A Minnesotan

Matters of Turkeys and Armadillos


Over the years I have discussed geese, ducks and of course goats. However, what I have yet to discuss are turkeys.

My current neighborhood has a roaming gang of wild turkeys that has at least ten members. Which I go to great lengths to avoid as they are wild turkeys. With good cause too as I once watched them chase a college student down the street. As I watched from my living room window it got me thinking about two encounters that I’ve had with wild turkeys. Except mine were both out in rural Minnesota rather than being chased down a Twin Cities suburban street.

My first encounter was when I was about five or six years old. I had gone with my father to the farm of one of his church members at the time. This particular member did not keep a dog but still needed something to keep wild animals out of his chickens. So he kept an attack turkey.

This attack turkey was a big old Tom that was roughly the same size that I was at the time. And this turkey did his job well and pretty much attacked anything that it saw. Including me.

Well that big old Tom came running at me and I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me until it was called off. It felt like I had been chased forever. In reality it probably only chased me for all of one to two minutes but it felt like forever.

About 10 years later I had my second encounter with a wild turkey. I was walking outside with my mother and sister when I saw something stirring in the brush out of the corner of my eye. Then suddenly it moved and like any logical person would do I screamed “Armadillo!” Well the screaming caused it to fly up into the air right in front of me. To which I screamed again “Flying armadillo!”

Of course as this is Minnesota and not the South it was in fact not an armadillo nor can armadillos of any kind fly. As you might have already guessed it was in fact a turkey. More especially it was a mother hen who thought I was after her nest and was doing her best to get me to move away from it.