It all started when I decided to volunteer at the local animal shelter. I love animals and I wanted to do something good for them. I thought I would be helping out with dogs and cats, maybe some rabbits or hamsters. But when I arrived at the shelter, they told me they had a special assignment for me. They needed someone to take care of their newest resident: a turkey.
A turkey? I was surprised and confused. Why would they have a turkey at the shelter? Was it a pet that someone abandoned? Was it a rescue from a farm? Was it a Thanksgiving escapee? They explained to me that the turkey was found wandering on the side of the road, looking lost and scared. Someone had called the shelter and they had picked him up. They didn’t know where he came from or how he got there, but they couldn’t just leave him alone. They had no space for him in the shelter, so they had set up a temporary enclosure for him in the backyard. They asked me if I could feed him, water him, and keep him company until they found a suitable home for him.
I agreed to do it, even though I had no experience with turkeys. I mean, how hard could it be? It’s just a bird, right? Wrong. It turned out that turkeys are not just birds; they are complex and fascinating creatures that have their own personalities and quirks. And this turkey was no exception. He was a big, handsome tom with bronze feathers and a red wattle. He had bright eyes and a curious expression. He also had an attitude.
He did not like me at first. He would hiss and peck at me whenever I approached him. He would flap his wings and strut around his enclosure, showing off his plumage and making loud noises. He would ignore the food and water I offered him, preferring to eat bugs and grass instead. He seemed to resent my presence and wanted nothing to do with me.
I was hurt and frustrated by his behavior. I wanted to be his friend, not his enemy. I wanted to make him happy, not angry. I wanted to show him that I cared about him, not that I was trying to control him. But how could I do that when he wouldn’t even let me near him?
I decided to try a different approach. Instead of forcing myself on him, I gave him some space and time. I would sit quietly on the other side of the fence, watching him and talking to him softly. I would tell him stories about my life, my hobbies, my dreams. I would compliment him on his beauty, his intelligence, his strength. I would sing songs to him, hum tunes to him, whistle melodies to him. I would bring him treats like corn, berries, nuts, and seeds. I would toss them over the fence and let him eat them at his own pace.
Gradually, he started to warm up to me. He would stop hissing and pecking at me when I came near. He would stop flapping and strutting when I spoke to him. He would stop ignoring the food and water I gave him and accept them gratefully. He would even come closer to the fence and look at me with interest and curiosity.
One day, he surprised me by making a soft purring sound when I talked to him. It was his way of saying hello and showing affection. It was the sweetest sound I ever heard. I smiled and purred back at him. He tilted his head and blinked at me. It was his way of saying he liked me and trusted me. It was the most wonderful feeling ever.
From then on, we became friends. He would greet me every morning with a purr and a blink. He would listen attentively to my stories and songs. He would eat eagerly from my hand and drink from my cup. He would even let me pet his feathers and stroke his wattle.
He also taught me many things about himself and his kind. He taught me how to communicate with him using different sounds and gestures. He taught me how to play with him using toys like balls, ropes, bells, and mirrors. He taught me how to respect him by following his rules and boundaries.
He also showed me his personality and quirks. He showed me how he liked to sunbathe in the afternoon, spreading his wings and tail feathers wide open. He showed me how he liked to dust bathe in the dirt, rolling around and fluffing up his feathers. He showed me how he liked to roost on high places at night, perching on top of a tree or a shed.
He also showed me his sense of humor and mischief. He showed me how he liked to chase the squirrels and the cats that came into his yard. He showed me how he liked to peck at the shiny things that caught his eye, like buttons, coins, or jewelry. He showed me how he liked to prank me by hiding behind bushes or objects and jumping out at me.
He also showed me his love and loyalty. He showed me how he would protect me from any danger or threat, such as dogs, hawks, or strangers. He showed me how he would comfort me when I was sad or lonely, cuddling up to me and purring softly. He showed me how he would celebrate with me when I was happy or excited, dancing around and gobbling loudly.
He became my best friend and I became his. We were inseparable and we enjoyed every moment together. We had so much fun and we learned so much from each other. We made each other happy and we made each other better.
That’s how I befriended a turkey. It was not easy, but it was worth it. He was not just a bird; he was a friend. And I loved him with all my heart.