Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hi. Can we borrow your turkey?

These girls are lonely. They wander around the yard looking for a boy turkey, but no boy turkeys live at Tea and Koba's house. Since it is spring, they have started laying eggs. Fun fact: turkeys lay only 15-18 eggs a year, so if there are going to be little fuzzy turklets on the farm, a boy turkey is a must -- and soon!

A week ago, I went to a birthday suphra with Tea and Koba at a house up the road a little way. It was the house of one of my colleagues. While sitting in the kitchen with the women, I looked out into the back yard and watched the turkeys meandering around the property. I commented on the size of the turkeys (they were really big), and Tea and I mentioned again how she needs a male turkey so that her turkeys can hatch some little ones. Tea translated our conversation for our colleague, Irma, and Irma said that she would be glad to lend Tea one of her male turkeys for a week or two.

Today was turkey-pick-up day. Tea didn't want to walk down the road in broad daylight with a turkey -- nobody does that, and she hates drawing attention to herself -- so she decided that we should walk to Irma's house just before dark so we could return with the bird under the protective cover of darkness.

We had talked about the best way to transport the turkey, and neither of us knew. A turkey is much bigger than a chicken, so carrying it upside-down by the legs wouldn't work very well. And it probably wouldn't be too healthy for the turkey to be upside-down for that long. I suggested putting it in a large bag so we could carry it together -- we didn't know how heavy it would be or if it would fight to get away or just what it might do. I envisioned having to wrangle the turkey into the bag in a flurry of wings and feathers and gobbles, trying to pin the bird down at the same time avoiding its sharp talons and beak.

Well, I'm only slightly disappointed to say that the turkey gave no such fight. It was as docile as could be as Irma picked him up off his roosting branch in a hazelnut tree. Tea wrapped a flour sack around him and propped him on her hip, cradled in her arm like a large, feathered football. His head was stuck down inside the sack uncomfortably, so I reached in and gently shifted the material so that his bumpy bare head could look out at his surroundings passing by. His beady eyes took in his travels more calmly than I had imagined -- he even let me pat his sparsely feathered head and neck.

When we got to our house, Tea put him inside the momma pig's house -- she is still living in the barn with her umpteen little ones. He will be more calm in an enclosed area for the night. Tomorrow he will some acquaintances to make.....

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