Wednesday, November 23, 2005

True Story - Turkey, Romance and Death

Most of my "I remember" stories come from California where living was, well, just plain odd. This is a true story.
  • This was many years ago. I bought a baby hatchling broad-breasted-bronze turkey at the feed store, he was adorable. I fed him and watched him grow into this huge, beautiful bird. When he was mature he would display his feathers like peacocks do and shake them whenever you'd come around.
  • I felt bad he was alone in his turkey world so I put out the word that I was looking for a female of the same.
  • Someone from where I worked actually had one as a pet and wanted to get rid of it. Quite a coincidence? Not really, remember I lived in rural northern California where llamas, ostriches, emus among other weird animals dot the countryside.
  • I picked up this broad-breasted female beauty after work and was quite excited for Mr. Tom. He was going to have a "friend". She was quite a handful in the car (these birds are much bigger than their wild counterparts).
  • It was almost dark when I arrived home and wrestled her into her new pen with Mr. Tom. He immediately started his feather displays and shaking but it was getting dark and I don't know what happened after that on that fateful night.
  • I ran out to the pen the next morning to feed them and found Mr. Tom dead. I didn't see any blood on him so I can only imagine he died because he got too excited. I couldn't believe that by trying to make him happy, I ended up killing him. I can only hope he died "happy".
  • So now I was stuck with this female turkey. The nice guy that gave me the bird said he'd take her back. He had dismantled her pen but said he'd let her run free in the pasture with the cows.
  • A few weeks later I inquired about how she was doing and my co-worker hesitated but then told me her fate. They figured she had been on the railroad tracks and didn't move when the train came because they found pieces and feathers everywhere on the tracks. I had heard they look up at the sky when it rains and they drown but you'd think they would be frightened by a train and move.
  • These are dumb birds. It is a wonder that any of these birds make it to the dinner table.

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