Thanksgiving day story:
I was housesitting for a friend of the family who at different times has various sorts of animals which will be dinner at some point once they're grown. I myself can't raise animals and then eat them. Perhaps I could in certain situations but not right now. But I digress. At this point, the family had a flock of turkeys (about seventeen) which I needed to put up in pens for the night. Normally this was done by shaking a scoop of scratch and hollering 'Turkey turkey turkey!' I was shown the procedure. I witnessed the entire flock swarming amid gobbles (often performed in perfect unison) and filing into their pens. I was confident. Meanwhile, another friend offered me extra tickets to see Elton John. WOW. Awesome. All I had to do was stop off, change clothes, and put the turkeys up. One problem. There were no turkeys that night when I got in. Now, I'd been told that they foraged. But after an hour of screeching 'turkey turkey turkey' there were still no turkeys. I had single-handedly lost seventeen 25 lb turkeys. Well, Elton John was stupendous, but there were still no turkeys when I returned from the concert. I knew that the birds would be parked somewhere for the night, so I reserved looking for in the morning. Still no turkeys. I was just walking down the dirt road when an older gentleman neighbor drove by and stopped to ask if I was all right (chivalry in this day and age!). I explained my plight and he got a funny look on his face.
"So that's where those turkeys came from." He mused.
"Pardon?" I swallowed.
"We have your turkeys down at the church. They're dancing around in the middle of the yard sale putting on quite a show."
Please, kill me now.
"Come on I'll give you a ride down there miss."
"Thank you." It took all my fortitude to face my turkey fate and the crowd that was surrounding them, wondering where the hell they'd come from.
Well, the turkeys were not interested in going home. Two very nice men helped me herd them back through the woods, which cut off half a mile from the full mile they'd wondered. I shook the scratch but we ended up chasing them with switches more like a herd of goats. While we walked, one of the men explained that they'd appeared in his yard the night prior and made themselves right at home. When several of the smaller ones had flown onto his roof, he'd chased them off by throwing green tomatoes at them. That, however, only served to give the turkeys menu ideas and they had proceeded to strip all the green tomatoes from his vines. Thankfully the tomatoes were already ruined for humans by frost and he was more amused than anything else. I'm sure it helped that I was utterly mortified. Needless to say, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving turkey even more than usual that year...
And since everyone seems to be posting what they're thankful for:
Everything I've learned this year
All the amazing people I've met (extra woot to the Sirens folks, and the authors who attended, you know who you are)
All the AWESOME folks out there blogging, spreading confidence and information to others
All the people and animals I've lost but won't ever forget