Talking Turkey

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Talking Turkey” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Growing up in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains and spending so much time in nature gives one special skills. I never was a turkey hunter per se but I havr encountered them often. One day while sitting on my deer deer stand I heard the sound of sharp claws scratching through the dry leaves. Each animal in the forest has it’s own footsteps. In the deep thick underbrush you use your ears as much as your eyes to know what’s out there and where it is. Deer and humans have a similar gait and sound alike in the leaves. A squirrel makes a noise like a child stomping and kicking while big old bears make almost no noise at all. But scratching is a bird noise. I carefully got as much of my body behind a tree as I could and waited to see what was coming. As the scratching got closer it suddenly turned into the thumping of strong wings taking to the air. The whole flock of turkeys sailed past me only missing me by a few inches. I sat as still as possible trying to look like part of the tree in spite of blaze orange I was wearing. It was a spectacular sight to see the large bodied birds fly past my head and disappear into the bushes below. All of them except for one. The dominant tom who was a bruiser of a bird. He circled through the trees and came right back and was headed straight for me. We think if turkeys as awkward birds on the ground with a funny walk but on the wing they’re as graceful as eagles. For a moment I thought he was going to kamikaze right into me but at the last second he pulled up and gently landed at my outstretched feet. His beard drug the ground as he cocked his head to one side and examined the rifle that was still in my lap. I wasn’t quite sure what to do and what happened next totally blew my mind. He looked up at me through his right eye and said “Deer hunter?” “Well yeah.” I stammered in reply. “Okay” the tom said. “I’m familiar with the regulations and I know that I’m not in season so let’s have a conversation.” I could only nod an affirmative while blinking. I’ve never really encountered a talking turkey before. Especially not one that was so forward with his introduction. “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. As the official spokesbird of the holiday I want to give you a few tips on thankfulness.” He continued. “First, you should realize how blessed you are and humbly accept those blessings. The generations before you struggled and sacrificed to give you the life you have. When you complain it’s like saying that they didn’t suffer enough. Next, the most important of your blessings are the people who are in your life. Guard those relationships and you’ll always be rich. Lastly, generosity is the ultimate expression of gratitude. It recognizes that your needs have been satisfied to the point where you can bless others.” After he spoke he cocked his head one more time and with a few flaps his powerful wings he rejoined the flock. I was still in shock but I who am I to question the wisdom of the official spokesbird of Thanksgiving?

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