For most of my life, I’ve lived in the city. Not in downtown anywhere, but in a neighborhood of some sort. Needless to say, I’ve never had a neighbor who raised any type of poultry or livestock. Until now.
We currently live just outside the city limits. Still in a neighborhood, we just get away with more because we have more trees. Our neighbor, Gary, behind us has two chickens and two turkeys in his backyard. He used to have three chickens, but another neighbor’s dog got into Gary’s backyard and ate one of them.
The chickens are nothing special, really. They walk around, pecking at the ground all day, making obscenely hilarious noises as they lay their eggs, just doing chicken things.
BUT THE TURKEYS!
One of them is so big that it looks like an NBA star climbed into a toddler sized turkey costume and is parading around Gary’s backyard. I call it “Godzurkey”. It’s insane. It literally looks like it’s going to explode out of itself at any moment. It can’t really even walk. It just kind of wobbles from side to side and leans forward to make itself move. If it were already plucked, chopped, gutted, and frozen, that sucker would take up 2/3 of a shopping cart, I swear.
It. Looks. Delicious.
The other turkey is smaller, but still a decent size. He’s probably a yummy 15 pounds. This is the one that I named “Friendly Mister Turkey McGobblePants”, but I call him “Friend” for short. (I’m not actually sure whether they’re male or female. Gary told me once, but I forgot because I was too excited about baby turkeys. I think they might be female, but I don’t really care.)
Friend looks completely anorexic standing behind Godzurkey…
You can* frequently find Friend out on the back fence taunting my dog (Dozer). He likes to walk back and forth flapping his wings while he sings.
Now, I don’t speak turkey, but I do speak dog. Even I’m not willing to repeat some of the things that Dozer says in response to some of Friend’s songs. It’s borderline racism and we don’t tolerate that in this house.
There have been a few times where Friendly Mister Turkey McGobblePants has jumped over the fence into our backyard. Dozer thinks that it’s the best game ever. He chases Friend around the backyard, nipping at his tail, while Friend tries in vain to fly away. I’ve got to admit, Friend has some pretty damn good hops for a turkey with clipped wings.
Of course, when we notice that Dozer and Friend are “playing” together out back, someone has to go out and bring the dog in. I know. I’m an asshole. All they want in the whole big wide world is to be able to break free from the prison of their own boring yards so that they can play together. All I want is not to have to clean up big dead bird chunks from my grass and then go buy a tiny living piece of poultry for Gary.
They’re just destined to be star-crossed lovers until Gary & his family decide to eat them. Like Romeo and Juliet, or The Fox and The Hound.
At one point, Friend was coming to visit so often that we had to check the backyard before we could let Dozer out. On more than one occasion, I had to run after that damn bird so I could put it back over the fence before my dog decided that my bedroom floor was as good a place as any since he couldn’t get outside.
Side note: my dog has excellent bladder control. You’re welcome.
Remember how I told you that this damn turkey has clipped wings? I could not for the fucking life of me, figure out how the hell this thing kept getting into my yard. It took me looking like the karate kid a few times to realize that there was a metal pole leaning against Gary’s side of the fence in their pen. This sneaky little asshole was jump-flapping his way onto this pole, and then up onto the fence!
Turkeys are smarter than we give them credit for, and I’m pretty convinced that this turkey has a plan. He wants me to eat him. Either that, or it’s trying to figure out the best way to kill me so that he can play with my dog.
Anyway, because we rarely see Gary, and I’m too lazy to walk all the way around the neighborhood to get to their front door and tell them to move the damn pole before their turkey goes missing, I told The Manchild to text Gary and let him know that Friend keeps coming to visit Dozer. (wow, that was a long sentence)
In keeping true to “The Manchild” stereotype, mine kept forgetting to text Gary about Friend.
So Friend kept coming over.
*sigh* Damn it.
Eventually, I put a stool on our side of the fence in the hopes that Friend would figure out how to get back over on his own. Guess what? It worked! He’d come over and peck around the fence line for bugs for awhile, while Godzurkey followed from the other side, clucking worriedly. Then he’d hop up on the stool and go back to his own yard when he was done or heard the dog coming.
It was pretty great. I was hoping to get pictures of me chasing him around, but they ended up clipping their wings again, so he hasn’t been back in a little while. They also ended up finally moving that pole, so even when his wings get a little longer and he has his hops back, he won’t be able to visit. Which is good, because – again with the picking up of turkey chunks. I’m not okay with that…
I was out back with the kids the other day and he started talking to me. I really wish I could speak turkey! I tried to get Dozer to teach me, but I’m not sure that was a good idea. You know, with him being racist towards turkeys and all.
So, I’m just going to go ahead and guess that what he meant to say, was that he missed our little games of tag, and listening to me screech and giggle like a little Japanese school girl when we got close to each other, and that spending time with me was the best thing that’s ever happened to him. Or her.
*This is written in present and past tense because Friend’s wings were clipped while this was still in my drafts and I’m too lazy to go back and re-word everything right now. Maybe someday, my anal retentiveness towards certain spelling and grammar will eat at what’s left of my shriveled up soul and I’ll go back and fix it. But probably not, because my procrastinating prevents me from doing too many productive things in any given week.Update: a few hours after posting this, I was in the garage having a cig, when I heard a loud flapping sound in my backyard. This was followed by barking. Friend had gotten over the fence again, and Dozer chased him into another neighbor’s yard. Stupid dog. I brought the dog in, put on my turkey-grabbin-gloves, and went to go hunt him down before he was found roaming the neighborhood, pecking kids eyeballs out of their heads and junk because the neighbor’s gate recently collapsed for some reason. I couldn’t find him at first, so I walked around saying “Here, Friend… Here, Friendly Friend… Oh Mister Friendly Turkey McGobblePants…” for a few minutes before I went back to my yard. That fucker was already home, so apparently the saga continues… And Gary needs to learn to clip wings better.