It is my father’s 85th birthday and the eve of Thanksgiving; I think it fitting to tell the following tale:
Once upon a time, my family and I had a turkey.
She was given to us by my dad who is a country boy and believes that everyone, especially children, should have pets.
Turkey was the last of my dad’s pet-gifts to us. She was a poult when she arrived and we nurtured her and she grew into a fine specimen of a bird.
At the time we were living in a nice suburban neighborhood in Metairie, Louisisana – not the typical place where one would keep a turkey. However, there was a farm, of sorts, in Bridgedale. Basically it was a yard full of barn animals – goats, sheep, chickens, and such.
Our pet turkey thrived and grew.
She lived in our backyard despite the chagrin of one of our neighbors. He was a complainer and came over one day to tell me that she stunk, but it was not she who smelled, it was stagnant water from a plumbing problem we were having at the time. I was too embarrassed to tell him that, and let Turkey take the rap. “Sorry Turkey.”
During her time with us she provided us with fresh eggs.
I was inexperienced with free range eggs and at first thought Turkey had laid speckled eggs. Later I realized they weren’t speckled, I needed to scrub them first to remove the dirt!
If you haven’t ever seen turkey eggs, they are big. The yokes were huge and orange. They would give me a gag reflex at the thought of eating them fried. I scrambled them or used them in baking.
Turkey was like any other pet. She would come to the side door of our house and cluck for food. She also followed us around the yard like a puppy dog. Occasionally, she bothered David with her chasing and pecking at his heels, but he liked her and said she taught him a lot about women.
Turkey was part of our family until the day she died in David’s arms.
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