We left for our morning walk at 5:45 AM as usual, and, as usual, walked up the driveway
before turning left up Scenic Drive toward Newsome Heights. The hedges lost their beautiful spring red flowers, or leaves, I could never be sure which they were. We turned right, past the yellow fire hydrant. Rosie has no interest in the fire hydrant. Maybe because she squats to pee and doesn’t lift her leg, or maybe because none of her friends frequent it either. We passed John’s house on the right then Harry and Kathrine’s house on the corner, next to the second yellow fire hydrant. Then we saw them, or rather they saw us. There were a lot of them this morning, not the three or four we often see.
“Dad? Can I chase them, Dad? Can I?” Rosie asked anxiously, stretching her neck towards the turkeys while making our usual right turn down the other end of Scenic Drive, all the while straining on her bright pink leash. .
“No, Rosie. Leave them alone. It’s too early for any noise, besides, there are too many and if you spook them they could attack you and believe me, you don’t want that. Wild turkeys can be vicious.”
“No, Rose. Behave and be a good girl.”
The turkeys saw, or heard, or caught scent of Rosie, or me, and started to trot away. As we moved closer they picked up their pace. There must have been more than a dozen of them running across, and down the road into the yards, around the trees and cars of the residents on the left side of the street.
Rosie continued to pull on the leash straining towards the fleeing turkeys, urging them on. I couldn’t bring myself to say “egging” them on. Several of the turkeys took flight and escaped to the roof of the first house on the left.
“Wow! Look at that Dad!. That is one big bird!”
“I told you so. You don’t want to mess with one of them, much less a whole flock.”
“Hey Dad. Are they a flock or a rafter of turkeys? I always forget which is which.”
Luckily I had my smart phone, I never leave home without it, and Googled a “flock of turkeys.” Apparently, domesticated turkeys are a rafter and wild turkeys are a flock. I didn’t know that. At this point half the turkeys were on the roof of the house and the
balance were beat-feeting it down Scenic where they disappeared around someone’s house.
A few minutes later I responded, “They are a flock. They are wild turkeys.”
A second later Rosie queried, “They live around humans and nest in their back yards. Are you calling that wild or domesticated?”
“They are wild. They aren’t raised as food and don’t live in cages or behind fences.”
“I don’t live in a cage, and I am not raised as human food. Am I a wild dog then?”
“You are a pet, sort of. Dogs are not turkeys. The rules are different,” I said, becoming exasperated. Sometimes walking Rosalita is more work than is apparent, or necessary.
“That seems very unfair to the turkeys. I think they are as domesticated as I am so
henceforth I am going to refer to groups of our neighborhood turkeys as rafters.”
“Henceforth?” I thought. “Where does she come up with this crap. She is just a dog, for crying out loud.”
“Humph,” she huffed. “Just a dog? With more sense than many, dare I say it, MOST humans?”
“Wait,” I stopped walking. “I didn’t say that out loud. Are you reading my thoughts now?”
“No, Dad. Don’t have cow, or a bird, heh heh. Get it? I am just reading your expression and body language. I don’t need to read your thoughts to know what you are thinking. Your face says it all and your body confirms it.”
“Well stop it and try to remember who is the Dad here and who is the dog.”
Oh how I wished 6:00 AM would come so Smerconish would start and I could pay attention to the XM radio instead of this cute little demon on a bright pink leash.