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My Thanksgiving Turkey


    Every morning for the last two years, I walk an hour, as part of my commute to work. My tour goes through some of the quiet back roads in Brookline. Many mornings, I have met a wild turkey and over the months, have become acquainted with him. He always appears in the early morning in the same Brookline neighborhood. In the beginning, I would see him, sleeping on a doorstep or perched on someone's porch railing, where he looked very out-of-place, being around 3 feet high from his feet to the top of his head.
    After a while, he seemed to be waiting for me. Sometimes, I would hear his distant gobble and he suddenly would fly into the yard, next to where I was walking. On occasion, he would follow right behind me, as I walked on the sidewalk, for a distance of 500 feet. One morning, however, we met not one, but two people walking their little dogs. The turkey seemed very nervous about it, but continued to follow me and then flapped his wings and flew at the back of me. It was a little disconcerting, but I felt he was trying to protect me. In all this interaction, I never attempted to feed him, though I was sorely tempted.
    Eventually, I named him Gabriel. When I told him this, he strutted and puffed out his beautiful feathers and gave a very triumphant gobble.
    As Thanksgiving approached, I began to worry about his safety, for the very obvious reason that it is tradition for people to eat turkeys on Thanksgiving. I don't think I have ever had a Thanksgiving, in which I did not eat turkey. However, this Thanksgiving was different. At home, we considered having a vegan Thanksgiving, but, since our friend, who is vegan, did not join us, and vegan cuisine so strange to us, we relented and had cornish game hen and avoided turkey altogether, in honor of Gabriel.
    I am very happy to report that Gabriel survived Thanksgiving very well and greeted me this week with his exhuberant gobbling! So, this is the picture of OUR Thanksgiving turkey! Also, there is a picture of a beautiful autumn tree that is in the vinicinity of Gabriel's stomping ground.