A Turkey’s Grief

Yesterday when I got back from a hike there were several turkeys in my yard in the high grass. I let my dogs out of my car anyway—they can’t catch turkeys. I hadn’t figured that the poults have lately arrived, the baby turkeys. When my dogs took off a dozen or more flew up out of the grass. One of my dogs was soon on top of one. I pulled him off. The thing flapped a few feet and just lay there. I went up and tried to help it along. It looked about two or three days old. Its leg was broken, its left eye was rimmed red with fear and injury. I love living by the woods, but sometimes it tears you up. I got a large rock from my driveway and dropped it on the poult.

A half hour later I looked out and one of the grown turkeys had come back. It was settled down right where I’d killed the poult, like it was roosting on it, waiting for it to revive. It didn’t seem to care that my dogs were out. After a while it walked away, slowly.

But she was back again this morning, just hanging around that spot, sitting, waiting.

A Turkey’s Grief