Wednesday, July 23

I Brake for Turkeys

The other day, I'm driving down River Road and an oncoming car blinks its lights at me. If I were in Houston, this would mean there was a cop ahead with a radar gun and an itchy, ticket-writing trigger finger lying in wait. In rural Tennessee this courtesy signal can mean any number of things: 1) beware, farm equipment ahead blocking all lanes, 2) beware, fresh roadkill ahead, 3) beware, Billy Bob is on the loose again with a chainsaw and a pick ax, [see item 8 on my list of Good Things to Know] or 4) ____________ fill in the blank.

I slowed down and proceeded cautiously on this twisty-turny road. After several minutes of not seeing anything out of the ordinary, I wondered aloud what the fuss was about [yes, I was alone in the car and yes, I do talk to myself out loud in said vehicle on occasion]. Just then, I picked up movement on the left side of the road in my peripheral vision.

A wild turkey hen appeared to be playing a game of peek-a-boo, bobbing her head up, looking around, then ducking down in a tall patch of grass. Now folks, this is not "normal" turkey behavior, so I knew something was up and braked to a stop. After one more peek (or was it a boo?) she stepped from her protective cover followed by another hen and a brood of chicks. They casually strolled past me and disappeared into what was surely greener grass waiting for them on the other side of the road.

I moved on, happy in the knowledge I hadn't increased the roadkill percentages that day. Then it hit me, the conscientious motorist was not the pace car for the turkey parade, nor would he have even known momma turkey was about to step out with her brood, so I again slowed down and sure enough, on the next hill was a man walking toward me and away from a broken down van stopped part-way on the road. I didn't stop to offer help as he was nearing a local tavern where he could get help and a cold adult beverage.

This little haiku bubbled up later in the evening [after an adult beverage, I might add]

I brake for turkeys
their heads bob across the road,
safe till November

1 comment:

Deb Moore said...

Love the haiku. How perfect of Mother Earth to make that van break down just so she could warn you about her turkeys. . .