Sunday, June 26, 2005

Turkey Jerky

The other day while on duty at work I was running an errand from one building to another. As I crossed the courtyard towards the front door, a lone turkey hopped down from a wall just off to my left and trotted along a trajectory perpendicular to my own. I stopped and gave the turkey plenty of room to move. These urban turkeys normally travel in a group. They are also quite docile, but I wanted to keep my distance in case his solitude was evidence of a newfound feral attitude. There's no telling if the bird would flip out and attack like the suburban turkey who invaded a woman's home earlier this year.

Or, even worse, I could suffer the fate of blogger Honnistaibe, who was attacked by a wild turkey while biking the Youghiogheny River a few weeks ago:

...I encountered on the trail two large wild turkeys with two "‘baby turkeys"”. As they moved to one side of the trail I left the limestone part of the trail on the opposite side to give them plenty of room. Just before I was even with them one of the adults became “"airborne"” and attacked, "“beaking"” me between my nose and mouth.
Ouch! They attack you wherever you go. At home, on the trail...perhaps even at work. I may no longer feel safe leaving my building. And all the bird was doing was trying to protect its young. Stupid turkey. What does he think he is, a bear? Next time I'm out with my kids, I'll attack the first bike rider I see just to show him who's boss. Right.
Half dazed on the ground from the impact I realized that this bird of prey was coming at me again for a second taste and I started screaming and cursing...ready to wring its damn neck if it came any closer but the fowl suddenly realized its advantage of surprise was now gone and retreated with its family over a nearby hill toward the river.
Perhaps I am a bit sadistic about such things, but when I see a bird with a scrawny neck like a turkey or an ostrich, I can't help but think about how easy it would be to grab it by the neck and twist it or pop it out of place. Only in an act of self-defense, of course. Aibe was lucky to get away with just a beak attack. He would have needed to do something to that turkey's neck in a big hurry if he wanted to avoid having his chest ripped open and his heart punctured by the monster's talons.

A visit to his local emergency room determined that Aibe really was beaten up as bad as he thought -- maybe worse. But he seems totoughtought sort of bird himself, and judging by the latest posts on his blog, is making a slow but steady recovery from the attack. Don't let the turkeys get you down, man. Let that swimming routine work you back into shape.

And for Pete's sake, please take some kind ofrepellentellant along the next time you hit the trail.

3 comments:

Doug said...

Tasty animals should really avoid provoking meat-eaters. Vegetarians are fair game of course. Survival of the fittest and all.

Honnistaibe said...

Several have asked me what it was like to be attacked by a turkey. Bearing in mind that I wasn't aware that turkeys could "fly":
On the cockfighting episode of "Seinfeld" they have this one terrifying scene where as Kramer tries to save "Little Jerry" the "Killer Rooster" flaps its wings and flies directly at the camera...that is exactly what it appeared like to me just before the crash.
Also please note that the only direct damage to me from the turkey (who we have determined was a "female")was a 3/4 inch laceration starting in my upper lip. My lingering injuries (bruised ribs, left shoulder dislocation and right elbow strain) while indirectly attributable to the attack were the result of the ensuing 10mph bicycle crash.
Unfortunately wild turkeys don't have the kind of "economic deep pockets" one would like to find when assigning liability blame for such an accident.

Honnistaibe said...

Oh.. for you Steeler fans..please note that fortunately I was wearing a helmet..