Opinion Columns & Blogs

Who you callin’ turkey, turkey?

Can we talk turkey for a moment? I’d like to come to the defense of the much-befouled fowl.

First of all, it’s horsefeathers that turkeys will feel raindrops on their heads, gaze upward in amazement — mouth agape — and then drown.

Fact: Turkeys have eyes on the sides of their heads and would cock their cabezas sideways to look skyward, leaving little option for drowning.

Another canard is that if turkeys are spooked, they’ll huddle into a corner in such numbers they’ll suffocate.

Fact: Although turkeys can have heart attacks just like humans, there’s no known record of mass suffocations due to over-huddling in corners of coops.

Myth: Turkeys can’t fly.

Fact: This is only half true. While it’s true domestic turkeys don’t fly (probably because they’ve been fattened beyond the point of aerodynamics), the wild can fly as fast as 55 mph and glide for up to a mile.

After feasting on these facts, I offer the following poem to chew on:

‘Black November’

When I was a young turkey, new to the coop,

My big brother Mike took me out to the stoop,

Then he sat me down and spoke real slow,

And he told me there was something I had to know;

His look and his tone I will always remember,

When he told me the horrors of Black November:

“Come about August, now listen to me,

Each day you’ll get six meals instead of just three,

And soon you’ll be thick, where once you were thin,

And you’ll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin;

And then one morning, while warm in your bed,

In’ll burst the farmer’s wife, and hack off your head;

Then she’ll pluck out your feathers so you’re bald’n pink,

And scoop out your insides and leave you in the sink;

And then comes the worst part,” he said, not bluffing,

“She’ll spread your cheeks, and pack you with stuffing.”

Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat.

I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat,

And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked,

I’d have to lay low and remain overlooked.

I began a new diet of nuts and granola,

High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola;

And as they ate pastries, chocolates and tasty crepes,

I stayed in my room working out to Jane Fonda tapes;

I maintained my weight of 2 pounds and a half,

And tried not to notice when the big birds would laugh;

But it was I who was laughing, under my breath,

As they chomped and chewed ever closer to death;

And sure enough when Black November rolled around,

I was the last turkey left in the entire compound;

So now I’m a pet in the farmer’s wife’s lap;

I haven’t a worry, so I eat and I nap;

She held me today, while sewing and humming,

And smiled at me while saying, “Christmas is coming ”

— Anonymous