Friday, November 18, 2016

Turkeys Can Be Turkeys

If you ever felt kind of sorry for all those Thanksgiving turkeys, you don't have to.  I can tell you from experience, they know how to be "turkeys" really well.  I'm sure that's where the old saying "he's just a turkey" came from.

One thing we always had at the ranch was a freezer.  It was huge, heavy and so noisy when running, it was kept out in the storeroom where it became the last resting place of our problems.  Turkeys are mean, mean, mean!!  They will peck at you with their beaks, slash at you with their claws and chase you around the yard.

Lucky for me, I was too small to have the job of feeding.  It involved carrying a large bucket full of grain from the silo.  That bucket was VERY heavy for a seven year old.  Then you had to open the gate to the pens while a hundred turkeys raced to smash you against the fence looking for dinner.  You had to be really fast not to let any out.

My brother wasn't fast enough.  Not that they ran away, the turkeys who escaped usually stayed around, waiting for the next round of grain.  Unfortunately, they became the gauntlet you had to run through every time you left the front yard.  That's why I spent LOTS of time in the front yard, never having the nerve to face the mean old turkeys.

One day my brother was told to get in the truck.  He knew the turkey was out there, so he armed himself with a small rock.  Sure enough, just as he went through the gate, here came the turkey on the run!  He threw the rock like Giants baseball pitcher Bumgarner on a Saturday afternoon.  Who would have ever thought it would hit it's mark.  My brother should have become a pitcher.

Instantly, the turkey was dead as the rock clocked him right in the head.  UH OH ... you're in trouble BIG TIME buddy ... you killed a turkey meant for market.  He told me to shut up and tried to hide it behind the sagebrush in the yard.  It's pretty hard to drag a 20 pound dead turkey.  CAUGHT!!  That resulted in a spanking of epic proportions.  We lived on the sale of those turkeys.  They bought parts for the plows which provided feed for everything from turkeys to horses to cattle.  I ran and hid behind the house just to be sure I was far away from any fallout.

To supplement OUR dinner table ... I only remember having turkey that one time ... my parents would go pheasant hunting every season.  In those days there were so many birds you could get your limit in no time.   Nowadays there's not a pheasant in sight.
There was always meat in the freezer ... in fact, sometimes that's ALL we had for dinner.  If something died, accidentally or otherwise, it went into cold storage.  It's called living off the land, which I remember we did quite nicely.


  1. I'd be very happy with an all meat dinner. Every once in a while at least. :)

    1. Linda, as long as it's chicken or turkey, I'm a happy camper. I had just a tad too much beef as a kid ... it's NOT my favorite.