Saturday, August 23, 2008

This Would Make A Good Children's Book, Don't Ya Think?

For a number of years, we had flocks of turkeys on our street. In fact, our local turkeys made it into A Girl, a Boy, and Three Robbers. Though I no longer live in a hunting culture as I did when I was growing up in Vermont, the turkey population has plummeted to the point that this year we've only been seeing one down at the other end of the street.

Yesterday morning I was out for one of the the three or four attempts at jogging I've been making each month this summer. I was on my way back home, in walking mode, when I see the lone turkey in the road. Just two days before a neighbor had told me this bird had attacked an acquaintance, so I crossed the road to stay away from it. I also picked up a big stick. Actually, it was a branch. I felt like a fool, but, hey, this was a turkey. I passed the thing, thought I was safely away from him, dropped my branch, crossed the road so I'd be walking into traffic again, and continued up the hill.

I haven't gone far when I notice this gobblie little sound behind me. I look over my shoulder and the beast is jogging up the hill after me.

My jogging is not so good that I want to do it going up hill. Plus, I was afraid that if I started running, it would chase me. Don't wild creatures take flight as a sign that humans want to play tag? I hurry along, cross the road again, the bird stays with me. Fortunately, a car pulled out of a driveway and by the time the turkey had chased me up onto a lawn, the driver and her husband pulled up alongside me. To make a long story short, they'd had run-ins with the creature before. By the time the turkey's tail feathers were displayed (which I took as a sign of aggression and not some kind of mating ritual as my computer guy later suggested), the guy in the car was out in the street with me. The two of us were able to shout and clap our hands enough to finally chase the feathered fiend off so I could go on my way.

By the time I got home, I was thinking that maybe this incident was something I could use in a book. A lovely picture book, perhaps. Some possibilities:

Toxic Turkey: A violent, mad turkey is created as a result of exposure to toxic waste. The book will be a cautionary tale instructing children not to pollute.

Turkey Bully: A big, nasty turkey is mean to all the other turkeys on the street. A hunter teaches him a lesson about getting along with others.

Misunderstood Turkey: The turkey isn't really violent and mad or big and nasty. The other turkeys just don't understand him.

Turkey Hogging Attention: A rough, noisy turkey tries to attract attention to itself. A hunter might figure in this story, too.


Kelly said...

You have several good stories there, Gail!

Anonymous said...

I think rhymes would be good. Maybe you could use all of the story lines and make a new "Nutshell Library" for the 21st century.

Shooting Once, Shooting Twice
That mean old bird
is Turkey Soup . . . with Rice