A Fraught Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Odyssey Through Camberville

My turkey buddy, Bandi, and I were strolling through the Cambridge Common, minding our own business when this nosy Homo sapien approached to take some pictures.

Bandi and I on the Cambridge Common
Bandi and I on the Cambridge Common near Harvard Square

What is the matter with Homo sapiens? You would think that species had never seen a turkey before! 

Unfortunately he positioned himself between us and our friends, Candy, Dandee, and Milton, who were ahead of us, about to leave the Cambridge Common and walk up Mass Ave. toward Porter Square.

Camberville is our neighborhood, it is our territory. We were on patrol and in search of a meal, and then a quiet place to sleep near Davis Square.

Fortunately, the photographer took only three pictures and he departed quickly. 

Bandi turned to me and said “We’ve got to get moving, we’re going to lose them.”

Bandi was right, Homo sapiens can be a dangerous and unpredictable species, they are nothing but trouble. But we turkeys have strength in numbers and five is better than two. We needed to quickly catch-up with our friends.

We shifted into a turkey trot – I prefer not to fly unless it is absolutely necessary; flying is so exhausting! – and soon caught up with them as they reached Mass Ave. and headed toward Porter Square.

It was a beautiful day, late afternoon, before the dinner crowd swarms the sidewalks. As we ambled on the sidewalk of Mass Ave., people scattered as we approached, like rabbits running from coyotes. They acted as if we had a contagious disease or were a terrifying weapon. I don’t know what these people are thinking, given the impending holiday season, it is us who should be fearful of them.

This holiday season always freaks me out. Why do Homo sapiens have a holiday in which they annually celebrate with the poultricide of my friends. And they have the impudence to call it “thanks giving.” No thanks!

The sidewalk was occupied by the five of us as well as people, dogs, signs, chairs, and tables. In some locations the sidewalk was so narrow that we would have to choose between flight (figuratively or literally) or fight.  

Bandi, Candy, Dandee, Milton, and I in Davis Square, Somerville
Bandi, Candy, Dandee, Milton, and I near Davis Square, Somerville

Today we chose flight, figuratively. To avoid the crowd we stepped off the sidewalk, between the park cars and onto Mass Ave. I hate it when I have to step onto Mass Ave. I know what road kill is! Why don’t they have turkey lanes! We were here first! We certainly deserve to have turkey lanes; given everything Homo sapiens have wrought upon us, that is the least they could do for us.

The trip to Porter Square did not result in any serious untoward interactions with the humans, and we had the good fortune to find some delicious morsels a kind person left for us on the sidewalk. There was a bagel with cream cheese near Bagelsaurus and an ice cream cone with, I think it was acorn ice cream, near the Creamery. And there were a scattering of other tasty snacks along the way. It would have been really nice if one of Giulia’s clientele had left us a few semolina cakes, but no such luck on this trip.

By the time we reached Porter Square, we were all well sated and looking forward to settling in for the night. 

At Porter Square, we had to cross Mass Ave. into the Porter Square shopping center parking lot. This intersection always raises a ruckus as all the people, bikers, cars, and trucks stop to take our picture. We must be the most famous turkeys on the internet – so many pictures of us, every day! 

Bandi, Dandee, Milton and I always play it cool and pretend we don’t notice the commotion. But not Candy, Candy is quite vain. She looks forward to crossing Mass Ave., knowing everyone will stop to watch her. She always fluffs-up her feathers and lifts up her head high, as if she was parading in front of the toms.

Or maybe she does it because she believes the people will leave her alone as she is so beautiful. On the other hand, it is almost Thanksgiving, so I am worried that a human will think that if she is beautiful, she will also be delicious, in the culinary sense. Yikes!

In my opinion, inconspicuousness is a safer option.

The Porter Square shopping center parking lot was filled with cars, so many cars. Sometimes they moved forward, other times backward. Sometimes they drove straight ahead, other times they drove at an angle. It was so confusing and dangerous.

We needed to get to the other side, but, as I said, I only fly when it is absolutely necessary and this did not meet that standard.

While we were seeking a safe route through this chaotic jumble of cars, bikes and people, we became aware the Dandee was not with us. I quickly looked around, to no avail. I started to panic. We were five, we are now four. Five is better than four!

We gobbled for her but it was so noisy she couldn’t possibly hear us; and we didn’t have time to stand still and discuss our options before a car or person approached us. This was bad! This was dangerous! Five is better than four!

We saw no feathers and could not hear her gobbling. We did not know if Dandee was dead or alive! And The Holiday is near! They took Dandee! 

I decided that we had to get away from all these cars as fast as possible. I told you I can fly, but it is a lot of work and I don’t do it unless it was absolutely necessary. NOW, it was absolutely necessary! I took off for the sky and headed toward Davis Square, where there are a few large trees we could sleep in for the night. Bandi, Candy, and Milton immediately followed, but not Dandee.

By sunset we were safely ensconced in the crown of a large maple, away from Homo sapiens, dogs, and the occasional coyote.

Then we began to gobble:

Bandi: “I am worried about Dandee.”

Candy: “Dandee would share her food with me, she was so kind.”

Milton: “Once, a car honked at me and Dandee ran to my side and began to gobble at the car and the car backed away. Dandee was so brave!”

Me (Andy): “Dandee is resourceful and smart. She will be alright… I think.”

Bandi: “I want to be like Dandee when I grow up.”

We needed our sleep, as tomorrow was to be a long hike to Central Square.  

We gobbled quietly for a time, and were starting to get sleepy, when we were rudely interrupted by the cacophonous sounds of percussion and brass instruments. Apparently the Homo sapiens were preparing for some upcoming “Honk!”ing event. 

Homo sapiens are so arrogant and disrespectful! They act as if they are the only species that matters in this world and everything else is there to serve their needs and desires. What an arrogant and despicable species!

While the band droned on, sleeping would have to wait. And we were all thinking about Dandee.

Somewhere around moonrise, the band stopped playing and we finally got to sleep.

When the moon was directly overhead and all the Homo sapiens were sleeping and the world was quiet, we could hear Dandee’s mournful, soft, sobbing gobbles coming from the big maple tree that is between Porter and Davis Square. We knew that tree well, as we had slept there on many occasions. Milton, he has the best and loudest gobble, immediately gave three powerful gobbles.

We didn’t have to wait more than a minute before Dandee flew in to join us. We were so happy and Dandee was ecstatic! We gobbled and gobbled and gobbled until we heard the cat scream at us, so we quieted down knowing that our rafter was complete. We are again five and five is better than four.

That night, I had a dream. I dreamt that from horizon to horizon, the land was covered by fruit trees, nut trees, berries, flowers, fields of grasses and grains, the sky was an azure blue, the stars were diamonds in the sky and the rivers, lakes, and oceans were crystal clear. And there was not a Homo sapien for as far as the eye could see, the ear could hear, or the nose could smell. They had all left. I didn’t know where they went, but I didn’t care. They were gone and we were again safe and happy.

Andy Turkey

2 October 2023


Addendum: To understand the process that led to the creation of this story, see my diary entry of 10/2/2023. Hayward Zwerling

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