The Turkey Who Thinks He is a Sheep

One of these things is not like the other.

Tom Turkey thinks he is a sheep.

Last spring, Mrs. Turkey laid some eggs. We had had a terrible time hatching turkey eggs, and I read somewhere that male turkeys will sometimes stomp on the eggs. I didn't want that to happen, so I decided to separate them, and I just put Tom Turkey outside with the sheep. I did not give this any kind of thought at all, really. I just knew I had to separate those eggs from Tom Turkey.

At first, Tom still acted like a turkey, perching on a high point at night and gobbling to the wild turkeys in the forest. Slowly, though, he began to act more and more like a sheep. He started sleeping on the ground, next to the other sheep. When I rotated the sheep's pasture, he trotted along with the herd and went right along with them. And now, he just seems to think he's a sheep.

I don't feed him any turkey food. He eats grass and bugs. In this sense, he's the perfect turkey. He forages for everything. I bet he would be mighty tasty, but my Thanksgiving includes no plans to butcher Tom Turkey. I've grown fond of him.

Two days ago, I rotated the sheep's pasture again, and Tom got separated from the little herd. When Tom realized all of his friends were gone, he quickly flew over to the sheep. Seeing a giant bird flying straight towards them, all of the sheep stampeded in the opposite direction, with Tom flying after them, screaming "gobble gobble gobble!" or "Wait, my friends, wait for me! Where are you going? Wait for me!" Everyone calmed down once Tom landed.

I don't know how he reconciles this flying thing with being a sheep. Although we might count sheep flying over our beds at night, in reality, a sheep can't fly. But Tom Turkey can. And then there's the obvious: Tom could just fly away, if he wanted to. But he doesn't. Because he's a sheep.

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