We're just friends.

I put the baby chickens, now three weeks old, in with Tom Turkey and Mrs. Turkey. Mrs. Turkey is like a zombie, sitting on her eggs, so she didn't care, but Tom Turkey didn't seem entirely comfortable with fifteen baby chickens in his pad. I decided it was time to take Tom Turkey out of the barn and put him out to pasture again.

Normally, when I catch a turkey, it poops on my head and tries to claw my eyes out. For this reason, I have a method that works well for me: I grab the turkey by the legs and then carry it upside down to wherever I need to take it. I wouldn't take a subway train or anything, but it works for a short walk.

So, I went into the turkey pen and picked up Tom Turkey by the legs. He did not resist. He did not peck. Tom Turkey simply hung there, upside down, by my side, and craned his head around so he could see the world right side up. As I walked him out to the fenced in pasture with the sheep, I noticed how immensely soft his feathers were against my leg. I never noticed that about a turkey before. Probably because they are usually busy trying to kill me.

Once inside the pasture, I laid him down on the ground. He stood up, looked around, and said "gobblgobblgobble."

I went back inside and ate dinner. I remarked to BAH how Tom Turkey didn't give me any trouble at all. This from the animal who repeatedly attacked his own reflection in the side of our truck last summer.

"He's your pet now," said BAH. "You have a pet turkey."

Sure enough, when I went out to the pasture later, he greeted me at the fence. Tom fanned out his handsome feathers and said,

"Gobble gobble gobble gobble!"

"Um, hi," I said.

I've since decided that having Tom Turkey as a pet is somewhat like going to the prom with your gay cousin. It may not be what you had envisioned for yourself, in your romantic projections for your future life, but in the end, it's the unconventional friends who are the most fun. And I've never been a dog person, anyway.

I guess the main difference would be that you wouldn't kill your cousin and eat him for Thanksgiving. That's the only difference, really.

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