My first portrait of a Turkey is from very early on in this blog's lifetime, 2012 to be exact. Back then I described the Turkey as a haughty blowhard and an awful dinner guest. I still sort of feel this way, and get the sense that I'm not alone in my interpretation of the bird. Why is the Turkey a disliked bird? Maybe it's that many people have had personal negative experiences with Turkeys (being attacked by them is not uncommon in some parts of America). Maybe we need to malign them to separate ourselves from the guilt we feel (subliminally or consciously) for farming them and eating them. Maybe we resent them for encroaching on human territory in an unapologetic and successful way (we also treat pigeons with scorn for doing the same). Today I'm going to focus on a different, more positive interpretation of the Turkey- with some Turkey quotes from my favorite website and yours, backyardchickens.com
"i have a tom who just follows me around like a puppy and he is the nicest turkey ever."
"i got a red bourbon hen about a month ago at auction and she is so sweet she doesnt exactly run up to you she just kind of stays out of your way but she will sit there and talk to you."
"Pros: sweet, docile, and good looking
"never actually flogged me"
"We named all of our turkeys this year for dragons, so his name, due to respiratory issues, is Puff the Magic"
"In the video is my Royal Palm tom, Gerald, walking in his harness and leash. I have taken him to the pet store, to 4-H meetings and just down the road. Very friendly and easily trained to do about anything."
And if that's not enough to convince you to take a second look at your Turkey bias, maybe a quote from one of our nation's founders will. Benjamin Franklin's antipathy toward the Bald Eagle is well documented on this blog, as is his preference for the Turkey. Here is his justification from a letter to his daughter.
There you have it bird fans, if Ben Franklin can love the Turkey for its positive qualities, maybe we can learn to as well. With a perspective, The Amateurnithologist. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.