We had a wild turkey in our yard (garden, if you’re British) yesterday. I spotted it through the window from the kitchen. How the heck did it get inside our fenced yard?
It strutted menacingly—head jerking back and forth—towards the chicken coop. “It’s after their food,” I thought, “and it’s going to peck our poor innocent chickens to death, I must get out there and save them.”
The nearest available pair of shoes were Crocs. Not a good idea, I realized as I stepped onto the snow.
I bravely placed myself, and snow-filled toes, between the predator and its victims. “Shoo” I said. It actually turned away. (I’ve no idea if the turkey was a girl or a boy, even though I’m a farmer’s daughter. My dad would be ashamed.)
The turkey walked alongside the five-foot high wire fence surrounding our yard. That’s when I spotted its two buddies on the other side of the fence.
“Hop over,” I thought. Do turkeys fly? I was clueless.
Like a caged animal, the bird paced its enclosure trying to figure out how to join its pals.
I phoned my husband. “Open the gate,” he said. He’s always so smart. Well, I had thought about that, but the turkey was between the gate and me.
I ran into the house, through the garage and opened the garden gate—wide. Then, I rushed back into the garage, through the house and outside again.
My Crocs imitated snow shovels.
I moved towards the bird, holding my arms out wide. I swear it was as high as my shoulder. Well, more realistically, maybe it was elbow height.
It moved toward the gate—only a few steps more, now. Success was imminent. Then it stopped, looked me directly in the eyes and began its advance on me.
I turned and ran.
There are a few things the turkey should have known. Firstly, I was more frightened of it, than it of me. Secondly, Thanksgiving had been and gone. However, we Brits do like our Christmas turkey dinner. Thirdly, Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey, not the Bald Eagle, to represent America as its national bird because:
For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.
So, this Brit had good reason to run.
From the other side of the door, I could no longer see my large grey-feathered friend. I guess turkeys can fly.