Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flock of Birds


Last year a flock of wild turkeys moved into the neighborhood. For a while, they were an oddity, a kind of over-stuffed and mean version of the peacock. Then they took to blocking traffic, slowly crossing roadways like great herds of bison, in no particular hurry and not at all concerned about the schedules of humans. And this too, was fine, as I harbored no resentment towards the deer, even though they also stop traffic. The turkeys though, do lack a certain soulful look in their eyes, and tend towards aggressive squawking and charging.  All gods creatures and whatnot.

Then, two weeks ago, their first batch of babies appeared. And they were cute, kind of. For a couple of days they looked like a great flock of somewhat ugly quail. But now, they don't. They look like the Skeksis from the Dark Crystal, only with the behavior of adolescents. And there are dozens of them. They feed outside the window in the early morning hours, climbing down from their roosts high in the old firs that surround the house. They are loud, and bully the other birds from the feeder. And they will only get bigger.

I want to resent them. For stealing my sleep, being loud and aggressive, driving away the baby chickadees, also just emerging into the world, for fighting and pooping everywhere. For being so very very turkey. But I can't. They are right, this is a lovely corner of the world in which to live and more than likely, they are also likely serving some kind of purpose, filling some niche of which I am unaware. Or, this time next year, we will have a turkey farm. Could go either way.

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