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2005-11-26 - 10:12 a.m.

...what to do in case of a wild turkey attack...

This year I made lamb (organic, no antibiotics, no hormones) instead of turkey for Thanksgiving, because truthfully, a turkey is a pain in the neck to cook, especially for three people, and the whole kitchen is covered with turkey fat for a week afterwards. Couldn't cope with it.

Nevertheless, I've recently come across some interesting facts about turkeys.

The wild turkey is native to both northern Mexico and the eastern United States. They have a large fan of feathers that are used in courtship displays. Turkeys are polygamous.

Benjamin Franklin thought that the wild turkey should be designated the US symbol, instead of the bald eagle. (he also fooled around alot)

The wild turkey is a more intelligent species from which the dumber domestic breed is derived. Rumor has it that domestic turkeys are so dumb that they can drown in a rainstorm because they look up with their mouths hanging open. (but I have not confirmed this particular factoid). The turkey was originally domesticated in the 16th century, in Mexico, and brought to Europe.

This from my friend Barbara in England (who was helping her son with his homework): After King Henry VIII introduced turkeys in Tudor England, they became so popular that flocks of turkeys had to be walked to London from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. They had to start walking in August to get to London in time for Christmas. A turkey death march. As Barbara points out, bet they were nice and tender when they arrived....

While the US turkey industry raises about 240 million domestic turkeys per year, the wild turkey was almost completely exterminated after colonization of the New World. But the wild turkey has made a miraculous comeback.

There was a report on the radio this morning that the east coast wild turkey population is flourishing - but they think that humans are inferior to them because we bring them food. As a result the turkeys are beginning to attack people. (Attack of the Wild Turkeys?) The report advised that if one is approached by a "truculent turkey" (their phrase), one should swat at it with a broom to assert dominance. I'm so full of information that I'm ready for the next cocktail party. Too bad I never go to cocktail parties.

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