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Rediscovering AnimalsĀ 

First Turkey Decides to Live

A nursing mother coyote got First Turkey in broad daylight. We had made the mistake of leaving the birds out in the yard while we took Poncho to the vet for his rabies shot.  Husband Don saved me the agony of viewing the tragedy by tossing the remaining drumsticks over the fence. Mother Coyote looked him over, saying "I'm not done here yet," with defiant body language. Scary. Luckily she wasn't in attack mode, preferring to leave the drumsticks rather than putting my 155-pound human on her menu.

First Turkey had been a real pet Every time we opened the back door she would come running to us, barking her greeting, "Ahrk ahrk ahrk." She bonded to us when her sibling poult refused to eat. They do that--refuse to eat. I understand that commercial operations run colored beads through turkey chick feeding trays so the goodies will hop around. Turkey poults decide that life is worth living if they can hunt.
After several anxious moments catching yummy victims and inventing mother-turkey sounds--I think "bok bok bok" worked best--we finally convinced First Turkey that grasshoppers were not only delicious, but fun to hunt. She decided to live, and Don spent his two weeks off work on hands and knees hunting grasshoppers with her. They began to look pretty yummy to me, too, and to this day there are no grasshoppers in our backyard. First Turkey decimated the population during her ten good years.

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