This Thanksgiving promises to be the best ever

Seven Dweebs that populate farm are all named Dopey

August 25, 2010|By TIM ROWLAND

I feel safe in saying that we will not be raising any more Bourbon Red heritage turkeys at Little Farm by the Creek. Beth and I have independently come to the conclusion that it's just one of those supposedly fun and cool agricultural pursuits that we will never do again.

The advantage of a Bourbon Red is that its flavor is reported to be richer than the standard, dry-breasted turkey bred to produce massive amounts of white meat, even in its eyeballs.

I no longer care. It doesn't matter if the Bourbon Reds taste like a caviar and truffle taco, no bird can have a flavor appealing enough to offset the headache of raising them.

There have been days when I could have cheerfully strangled any or all of the Seven Dweebs that populate the farm and follow me around like I am some kind of Pied Piper for poultry.


Forget everything you've heard about Ben Franklin wanting the turkey to be our national bird. All this proves is that the Founding Fathers were on acid.

It is not enough to say that they are ignorant, for it is an uncommonly pure ignorance, distilled from stupidity and decanted from idiocy. When they wake up in the morning, they will have forgotten overnight that their coop is well-supplied with food and water. I have to lead them out of the turkey barn then turn around about 50 feet later and lead them back in so that they will eat.

Invariably, they will look at the feeder as if seeing it for the first time, chortling in shock and happiness at the same bounty that they have had every morning -- but apparently have maintained no mental tracking code of -- for the past four months.

Not that I need any more proof of this ignorance, but it should be noted that they celebrate wildly every time we clean a water trough, because they are enthralled with the jug of Clorox. In fact, the toms try to mate with it. Of course, a tom's big, clumsy talons secure no purchase on the smooth plastic, and he'll go pitching forward off the jug, his beak sticking into the ground like a lawn dart.

One of the dogs' favorite games is to stick their heads down a groundhog hole, mirthfully hoping the critter will emerge for a good scrap. They know he won't, of course, but it's all in good fun.

Well, this game caught the attention of the turkeys the other day. They assumed in a very literal way -- turkeys do not do irony -- that there must be something down the hole of value, for all seven proceeded to stick their considerable necks down the hole.

They stayed that way until we all tired of watching. The dogs were particularly crushed, because, for them, the turkeys had just ruined a jolly good sport. Somehow, seeing another creature peering stupidly down the hole with the very real expectation of results just spoiled all the fun of it.

The turkeys get into everything we do. We cannot, for example, sit outside and peel peaches -- or do anything for that matter -- because the turkeys will be over it, around it and in it. I have this black hatred of them, but it does me no good. You cannot get mad at a turkey, any more than you can get angry with a tomato plant.

You can't scream at them, because they do not care. You can't kick or otherwise disable them, because they have value; heritage turkeys bring prime prices at Thanksgiving.

But I do know this: This Thanksgiving, no one will be more thankful than I am.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at"> Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under">, on or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 evenings at 6:30. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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