In my post a few days ago I made reference to the shooting of the Waynesville town turkey. I received enough inquiries to dig out the story from the archives and post it.
It should be noted that long before I started the blog, these musings of mine were used as a cover letter for the twice monthly invoicing of my regular clients. It was at their encouragement that I began the blog.
This was sent on November 22, 2011, approximately one month after the execution of Tom.
It's time to once again to send out the invoices and I was considering writing a sappy heart-felt letter of gratitude for your business and to remind everyone to count their blessings every day and not just on the third Thursday of November, but instead I decided to tell one of my (hopefully) witty (but true) stories.
I was lamenting with a friend this morning (you know who you are), about a great tragedy the recently befell my little mountain town. A year or so ago, a rancorous tom turkey took up residence on the east side of our little burb. He made the parking lot of the Apple Crate restaurant his headquarters, but was not adverse to wandering the nearby neighborhoods or obstinately standing in the middle of the road to stop traffic and peck at the tires of the (mostly) amused drivers.
No local ever ventured over to that side of town without keeping a close eye out for Tom Gobbles and watching for his ever escalating antics. It was refreshing to see an icon of Americana, a true soul of wildlife, decide that we, as a species, were not so bad that he couldn't coexist in the same habitat.
And then a couple of months ago, the county animal control officers decided that Old Tom was getting too tame and unafraid of humans. It was stated in the paper that wildlife in town was dangerous and that the avian mascot of Waynesville was becoming a nuisance. He had to go. Our government henchmen tried unsuccessfully for several weeks to trap our beloved bird and relocate him to what they thought would be a better home. These inane attempts were met with the ridicule and animus of the local populace and the disdain of the elusive bearded one himself.
Finally in frustration, our duly appointed officers cornered poor Tom in the yard of his favorite restaurant. One of the county’s agents, our lone female warden, embarrassed by the numerous ineffective attempts to humanely deal with this overly exaggerated municipal menace, reached into her official county pickup and extracted a shotgun from it security rack. In front of a restaurant full of patrons and a family with small children exiting their minivan, she aimed carefully and shot Old Tom dead. (There's more news and accounts on Tom’s FaceBook page -- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tom-Gobbles/201424043209757 )
Now I blame our country’s famous founding father, Benjamin Franklin for this senseless assassination. He, of course, wanted the wild turkey to be our national bird and the symbol our great nation. If he would have spent less time flying kites and more time addressing the Continental Congress, he might have succeeded, and I'm sure our town turkey would have been protected from the aggression of our runaway government in action.
Now, if the US icon was a turkey instead of the bald eagle, I'm not so sure we'd eat quite so many fowl dinners, and frankly, the idea of roast eagle just doesn’t sound appetizing. It might also have led to a tradition of feasting on turkey, cornbread stuffing, and mashed potatoes as a Fourth of July celebration. But then again, the tryptophan and over-stuffed belt-lines may have put a serious damper on the late evening fireworks.
One last observation: Maybe, just maybe, good ole Ben has posthumously won out in his attempt to promote a different US symbol. I don't know about you, but whenever our Washington DC politicians start to talk, all I can think of is a bunch of turkeys.
Gobble-gobble. Happy Thanksgiving.