Just a Poultry Encounter Part 2. Part Three This Evening

He gulped hard which gave his snood a wiggle. “Well, being from a free range ranch I had a great childhood. There was lots of freedom, lots of friends, and lots of room to run. I even enjoyed short flights from time to time. I hardly ever got pecked on and when I did, it was my buddies having some good, clean fun. Yeah, we used to stay up late and talk about our adventures, like when we would wheel dodge. We saw how close we could strut in front of cars or tractors without getting run over. We had chicken fights in the watering trough. We had snood flapping contests until our gizzards hurt.

My uncle Thommy, in whose honor I was named, would tell us of his days in the PPP, the Poultry Processing Program, and his daring escape aided by some animal rights group. He was like a father to me. He would always find a way to help me appreciate life. I remember the way he puffed out his chest and made eye contact. That was his listen up son body language.” Thomm then changed his voice to sound like his old uncle. “You weren’t raised to fly but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.” He smiled, although I didn’t think turkeys could with a solid beak and all. “I will never forget that,” he said. Then Thommy looked out the window and sighed and his wing covered his mouth as he continued.

“About a year ago my uncle Thommy went missing. Here one moment, gone the next. I was so fouled up and sadness accompanied my search for him. I wanted to pull my feathers out as I hopped and flapped over every square yard of the range. I walked the entire perimeter of the property for compromises in security. If there was a sag or a hole in the chicken wire fence he might have fallen victim to the coyotes. I never found him but I did find I had grown up through the loss. I wasn’t some little punk of a poult any more and things were going to be alright, even without my uncle Thommy to wing his wisdom and legendary stories my way. It was me and my buddies now, at least until about a month ago.”

I noticed his face starting to pale. I don’t understand how a turkey could get any paler, but he did.

He continued slowly with a Star Trek Captain Kirk cadence.

“They…just…all…started…to…vanish!”

“Who did?”

“All my friends…Wing Man, Tommy Boy, Hook Beak, Pencil Neck, Bird Turd. My whole crew… gone!”

“You say it was about a month ago? Well I think…”

“I know, I know. At least I know now,” His tone of voice changed to resignation. “I was so naïve. I thought our ranch was different from all those other PPP type places. I had to get out of there. I had to leave on my own terms so I made a way of escape. Last year, I noticed an area of the fence which hung a tad low. I thought if I could get a running start there might be a possibility. After all, I was the champion wheel dodger. So from twenty five yards back I dug my talons in and pushed the throttle to full on….and here I am!”
“Wow. That’s quite a story, even from a turkey…ehem, no offence,” I said.
“Quite all right.”
I notice we were approaching the Mattawan exit and saw Thomm sitting there with his belly sticking out with his wings folded over it.
“Hey, how ‘bout I give you a ride to Berrien Springs?”
“You don’t have to…”
“It’s a holiday!” After I said it I felt bad knowing which holiday it was and my present company. How could I be so insensitive! “I’m so sorry!”
“No worries, I’ve come to embrace this time of year as a point of destiny, not regret.”
Hmmm, this Thom Thom grew up in a hurry or he has gotten his feathers all fluffed up with poultry traumatic stress syndrome.
“I think hearing about the dream would help me understand why you are going back to the ranch.”

To Be Continued…

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