With two boys in tow, one must find new adventures- or old reliable ones. So after lunch today, we drove out to Wakefield- mostly on a lark, just to drive somewhere. Nice, comfortable adventure, to see sheep and geese. Yes, indeed.
The sheep were out when we walked up the path, even the ram. I worried about the ram being out, so I didn't let the kids get too close to the sheep; they sat right down and giggled at them from a few paces distance. Then over by the Blacksmith building, I could make out a big tom turkey! The fox problem must be solved- new coops! The turkey was in the usual circuit to the pig pens, through the gate to the tobacco garden, then another gate back into the walnut trees and back to the center. Well, he was just off it, so I warned the guys to keep distance, and we were on our way to gobble at the turkey.
Never gobble at a free-ranging turkey.
Suddenly four turkey hens came racing out of the blacksmith shop towards us (the ranger later said they probably thought we had food). We stopped where we were, because turkeys are pretty big, and I didn't want the kids to be bitten. But suddenly, the tom came running- right at Andy! We turned to run, and the turkey leapt up on poor Andy!
You know, if a turkey comes running at us, I really don't mind turning and moving away, which is what we started to do. But jumping on my kid with big talons is not cool.
I think he chose Andy because Andy was wearing a santa hat, and he may have mistaken it him for another turkey. I swept the hat from the child's head, and told him to run as the turkey turned and leapt upon Joey. Mind you, that damn bird was as big as Joey when his wings came out. Joey backed off and I got between the boys and the turkey, and they kept coming at us, finally getting around me to jump on poor Andy again. I smacked the turkey with the hat to get him to back off. I finally told the guys to "keep moving", and off towards the gate and the pigpens they trotted.
I fended the thing off, and caught up to the guys in front of the pens; everybody was OK. Then... from behind came the harrowing sound of gobble-gobble-gobble, and the turkeys were charging again! I got the guys through the gate, and beat off the birds, then turned to catch up with the guys, who were halfway to the second gate and the walnut trees.
Turning around is apparently a bad idea when one is battling turkeys. Here they came, making a ruckus. I turned back around fast and smacked him with the hat again, and gave my own battle cry. The tom backed down and strutted towards teh first gate with his harem milling around him. The guys had stopped to watch; I called to them to keep moving. They got through the gate, and I had to run to try to keep them in sight. I looked around and realized another family had been watching our battle from across the fields. We called to them to stay away from the turkeys.
But those turkeys weren't done. I got the guys gathered and hugged... they wanted to go back and look at the sheep, but I wasn't about to run the turkey gauntlet again- when here those damn birds came again. The boys ran. I fended them off with the hat, then chased them into a little side lane, and I guess they finally decided I meant business. I managed to get the boys turkey-free to the center. We recounted our adventure to the ranger, who promised to lock the monster up.
So you guys can have fun imaging me slashing through the air, wielding a santa hat like a red fluffy sword, fending off the ugly blue mug of a tom turkey, gobbling his fiercest.