Farewell to Turkey

I’m sorry for the lack of French Friday yesterday. You’re not getting a Saturday in Spain today, either. I am so angry, I just can’t stand it. On Monday, I introduced you to our “pet” wild turkey. Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Gren was talking with a neighbor at the head of the road and found out that about the time I was posting about the turkey, her life was being ended. We live on a short dirt lane that branches off from a country highway. Mr. Bill and Miss Sandy live nearest the highway; next door to them is Mr. Elroy; a short ways down is Mr. Dan and then the cabin we live in is at the end of the dead end road. Mr. Bill said that on Monday, the turkey was up near the highway. All of a sudden, a car stopped, someone jumped out and grabbed her and stuffed her in the car, then sped away. Who does a thing like that?!

All of us on our little road are reeling. The turkey, though wild, was like a community pet. Mr. Elroy had set up a feeder for her in his yard. Mr. Bill enjoyed watching her hang out under his pickup where it was nice and dry. Mr. Dan would sit outside and talk to her as she poked around in his yard looking for bugs. And then our family! The kids loved her and were so happy every time she came for a visit. Rana named her “Beauty of Glee” (haha Don’t ask me). She ate out of our hands! She knew she could get us to come out and give her a treat if she would just come up on the porch.

Did you know that female turkeys don’t gobble? They make a soft and pleasant little trill. Our turkey would talk to us. We trilled back. Did you know that when sunlight hits turkey feathers, they shimmer with iridescent colors? Sometimes I would just sit near her and admire the beauty of a bird that is usually dismissed as homely. Did you know that turkeys have surprisingly good eyesight? Granota and Konik were a little too timid to let her eat out of their hands, so they would toss bits of peanuts towards her. Their aim isn’t very good, so the turkey would cock her head and track the peanuts’ flight with her shiny black eyes. And she always found them.

She had some funny quirks that made us laugh. Sometimes we would come home and find her perched atop one of our other cars. She was very particular about where our cars were parked, too. Once, my brother came to visit us and I heard a strange noise outside. I opened the door to see the turkey jumping up and beating his car with her wings. It wasn’t parked in the right place, according to her and she was going to do her darndest to make it go away.

Even though she was tame in many ways, she was still a wild animal. Occasionally, we could wear out our welcome with her and she would begin ruffling her feathers and making little charges towards us. That was a good time to go back in the house and let her work out her feistiness by herself.

Last winter there were five turkeys who wandered up and down the highway. We found out from another neighbor early in the year that one had been hit by a car and another one had been sniped from a car window. The neighbor ran after the shooter, yelling and tried to get their license number, but they grabbed the dead turkey and sped away too quickly. No one is sure what happened to the other three until “Beauty of Glee” began appearing around the cabin. All of us who live in this area were so happy to see that at least one turkey had survived. She brought a little bit of joy into our lives, especially in the midst of rather mundane existence. Sometimes, Mr. Gren would admit that feeding the turkey was the best part of his day. We were looking forward to turkey visits throughout the upcoming winter.

And someone took her. I can’t imagine the kind of person who does that. Cowardly bastard. If one of my neighbor’s chickens get out, are you going to steal and kill her, too? Here’s a tip: Just because you see something on the side of the road, doesn’t mean it’s yours.

Granota was wondering out loud earlier this week why the turkey hadn’t been down around the cabin in a couple of days. We just figured she was under Mr. Bill’s truck since it had been raining lately.

We sat the kids down yesterday evening and told them the bad news. There were tears and grief.

Hey jerk, I hope you’re happy.

4 thoughts on “Farewell to Turkey

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