarck.