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Wild Turkey in My Kitchen

No really. There was a wild turkey in my kitchen this morning. Alive. The morning started out as it always does on Sundays. I get up, head to the front door with the dog for me to collect the paper and him to pee. But before making it to the front door, I notice a wild turkey in the back yard, out by the pool. We live in the suburbs, but are surrounded by open space, so are blessed with abundant wildlife. Like wild turkeys.


I don’t mind that a dozen or so have decided to make the tall Monterrey Pines in our backyard their sleeping quarters. I don’t even mind their chatter in the morning when they wake up. But I do mind when they come in close around the pool. I like no squishes under my bare feet, thank you very much.


So I see the lone turkey by the pool. I open the sliding door and head out with the dog to gently scoot it back towards the trees. I know the dog won't make contact with the bird. We've done this before. He is a border collie, not a trained herding dog, but he likes a job to do.


Off goes the dog, off goes the turkey around the side of the house. That’s good, right? Yes, but for some reason this border collie decides that today I want him to collect the livestock rather than drive it away.  Seconds after the turkey and dog disappear around the corner, they reappear. The dog is clearly pleased with himself. The turkey makes a bee line towards the open sliding door.  In they both run. Into the house. Into the kitchen/family room of my home with a very open floor plan. A floor plan that, on most days, delights me. A floor plan that is not good for containing running wild turkeys. Not good at all. (Note to self: must disclose this defect when selling the house).


The turkey takes a few laps around the house as I get the dog to lie down. The turkey is freaked out and momentarily hides under the kitchen table, so I manage to start closing retractable doors that haven’t left their hiding places in the walls in years. Okay, I can do this. We’re limited to one big room now. A room with a door leading outside.


In walks my daughter, sporting a bed head from a good night’s sleep, asking, “What’s all the noise about?” I explain that there is a turkey in the kitchen. She automatically looks outside, “No there’s not.” I nod yes, and point under the kitchen table and pantomime a turkey bobbing its neck, offering as much help as I can to let her process that yes, there is a live wild turkey in our house.


I strategically station my daughter with her thumb firmly hooked into the dog’s collar as I gently shoosh the frightened turkey out from under the table .  As I stand three feet away telling this bird that it can’t do what it wants to do (hide), I am grateful that turkeys are not carnivores but wonder how much damage those long toes could do. It finally makes a decision that benefits us all and scampers out the open door.


After this the Sunday paper was boring.