Life is weird, isn't it?
Like the wild turkeys I see in this guy's backyard on Highway 118. Every morning I see these turkeys. About a dozen of them, pecking at grass like great globular giant chickens, rotund as satellite dishes and just as ugly. Stupid as dirt they are, but stupid in a good way. Like, I can't help smiling at them. I see them and my mouth rounds to a dimpled "oh" that stretches out to a broad grin as I squeal, "TURKEYS," as if I didn't see them yesterday or the day before. So who's the stupid one, you might well ask. But I can't help it. They're so new on the birding scene. It's still a thrill to see their vast ridiculousness hobnobbing with chickadees in the Muskoka countryside.
If turkeys were in a movie they'd be played by Shrek.
I've often wondered how anything that big, dumb and delicious manages to survive in the wild. They might as well have slow moving vehicle signs pasted on their plump and pointy feathered derrieres. With all the wolves, fishers, bears and men in orange hats around here, it's a wonder there are any turkeys left. But there they are, gobbling at the side of Highway 118 every morning, seemingly unscathed by canine teeth, talons or birdshot.
What kills me though, absolutely kills me, is where, exactly, these dumb birds are hanging out.
At a hunter's house.
Well, I'm not absolutely positive it's a hunter's house. I mean, I didn't go up to the front door and ask to see an outdoors card, but I'm pretty sure the plastic deer in the backyard with an arrow-catching backdrop behind it is a good indication that somebody in the house is practising their bow-hunting skills for deer season.
Either that or it's the summer home of Katniss from The Hunger Games.
Regardless, it astounds me that the turkeys have chosen this yard to hang out in. Right in front of the plastic deer. Maybe they think Katniss only hunts deer, having a plastic deer in the yard and not a plastic turkey. Dudes, I've seen The Hunger Games and she's slung several dumb birds over her shoulder. I'm not sure what kind of birds they were but they had x-marks where their eyeballs used to be which is usually a sign that they'd be first in line at triage in emerg.
I try to tell them that this is not a safe place to hunt and scratch but they don't listen. They barely even lift their heads as I wind down he car window, stick my neck into the stiff September breeze and waggle my tongue against the roof of my mouth in a yodelling "bluddabluddabludda" that sounds exactly like a turkey gobble.
A guy at work whose brother-in-law's uncle twice removed invented a turkey caller gadget, brought this amazing TV-style offering into the office one day and passed one out to everybody. Since then I have been dutifully blowing spit into it but I can't make it work. It sounds more like a ripe raspberry, or one of my own brother-in-law's infamous campfire farts, than a turkey call.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who does drive-by turkey gobbling. My husband does it, too. We both wind down our windows and gobble as loud as we possibly can, much to the utter mortification of our children in the back seat. I tell the kids, hey, it's the thing to do. Everybody gobbles at turkeys. Wouldn't it be great to set up a Stealth -Cam at the side of the road and take pictures of all the humans gobbling as they go by? I'm sure this is an endless source of entertainment for the turkeys. Chicken-necked humans rolling their tongues and spraying spit everywhere, braying like donkeys.
In fact, that's probably why they're hanging out at the side of Highway 118 all the time. Human watching. Giggling and gobbling over the infinite stupidity of giant pasty-faced, featherless, wingless, brainless humans, no doubt saying, "And they say WE'RE stupid."
Life is weird, isn't it?