Safe Sex with Turkeys
Most people at work knew I had a farm. I had to turn down offers of an ostrich, a de-natured skunk, and a large snake. “Yeah, no thanks, we don’t keep many snakes out on the back forty.” But I was intrigued by the offer of two turkeys. When I think turkey, I think Butterball, shrink wrapped. Nope, these were real Thanksgiving-type turkeys that you used to see on the wall back in grade school. Big brown ones. The male had to weigh 50 lbs, and had a big huge fan tail, and a huge snood and neck wattle. It’s head was this crazy blue color and was hot to the touch. It was also the horniest creature that God ever put on this earth. It would go after anything; a rock, a garden rake, or an unsuspecting ex-wife bent over pulling weeds. Luckily, it wasn’t very quick, and you could usually beat it down with a broom.
The female, was bizarre. It was smaller than the male, and had a Mohawk haircut with a line of stiff black feathers right down the middle of its head. It was also the diametric opposite of the male and would have nothing to do with him or his amorous ways. I’m thinking that it had an effective way of conveying its lack of interest in all things sexual as the male, who would go after a mountain lion, gave the female a wide berth. We immediately named them Bill and Hilary.
These two lived happily with Bill strutting through the yard all puffed up and Hilary going far afield to find food. She was especially fond of water bugs in the small creek across the road that ran past our farm. This road was nothing more than a country lane with maybe 10 cars on a busy day, but alas for poor Hilary. She put quite a dent in the side of an SUV that stopped too late. We buried her next to the creek. Bill was inconsolable. Even though he never got close to her, he seemed to mourn her passing. He didn’t eat, and stayed huddled in his pen.
The ex-wife was the incarnation of Noah. There had to be at least two of everything. So after a couple of weeks of seeing Bill sulk, she went to the local livestock auction and bought a new female turkey. This was a white turkey like the kind they grow for eating. To keep the bird from running amok in the car, they put it into a cloth bag with just its head sticking out. When she got home, she took the bagged bird toward the pen with the intention of releasing her there, but Bill, who had gotten a whiff of female turkey, had other ideas. This previously sloth-like creature now moved at warp speed, crashing into my ex who dropped the turkey and rolled away from the excited bird. Bill was all over the poor, defenseless turkey in the bag. The poor thing was squawking and frantically trying to get away from the onslaught, but to no avail. She beat him with the broom, but he was undeterred. She finally turned the hose on him and the full force of the water backed him away to where she could gather up the ravaged bird. Bill went to a neutral corner and panted hard with a crazed look in his beady little eyes. She finally cut the cord on the bag and dumped the poor thing onto the ground.
It wasn’t dead, but it was deeply in shock. She tried to revive it, but when she looked up, Bill was coming back for round two. This roused the bird which, to my surprise, flew 20 feet up into a maple tree. I didn’t think domestic turkeys could fly. I guess if this love-crazed thing were after you, you’d fly, too. It was up there when I got home from work. It was up there the next day, and the day after that. Bill patrolled back and forth under the tree. We finally coaxed to down by locking Bill up. I’m not sure how it happened, but a few days later, Bill was giving her a wide berth. Apparently, an un-bagged female has her ways to keep off unwanted attention. Oh, we named the new bird Jennifer after Jennifer Flowers.
Bill and Jennifer lived happily for a few more years. Bill would gobble in answer to the wild turkeys that would roost in the pines in back of our fields. Probably hoping one would be stuck in a bag.