Turkey Escapades, Part One

by grace on July 9, 2020

Kevin has been re-shingling the roof on the old part of the house. He’s been feverishly working in the blistering heat and ridiculous humidity for several days now. More on that later, this is about a whole different deal…

Late afternoon on Tuesday July 7th, I was watering the flowers in the fenced yard and suddenly noticed a strange cry coming from the side yard between our and our neighbor’s house. What on earth could it be? Was it an injured animal? I went inside to investigate around at the side of the house, and Kevin was there and said “come with me.”

And lo and behold…two turkeys.

What the…how did…what was going on here??? In the video i call them wild turkeys, but they weren’t, they were “domesticated,” i was to find out later.

They seemed perfectly content, sashaying right up to us. I was a little leery but kevin assured me that they wouldn’t attack me – he was wearing his heavy-duty pants for roofing and stood between me and them. But they had no interest in doing anybody any harm. They just looked bedraggled, hot and thirsty and hungry, we guessed.

And then one of them started making that sound that we’d heard…

I’ve never been that close to a turkey. they were fascinating to observe up-close; their claws look positively prehistoric. But Ok, now what? Maybe they escaped from the zoo? Did they fall off a turkey truck? Did somebody abandon them? Did they escape from somebody’s yard? None of that sounded plausible, so I called the zoo. Because it was after five they were closed, and their message said to call 911 if it was an emergency. Hmm, was it an emergency? Well, we couldn’t take the turkeys in the house overnight and kevin was sure that coyotes would get them, so they needed a safe haven.

I called 911 and the dispatcher seemed surprised that i was reporting turkeys in the yard, and said she’d have to get back to me.

Meanwhile, Kevin poured them a drink of water after they wandered up on the porch. as they walked they kept pecking at the shells i have lining the walkway, hoping they were food. After a while i realized that turkeys are willing to peck at anything, hoping they can eat it.

They gulped the water down but eventually tipped the bowl over. turkeys also aren’t the most graceful of animals.

So Kevin gave them a drink from the hose, which they appreciated wholeheartedly.

I found a big pan and filled that with water and Kevin gave them some bird seed and they were grateful.

I’d texted amy and jim and mom about the turkeys and amy and jim were concerned that 911 would call animal control, who we assumed would have them put down.

i love this picture of the turkey and our yard ornament goose.

I got a call from a guy who said he was park police and he was going to call somebody from the zoo on his way to our house.

when he arrived, he turned out to be a guy named Pat who knew Kevin from the State Police, and they chatted while Pat waited for somebody to call him. It turned out that they didn’t belong to the zoo, so Pat called Animal Control.

Oh boy. Meanwhile I called Amy’s sister in law who lives on a farm and has turkeys, and she said she’d take them.

We hoped that would happen that night, and when a nice young woman from Animal Control showed up we told her that she didn’t need to take the turkeys after all. She seemed relieved not to have to pick them up, but by them i was getting fond of the turkeys and was sure pretty sure they wouldn’t be a problem.

at this point the turkeys were wandering around on the porch, venturing out into the front garden, eating, drinking, and having a very nice time. after one of them pecked at a shell on the front edge of the garden she just walked right over a pot sitting there, knocking it over. Not graceful and perhaps not the most intelligent birds. But still, very tame and gentle.

amy’s sister-in- law called back to say that she had to make sure it was OK with her husband, who wouldn’t be home til very late that night.

hmm, now what? what were we going to do with the turkeys overnight and what if they didn’t want the turkeys after all? Amy and i agreed to think positive thoughts about them being taken tomorrow.

At that point our neighbor Chris strolled over. Many years ago Chris rescued four baby raccoons from my back screened porch – they’d broken in and i had no idea how to get them out, and amy, jim, and kevin were all out of town. chris had picked them all up and carried them right out.

he did the same thing with the turkeys! By now Kevin had gone inside because he’d been up on the hot roof all day, and amy and i explained the turkey situation. Chris also felt confident that they’d be eaten by coyotes during the night and he volunteered to keep them in his basement over night. yay! he then picked them up one by one and carried them off.

The turkey whisperer! i couldn’t imagine how much pooping was going to go on in his basement overnight because once they’d started eating they were pooping all over my porch. chris said he had a drain in the unfinished part of his basement so that’s good. but also would they keep him up all night? Chris said he had to go to work in the morning so he’d let them out then.

That whole turkey evening was a highly unusual couple of hours, and the next day got even more weird…

ok then, the end of the story is coming shortly,

mrs. heat of the summer hughes.

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