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Community Comment

Thu., Nov. 26, 2009, 8:42 a.m.

My involvement with turkeys…

AP Photo of Tom Turkey
AP Photo of Tom Turkey

Good morning, Netizens...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all whom you hold dear.

Over the last week I have been distracted from any proper celebration of Thanksgiving Day, although in my quiet time each day I have been increasingly mindful of how many wonderful things I have to be thankful for. Today, Thanksgiving Day, arrived, as always, well before the dawn with a damp gray blanket of fog extending from the banks of the Spokane River to my house. Tiny tendrils of mist, which is about all the fog that reached this far, tentatively reached out and caressed last summer's lilac bush that once blossomed in sweetness so early in the morning, and for now is slumbering for the winter yet to come. By the time daylight arrived, the fog tiptoed away on its silent feet, retreating back to the river from which is appears to have been borne.

Each year about this time of year I always remember the birds that went before this time, the free-range turkeys I had raised by hand in Stevens County, and how their peculiarities made them more and more difficult to kill each year for the annual feasting. I submit that everyone who eats a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day should hand-raise turkeys of their own at least once in their lives. That experience changes you in subtle ways.

Mature turkeys tend to be ungainly, ugly critters, actually, once they are no longer tiny, cute chicks safe in their heated enclosure. They tend to be either very astute, smarter than most birds, or dumb enough to become dinner for some sharp-eyed hawk that soars silently overhead looking for an opportune, unwary meal. Once they reached maturity, most of my turkeys slept overhead in the trees during night time, although a few preferred to sleep in their coop. Cowards.

Turkeys made a cheap, effective burglar/intruder warning device, among their other features. At the first sign of an intruder, be that human or otherwise, the tom turkeys immediately set to with a hue and cry that would pierce your eardrums. Since I did not have any neighbors in the vicinity, that never bothered anyone, save for the unfortunate burglars, including one that once got a taste of rock salt in his britches for his trouble.

Here in the city, I cannot raise turkeys by city ordinance, although I would prefer that task to the birds available from the stores. However, I cannot help but wonder how well our “free-range” cats in the neighborhood would fare against a dedicated flock of turkeys? My money is on the turkeys.

Think about that as you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving Day feast today.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.