Sensitive, curious and gentle. He wears his heart on his snood, (that’s the dangly piece of skin above his beak) It acts as a mood ring, alternating in colour; red, white or blue to tell you how he’s feeling.
His song is unique. A fascinating call, humans call it a gobble. He’s been perfecting it since way back when he was a fluffy chick.
And when it’s time to make his contribution to the planet, he’ll use his gentle call and turn his snood a strong scarlet, to entice the Hen of his dreams.
I imagine part of his dream includes nesting up in the trees, which is his favourite place to seek sanctuary and rest his weary head. He’ll fly up there, Turkey’s love to fly. But not too far. If he needs to make a run for it he can do that too, at speeds of up to 35mph.
But he will not hurt you.
He came here with the same intention. To live in peace.
Benjamin Franklin was apparently a big Turkey fan. He favoured the Turkey over the bald Eagle as the national bird. And now the mass genocide of indigenous people is celebrated every year in the States by the mass genocide of this indigenous bird.
The only time most people get to connect with this creature is when they have their hands up his arse, or they’re tearing at his torso.
In the UK we have one of the biggest slaughter houses of the Turkey, under the familiar name of Bernard Matthews. (Bird flu? Anyone?) We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here. But we do slaughter 2.2 million Turkey’s in the run up to celebrating the birthday of a white guy, that would have been black, if we even believe in his existence in the first place.
But we don’t actually enjoy the taste of Turkey. It’s dry. And needs a fuck load of trimmings; maybe some fat from a duck, or the flesh of a pig, to make it palatable.
And so it is that this handsome, regal creature; beak and toes painfully severed, so he cannot defend himself. Body pumped unnaturally to keep him so heavy, he couldn’t fly now if he wanted to. Wings unable to unfold, let alone carry him. Skin burning from the ammonia of sitting in his own piss, is crammed into a cage with thousands of his friends.
His ultimate destination? Some dried up boxing -day sandwich. With pickle. To disguise the taste.
Only arrogance and greed will tell you your life is worth more than his. Don’t listen.