NOBLE — An award winning Thanksgiving turkey’s life was spared after Gov. Mary Fallin pardoned him from being dinner earlier this month.
“Bubba” the turkey was raised by Noble High School senior Dustin Mullinix. Mullinix purchased the Bronze Turkey in early June as part of an FFA class project.
In September, the turkey was entered into a poultry competition at the Cleveland County Fair where he placed first in his class and second in his division, receiving the Reserve Grand Champion Trophy. Mullinix said Bubba would have won the Supreme Award but during judging he was too fat to stand up.
When first purchased, Bubba was only a few ounces. The turkey now weighs in at 25 pounds. Mullinix has invested a lot into the 25-pound bird building several indoor and outdoor cages for him.
“When he was littler he was following me around like a little kid,” Mullinix said.
When his mother, Rethia Mullinix, expressed interest in turning Bubba into Thanksgiving dinner, the Noble senior decided to take action. He had heard that in the past, the governor had pardoned the turkey donated to the governor’s mansion for Thanksgiving.
Mullinix and his mother agreed that if the turkey would be pardoned by the governor, he could keep the bird forever. Rhonda Bass, superintendent of Noble Public Schools, also advised Mullinix that if the governor pardoned Bubba she would write a letter informing the Noble High FFA that the turkey would be spared.
On Nov. 14, Mullinix received his response from Governor Fallin. The letter, addressed to “Bubba the Turkey”, stated that after being found guilty of being a Bronze Turkey and being sentenced to death on Thanksgiving Day, a full pardon was granted.
“After thoroughly reviewing the information presented to my office, it appears that you have conducted yourself in an exemplary manner and have become a part of the Mullinix family,” the letter stated.
“I hereby grant you a full pardon and commute your sentence of death to life with the remainder of your time to be served with the Mullinix family.”
Mullinix said now that Bubba’s not going to be Thanksgiving dinner he’s going to continue raising him and take him to the county fair next year.
“He’s on a diet right now,” Mullinix said. “He walks but he doesn’t walk enough. He’s too heavy and he gets tired.”
The Noble student said by seeking the pardon, he wanted to show a positive side to his school. Mullinix said he wanted to thank Noble for helping him get Bubba pardoned and send a big thank you to the Governor of Oklahoma.