Thursday, March 16, 2006

Eddie and Duck Feet

I just spent the last several hours trying to get a dozen turkeys back in the yard.

Can I use the term dumb turkeys?

Or maybe I’m the dumb one.

Running back and forth.

Half the turkeys wanting to go in one direction.

The other half wanting to go in the other direction.

And me, I didn’t want them to go in either direction.

Let’s not even discuss how they got out of the yard in the first place. All’s I can say is that I wasn’t the one to leave the gate open.

So, here I am out in the woods trying to get the two groups of turkeys to join together and act as one and then get them to follow the fence line around until they get to the gate.

And then, at the gate, I wanted them to go through it. Into the yard.

Doesn’t that sound simple enough. At least you would think it was simple enough for turkeys.

Well, there’s one thing, one of the few redeeming facets about turkey behavior is that they are easier to herd than chickens.

At least with turkeys several of them will go in the same direction at the same time.

Chickens, however, are all rugged individualist.

Rugged individualist as in living up in the cold, cold wilds of northern Alaska somewhere.

They aren’t going to cooperate with anyone.

But back to the turkeys.

I spent several hours chasing them back and forth, gradually getting them closer and closer to that open gate and then,

then I got them to the gate and what do they do?

They won’t go in. They run right past it and off into the woods on the other direction.

So,to get them back and finally through the gate I have to chase them through the woods over there for another half hour and then finally, finally, I get them to the gate, and through the gate and into the yard and I think, Victory, my turkey nursing for the day is over.

Only, only no.

Once in the yard I closed the gate, made sure the feeder was full and then went into the house to get a bite to eat.

And while in the kitchen, I’m standing there looking out out the window and there are the turkeys.

This time they were trying to kill each other.

Or is that 3 or 4 of them have ganged up and are trying to kill one of their number.

It's like middle school or is that elementary school boys. A gang of them picking on the nerd of the class.

Do you remember that?

It was usually instigated by that guy that everyone was afraid of. Not afraid of him because he was going to physically beat you up or anything. But he had a really nasty tongue and the finely honed skill of being able to verbally humiliate his target.

And his target was usually was the one boy least capable of defending himself.

The nerd of the class.

And me, I was always the kid that defended the nerd.

“Hey, leave him alone.”

You know what happens when you do that, don’t you? The guy with the bad tongue turns his skills on you.

That’s why everyone always went along with him. They were scared to death of being picked on.

I remember the guy with the mean tongue, In my case his name just happened to be Eddie, just like in Leave it to Beaver.

And the nerd he picked on? I only remember the name Eddie tagged him with (isn’t that a shame?)

Duck Feet!

And I remember Eddie nasty tongue calling him Duck Feet and all the other boys giggling and calling him Duck Feet too and me saying ‘hey leave him alone.’

And suddenly there is this great silence and slowly Eddie evil tongue looks over in my direction and you can see the gears turning in his head.

And the other boys are waiting for him to lay into me with something really choice because really, they are terrified of being the recipients of Eddie's nasty tongue.

I mean, that’s why they are going along with him in the first place.

And suddenly Eddie opens his mouth.

But I don’t remember that part.

Let’s get back out to the turkeys.

What I think we have out here is one turkey, Eddie Turkey and around him is his gang and over there is old Duck Feet.

And suddenly they are all picking on Duck Feet.

Pecking at him, grabbing him around the head. Plucking out his feathers.

The way they’re going at it I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven't killed him by morning.

So what should I do?

What would you do?

What I did is I ran out the front yard yelling. Trying to separate the boys.

Getting the bullies off of poor Duck Feet. Trying to give him a chance to run away.

But does he run away? Does he go find a safe corner?

Remember, we’re talking turkeys here.

He stands there and immediately, immediately after I go back to the house they’re on him again, plucking more feathers.

So I go back out and try to break it up again but it’s not going to happen. Duck Feet doesn’t have the sense to retreat for his own good and the gang is determined to punish him for his sins.

(which I imagine are the same as the nerd back in elementary school, being weak and vulnerable).

So, finally, I run over to him and grab him by his feet and pick him up (he must weigh 25 pounds or so) and throw him up over the fence and out of the yard.

Let him run back out to the woods. At least he stands a chance against the predators. In the yard with his buddies he stands no chance at all.

(is there a moral there?)

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