Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Defiance In Unlikely Places

While I was preparing for the storm née hurricane, I was worried about a few of the animals but none more than the turkey. I have one fat Royal Palm gobbler here and he has a few quirks that would not make him the best survivor in bad weather. Mostly his absolute refusal to sleep indoors. He will not go into an open barn, chicken coop, or anywhere enclosed. He prefers to sleep above ground where he can see 360 degrees around him, not too far from an escape route. Usually this means my pickup truck's tailgate, which is covered in turkey poop. But as dead set as he was in his ways, I wanted him to survive the high winds and downpour. I had a plan, you see.

I would ensure his safety by catching him and placing him inside a hay-bedded dog crate inside the barn. There, even if he wasn't perching he would be safe from the storm and present for Thanksgiving Dinner, where he will be feeding nine people. I got the crate ready and then stalked him as he sat on a garbage can. I was going to grab him, confine him, and do it for his own damn good.

I thought I could catch him. I couldn't. I tried, chasing the black and white sub-emu around like an idiot as the wind howled and the horses watched in silent awe. He just ran into the woods, or flew up into the trees. After a few more long and exhausting tries I decided to let him take his fate into his own hands. Some times you need to just let the powers that be take your farm into their own hands. I gave up on the turkey when I heard the first tree in the woods fall.

This morning when I walked along the farm in the darkness, checking on horses and feeding them some breakfast hay I could not believe what I saw. There on the top of the garbage can (where I first saw him) was the turkey. He was dry, gobbling, and looked better than I did after a night of little sleep. I don't know if he spent the whole storm on the can or perched there after camping elsewhere but I know the barn and coop were locked up to keep the regulars safe. I shrugged and told him he was a mighty fine turkey. Maybe he was smart enough to dine on a salad of Maple, basil, and birch before Sandy hit shore? I'll never know.

But I do know this! On Thanksgiving we will not only taste my bourbon honey glaze, but something extra special—defiance. Which is what I finally decided to name him.

23 Comments:

Blogger Justine said...

Good luck catching him for thanksgiving hehe

October 30, 2012 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Given his talents, I'd say make it a tofu Thanksgiving and invite him to the table. I love independent, clever animals. Are you sure he isn't a Scottish turkey?

October 30, 2012 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Welcome Comfort Farm said...

As stupid as turkeys seem to be, they have an amazing constitution. Tried to "protect" one from an early season blizzard once as he perched right out in the open on the top of a 6' chain link fence. We were convinced he would freeze to the rail. I managed to pry him off, get him in the barn, and before I made it back to the house, he was right back up on the rail. He was also a most tasty Thanksgiving bird!

October 30, 2012 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Welcome Comfort Farm said...

As stupid as turkeys seem to be, they have an amazing constitution. Tried to "protect" one from an early season blizzard once as he perched right out in the open on the top of a 6' chain link fence. We were convinced he would freeze to the rail. I managed to pry him off, get him in the barn, and before I made it back to the house, he was right back up on the rail. He was also a most tasty Thanksgiving bird!

October 30, 2012 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

Glad to hear everyone made it through ok!

October 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger Jimmie said...

I think Ben Fanklin was right; we should have named the turkey as America's national bird instead of the eagle. If for no other reason than its ability to outlast, outwit and preseverse in the face of impending danger. Can't wait to hear the tale of how you catch Defiance for the Thanksgiving table. I almost hope he continues to outwit you and you choose to give him a pardon, like the President does each year. Are you up for tofu turkey?

Diane in North Carolina

October 30, 2012 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Jimmie said...

I think Ben Fanklin was right; we should have named the turkey as America's national bird instead of the eagle. If for no other reason than its ability to outlast, outwit and preseverse in the face of impending danger. Can't wait to hear the tale of how you catch Defiance for the Thanksgiving table. I almost hope he continues to outwit you and you choose to give him a pardon, like the President does each year. Are you up for tofu turkey?

Diane in North Carolina

October 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

He is AWESOME and I love his name. You will be fortified by his energy... after using all of yours to catch him!
Happy all are safe and sound.

October 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Would love to see a video of catching Defiance for Thanksgiving dinner. In not sure which contestant I'd be rooting for or placing my bet on.

October 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

I'm with Barbsbirds13. Though I do love you, Jenna---I dunno who I'd root for.

October 30, 2012 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

You made it through the storm -- and your animals too. Me Defiance knew how to survive. -- barbara

October 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Yes, like the others I wonder how you will catch that wiley bird. Should make for an interesting tale.

October 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

Keep moving, Defiance. It's your best protection from Jenna.
There's no rule that there has to be turkey for Thanksgiving.

October 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

Fitting name. And a fun story too.

October 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I'm going to eat the turkey, catching him will just happen when he is asleep. I am like a jungle cat when it comes to catching sleeping turkeys.

October 30, 2012 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

(Margie, the turkey doesn't read this blog)

October 30, 2012 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Carol G said...

That is, if you can catch him!

October 30, 2012 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger polly said...

you're a poet! even better - in gumboots. love it :D

October 30, 2012 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger Constance Reeder said...

Jenna,I love your story about your turkey - it makes me want to get one! Do you raise one every year for your Thanksgiving?
Today my 13 and 9 year old kids made a message on our phone that makes it sound like we are a turkey butching farm getting ready for Thanksgiving - there's a bunch of turkeys squacking and trying to escape in the background - it's really funny! We live in the Puget Sound - I'm glad you're doing OK through the storms!

October 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Hound Doggy said...

Didn't you take a turkey down the road to a nearby farm for processing a few weeks ago?? Or am I confused? Did you have more that one?

October 30, 2012 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

I keep telling my Standard Bronze hen and tom they will look really good coming out of my oven. I plan to grab them the night before the trip to Jason's in Albion, ME. They will overnight and ride the hour and a half to their fate in a very large dog crate.

October 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

Crazy turkey!

October 31, 2012 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

I admit to laughing out loud when I read about the antics and wondered HOW you will catch Defiance come Thanksgiving?! ;-)

Dianne
www.sweetjourneyhome.com

October 31, 2012 at 7:18 PM  

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