Tale of Two Turkeys
Will the Real Turkeys...Please Stand Up
Some of you have read a few of my hubs about when I was younger, and probably dumber than I am today. When I was working on those hubs, my brain started recalling some other long forgotten events that took place back then, They were not funny when they happened, but today they are hilarious, at least in my family's eyes. This next event happened again, during my growing up years and I was about 10 or so. My best friend and I lived fairly close together and we walked everywhere for the most part. Everything we did was within walking distance of our homes...our school, a couple playgrounds, 2 parks, and so forth.
My friend, Dave, lived up the street and had 3 sisters. I had the biggest crush on his oldest sister for years and went out a few times when in high school. She was a hottie and....er... another story for another time! About a 10 minute walk from his house, was a pretty large park, at least back then it was. Its name was Vinita Park and there was just a huge amount of space to play when away from the playground and picnic area. There were a lot of woods around the south, west, and east side of the park then and another great play area for a bunch of kids. Seeing it today, much has changed. A huge industrial park was built sometime after I left the immediate area and over half the park vanished. What a shame!
But, back in the 1960's...ah, the golden decade for me, the park was just perfect. Dave told me about a woman who actually lived on the park grounds, which to me was weird. I didn't think a private citizen could live on public property like that, but she did. Dave called her Old Lady York. I never had met her, so just kind of shrugged my shoulders. Dave had a natural gift of finding ways to drag me into trouble and this was another one of those time his gift went above and beyond.
Dave told me that Old Lady York, and when I did finally see her, think she should have been called Ancient Lady York, had a bunch of birds that she kept fenced in around her home. That didn't sound very interesting to me, but I saw the grin on his face and knew something was up! Being curious at this point and knowing Dave, I decided what the heck and wanted to see this BIG attraction. We walked down the street, cut across this open field to a driveway that led into the park from the back. I never knew that was even there, so that was interesting and used it often later.
Up the driveway we went, coming to a small house about halfway up this hill, surrounded by a pretty tall fence. There was no top to it, so wondered how the lady kept the birds from getting away. All at once I smelled a smell that would take paint off the wall. Talk about stink! It made my eyes water so pulled my shirt up over my nose and mouth to breathe. I never smelled anything like that in my life and didn't want to ever again! Dave had his face covered too and said to follow him.
What on earth could smell that bad? It almost gave me the heaves and I didn't want to have any part of this until.....OH BOY...I saw the birds!! My brain kicked into overdrive when I thought about the possibilities with this encounter. My friend just looked at me and laughed...he was thinking the same thing!
These weren't just birds, but about a flock or whatever they are called of about 200 turkeys! These beauties were not little bitty birds, but full grown adults. They were everywhere and I was just itching to introduce myself to these new acquaintances. I never saw a live turkey before and had no clue as to what they would do, so both of us crept slowly up to the gate and just watched. The turkeys didn't really do anything differently. A few of the braver gobblers came over to us and just looked us over, but for the most part, the others just ignored us. These suckers were big...almost as tall as we were when standing upright.
We looked around to see if the coast was clear, opened the gate and went in. I was still a bit uneasy since these dudes and dudettes were as big as I was and there were at least 200 of them besides. If they got mad, we would be trampled and become road kill, or in this case, turkey pen kill. We would never be found in here...they would peck the skin right off of our stupid bones and probably eat those too! I knew something about turkeys, not much, but did recall hearing these big birds had little in the brains department...meaning they were dumb as a rock and as stupid as can be. That was fine...with our superior human brains, what could happen??
Apparently, Dave had been here before at some point...probably getting a former best friend into big trouble like what was going to happen to me right now, because Dave just took off waving his arms and charged these huge two legged dinners! I thought he had lost his mind, which was possible. I just stood there not sure whether to get out of the fenced area or just hit the dirt and hope I wouldn't be trampled to death. But one look at the ground convinced me not to do the latter. There was the dirt, but also the source of that awful stench that was everywhere! That was first time I saw turkey poop, and it was pretty impressive considering there were a couple hundred depositors in this cage.
Dave was having a blast! The turkeys went berserk and were scattering everywhere trying to get away from him, the lunatic. No matter where he went, the turkeys went flying everywhere to get away from him. The noise was unbelievable and thought that anything within a 100 mile radius would hear this commotion, but it did look like fun!
Any reasoning or sanity left me at that point. Maybe it was the stink fogging up my brain, or just watching Dave having the time of his life. Feathers were flying everywhere and the whole turkey pen was in utter chaos. I threw caution to the wind and thought there was no way Dave was going to have all the fun! I jumped in head first, not literally, and joined the circus.
With Dave alone, it was bad enough, but when I joined in the commotion, the birds went absolutely nuts! Two of us were chasing these stupid birds and they were in full rout, doing anything to get away from two crazy humans! Feathers just filled the air and the noise was deafening! Neither of us thought about where the owner, Old Lady York, was. She surely heard all of this racket that was taking place right outside of her home! We didn't see her, so we kept having the time or our lives....until....
What happened next was getting to be a common ending of my fun and those with me. Dave and I stopped immediately when we heard an unidentified sound come blasting through all the turkey screeching! We froze in fear...the cops! I thought to myself..oh no, not again. What is it with old people calling the cops on poor little kids? Well, this time I was caught red handed in my lawbreaking.The turkeys were still running like someone dropped a bomb inside their cage, but they were starting to calm down. I had feathers all over me and so did Dave. What a mess! There was no way to get out of this one..the evidence was literally all over both of us.
Old Lady York was outside, but we didn't see her come out. Since Dave and I were inside a fence with an army of turkey dinners that were about the same size we were, we didn't notice a little, sweet old lady with a shotgun in her hand! My eyes got big as I stared down the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun! At first I thought she was a dwarf...she was so small, maybe about 4 feet tall at the most, but this gun looked like a missile launcher and it was almost as big as she was! If she took a shot at us, she would probably fly a mile or so back into the woods from the recoil. My eyes were glued to that gun and I was scared to death! Dave, wanted to run, but I wasn't going to move one hair! That lady was small, but that gun wasn't and the look on her face told me she knew how to use it!
The police officer came out of his patrol car after turning off the siren that he had on for a few seconds. I wonder if he turned it on to get our attention when he drove up, or to stop Old Lady York from spreading our innards all over the park! He motioned to Dave and me to come out and reluctantly we did. I had no desire to come over to two people armed with guns...but at least the policeman didn't have his out, just the lady with the bazooka! Dave and I came over and I started to inch my way behind the policeman to get him between me and the psycho lady! Dave just stood there looking at the ground! We were both going to get it and good!
The policeman, of course, asked what was going on and we told him the truth. We couldn't deny it as feathers still floated around us. At this point I wasn't going to do anything to provoke the lady to start target practice on me! Dave didn't say a word, the rat! Then the lady started telling what happened, and she told the police she heard her birds going crazy and thought some dog or animal had gotten in, so she grabbed the gun to chase it off. CHASE it off! With that cannon? if she shot the dog, its pieces would still be floating all over the park! She told the police how disappointed she was in us, two Vinita Park children doing such a mean thing! Right then, I opened my big mouth, again, and said, "Uh...we don't live in Vinita Park, we live in Hanley Hills." Why I said that, I still don't know, but one thing I do know was that it was dumb! She glared at us and explained that turkeys are so dumb that they will drop dead in their tracks if something is chasing them. I thought she was telling a big lie, but she insisted that if Dave and I had kept on chasing turkeys, they would have run themselves to death at some point.
Now I really felt like a creep and so did Dave. All we were doing was having fun, but had no desire to kill or harm anything. I really felt bad and hoped there weren't any dead turkeys in the pen...if there were, Dave and I might be joining them. The policeman put both Dave and I in the back seat of his car and the two adults surveyed the damage. At least we had some metal surrounding us if Rambo and the shotgun came over to us! Feathers were everywhere! The ground inside looked as if it had snowed. Man, we were cooked! I got restless in the back seat so started picking off feathers. The were starting to itch and I didn't want anything to make me more uncomfortable than I was. Dave and I had a bunch of them stuck to our shirts, socks, collars and we probably smelled bad too when running through the turkey poop all over the place.
The two came out of the pen and said there were no casualties...we were lucky! Maybe no prison time since nothing died, at least not yet anyway! We left in the car and now were driving home to face our parents. Oh joy! Round two!
We went to Dave's house first and I stayed put. I knew Dave's mom and dad and wanted no part of what he was going to get. He was a dead man and didn't want to be even close to the execution. When that was done, we drove to my house, about a 4 minute walk. I went in and faced General Mom. My poor mom, it seems whenever my brother or me screwed up, the local law enforcement always got involved. I wanted to just sink through the floor and slither down the drain in the basement. Nothing really bad happened. I wasn't strung up in the nearest tree, but my posterior got to play with the wooden paddle that was on top of the fridge. Yeah, I got my cheeks tanned good. When Dad got home, he added a little more to the mix. I could hardly walk, but at least I was alive and not smeared all over some wall of Old Lady York's house or have my head mounted and put in her living room!
My Dad actually thought it was funny at some point, because he used to tease me for years about this. He would walk up behind me and go "Gobble, gobble, gobble!" and just roared with laughter while I turned about a dozen shades of red. Then, Mom and my brother added to my humiliation and to this day, they still do that on occasion, usually around Thanksgiving or when we have turkey for dinner.
So, the real 'Turkeys' in this escapade were Dave and myself....Gobble, Gobble!!!