Sunday, November 24, 2013

You Turkey!

Thanksgiving Musing by Ada Brownell
Does anyone know what calling someone a turkey means? I heard if you call someone a turkey you are calling him stupid and a failure, but they’re wrong.
The turkey is one of the most famous birds in North America. Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey, not the Bald Eagle, the national bird!
The wild turkey we usually see in photos is not the same as the domestic turkey that we love to eat at Thanksgiving. Domestic or farm-raised turkeys weigh twice as much as the wild turkey and are so heavy they are unable to fly. Some people might think that makes them wimpy.
Yet, I’ve seen television clips where a female television reporter does a story from the turkey pen, and when one of the birds attacks, you’d think it was a mountain lion. Such screaming! The cameraman must charge through the gobbling swarm of beaks and flapping wings to rescue the damsel in distress. Of course, he brings the camera along, but neither wastes time climbing over the fence to safety.
Despite the wild variety’s small size, hunters love to bag wild turkeys, plentiful in my state. The gobblers live in woods in part of North America and are the largest game birds in this area of the world, and they can fly!
But to me, wild turkeys aren’t as beautiful as the big-breasted ones raised on farms for profit. Next time someone calls you a turkey, remember the male strutting his stuff with his often colorful plumage fanned like a peacock’s for some gorgeous hen to see.
Yet the most wonderful turkeys I’ve seen were in the center of a dining room table surrounded by family and friends who love one another. The bird, no fancy feathers, no caruncle (those brightly colored growths at the throat), no red snood (the flap of skin that hangs over the beak), and no wattle (the red flap of skin under the turkey’s chin), has never been more attractive.
The platter is covered by a buttery brown bird chosen instead of prime rib, fancy  steaks, lamb, seafood, lasagna or any other main dish or meat. This bird is the centerpiece as people thank God for His blessings, love one another, laugh with each other, pray for another, and make memories.
Never cringe again if someone says, “You turkey!”
And be thankful! There is emotional and spiritual power in doing just that.
©Ada Brownell Nov. 22, 2013