Monday, November 24, 2008

Wild Turkey by Kat Magendie

That title is not what you think. It’s not about what you may be consuming on Thursday along with taters sweet or not, and if you are in my house and my momma’s house: old fashioned cornbread dressing. And it’s not about the bet you made back in the 70’s when you were nineteen years old and stupid as a stick and you bet your roommate five dollars, which in the 70’s is like, what, $20?, that you could drink an entire glass of “Turkey” straight and your roommate and her boyfriend had to help you to their car and to the house and to bed wherein said roommate had to check on you all night because she thought you were in a coma. Nope. Not either of those turkeys.

I’m talking about wild mountain turkeys.

Yesterday while walking the mountain roads, Roger said, “Hey! Look! Turkey tracks!” There, in the last bits of remaining snow from Friday were the large bird tracks. I grinned, and then said, “Oh! our turkeys are here!” We’d not seen “our” wild turkeys in quite some time and had been worried. Before the developers (said as if I’ve just eaten a cup of bug guts with a side of raw liver over slugs) devastated Muse Trail One, we used to see signs of our wild turkeys. The first time we saw them, we were on Muse Trail Two and about thirty of them suddenly appeared and ran up Muse Trail Three and up and over the ridge. It was such a surprising site, we just stood with our mouths open. Then, for a long time, especially after Trail One was cut so badly, we didn’t see them or signs of them. Any time a critter disappears it is worrisome, for we don’t want to lose what we have here—none of it (and it makes us happy the development suddenly stopped-ha!).

We yapped about the turkey tracks all the way home. Then, later that morning, as we headed down the mountain to run errands, I shouted, “Turkeys! There are the Turkeys!” We stopped the car and stared. There they were; about ten of them, just milling around, eating, bobbing their heads. I laughed aloud. They were most unconcerned of us as we gawked. I thought it funny they’d show up days before Thanksgiving—as if they were hiding out among the very humans who would consume their cousins. But, what a site, what a wonderful happy site to see those wild turkeys again. Can you tell I’m grateful for my life here among the wild and the beauty and the unexpected? Lucky me. Lucky Turkeys. Lucky Day.


Barbara Quinn said...

Really enjoyed this, Kat. When I get to see critters up close it's like living in my own episode of Animal Planet. The wild turkeys that come through my yard haven't appeared this year.I too hope it's not the most recent development. Maybe they're visiting you!

Kathryn Magendie said...

We certainly have so many other kinds of birds! It's wonderful - esp in the winter - sometimes the birds are waiting on the railing for us to put out the seed and the bird feeders we take down so the coons don't get them!

Angie Ledbetter said...

What a cool Thanksgiving week sighting! Gobble gobble to you, Mountain Woman.

Patresa Hartman said...

yay for turkeys and stalled development!

turkeys are such strange beings. where my parents used to leave, they had turkeys all over the place. they roosted in the trees behind the house and waddled around the back yard.

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