Wild Turkeys


A flock of wild turkeys share this valley with us.  They are some 25 strong during the winter when both male and female travel together.  The ladies split off by themselves when their chicks are hatched in late spring and stay apart until the babies are no longer babies. The toms, they cruise in a tight group all seasons.  Tom Cruise!  Fabulous creatures.  For some reason I consider them to be Egyptian in their ancestry.  So formal, so deliberate.  They appear to have all the time in the world to enjoy the world.

Yesterday they took a mid-morning break on the hillside of the  high eastern ridge of the valley and were clearly visible from the kitchen window for about two hours.  The sun dappled down through the rhododendron and poplars giving them a perfect cover for taking their ease.  Some napped, head tucked under wing.  Others preened and a few continued pecking here and there for the bugs and grubs they have a taste for.  Everyone got along.  They generally do.  Even when the males dance in the spring aggression is limited to an occasional chase around.  I've never seen them hurt one another.

And that is true for most of the fellow earthlings I've come to watch when I can.  They get along.  Friendships are formed and often.  At times it seems that certain individuals are merely tolerated.  One lady turkey we called Ethel raised a fuss about everything  (I'm talking a feather out of place or a too
chilly morning)  but never went past a beating of the wings and a dash at the offending party.  Moody when broody one might say about Ethel.

The notion of peace.  Maybe it's not so far fetched after all.  Maybe it will be possible for us one day. Who knows?  It's something to hope for.  I'd much rather be a tourist than a soldier.  I'd much rather carry a flower or a tomato than a gun.  I think about these things.  As ugly as it gets in our human world, with all its confusions and disappointments, I still actually believe it may be possible to toss the guns, to dismantle the war machine.  To walk away from the bad hand.  Maybe, just maybe.

And that is part of why I watch my fellow earthlings so closely.  They bring me hope.