Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Let's Talk Turkey
Several days ago, my 93-year old mother started shouting at me to come quickly. Fearing something was terribly wrong, I ran into the family room. She was sitting in Papa’s armchair, which used to be my dad’s favorite seat, and pointing out the window. Running like little drunken sailors, there were about a dozen baby wild turkeys exploring our lawn. The father turkey was guarding them on the left side from potential attackers. The mama turkey walked very slowly and regally in the rear of her brood.
So, now they have a daily route, crossing from my neighbor on the left to my neighbor on the right in the morning. Sometimes, they go back the other direction by the barn around sunset. They ran through the corral on Sunday night. Fortunately, I had already tucked the horses in their stalls. Silk and Siete are very interested in the new arrivals. They don’t tense up like they do when the deer come through the pasture. Instead, they watch curious but relaxed with their heads craning out the top of the stall windows as the crazy babies race wildly around. If turkeys could talk, these little guys would be shouting, “Look at this!” “No, over here! Look at this!” “Hey, hey, come see what I found!” Mom and Dad Turkey just patiently and slowly guide their path from the side and the rear.
Last night, as I was in the kitchen making dinner, they appeared in the flower garden outside the bay window, clucking and running in circles like kids at a birthday party. I can tell when they’re coming because my cats suddenly start racing from window to window inside the house, marking their progress across the yard.
I turned to Ted Andrews’ “Animal Speak” book to see what he has to say about this sudden influx of turkeys in our life. I was relieved to read that the bird is a symbol of all the blessing that Earth gives us and our ability to use them to our greatest advantage. The turkey is also called “the earth eagle” and symbolizes spirituality and honors the Earth Mother. Of course we would have them here, I thought, since this property is safe and very potent with its earth energy. The only ones who will be upset are the squirrels. We have a charming, lively family who live in our hickory trees. Turkeys supposedly like to steal nuts from the squirrels’ secret pantries. Turkeys also live as long as 12 years, so I have a good feeling that we’ll be seeing these guys for a long time to come.
UPDATE: Now, the dad has moved on and another mom and her babies have joined the group. So, we've got 20 little turkeys frolicking around with two watchful mamas. They were learning to roost on the bottom rail of the fence in the pasture yesterday. They couldn't keep their balance so they would tumble off, roll in the arena dust and try again.