Posts Tagged ‘practical jokes’

I’m not sure if there is anyone left out there after the last ‘skeleton’ post but if there is I will apologize right now because I doubt that this post will be any less rude, crude and socially unacceptable.


We have a turkey. 

His name is Thomas. 

And we love him even if he is older than dirt and mean as sin.

I think it comes from living with too many chickens.

Years ago, when our boys were in 4-H they decided they wanted to show turkeys so we went to the local Runnings store and purchased 2 baby turkeys.  Even though we had no idea if they were male or female we named them Thomas and Nadine (yes, it’s true – I named my camper after a turkey).   As fate would have it we did end up with a male and a female and we had even named them correctly.  Unbelievable!

Thomas and Nadine were such cute, fuzzy little critters you just couldn’t help but love them.  Thomas – a Bronze turkey and Nadine – a Bourbon Red, grew into beautiful birds.  It seemed they ate their weight in grasshoppers every day and as their weight increased the grasshopper population quickly dwindled.  The kids loved them and pretty much turned them into pets that would follow the kids around like a couple of large, feathered dogs.  I received several confused phone calls from the neighbors throughout the summer but by mid August the neighbors had gotten used to seeing them around and Thomas and Nadine were gorgeous.  The boys entered them to the county fair where they won masses of purple ribbons and for 2 years in a row our boys took top honors and brought home the highly coveted poultry trophy.  It was exciting times! 

But as with so many celebrity couples all was not well between our turkey ‘love birds’.  Relationships can be difficult no matter how beautiful you are.  Thomas and Nadine liked each other well enough but Thomas had a problem.  In fact, when it came to the whole ‘mating thing’ he was more than just a little confused.  Every time I saw them together the poor old boy was 180 degrees off and even though I tried to straighten him out (many, many times I tried) he could never quite get the ‘jist’ of it. 

It was sad…  

hilarious…   but sad…

And as for me, it’s probably a good thing we live in the country because if anyone had witnessed me trying to help our turkeys mate I’m betting PETA would have been involved.

And poor Nadine. 

Poor frustrated Nadine. 

All she wanted was a family.  She took it as long as she could but Nadine could hear her biological clock ticking louder every day so when a flock of wild turkeys passed through she was ready to spread her wings and move on. 

We never saw her again.

It has made Thomas a bitter bird.

It has eaten away at him for years.

But he’s a turkey – so really, how long can this go on?

For 14 years!!!!!

As of this spring Thomas has been a part of our lives FOR  14  YEARS!!!!!

I had no idea turkeys lived this long!!!!!

Is this some kind of record?????????

It’s not like Thomas has led a pampered life. 

 He’s had run-ins with skunks, coyotes, mountain lions, hawks, raccoons, dogs, a couple of steers, 2 ornery kids & their friends, both grandpas, our renters, salesmen, lost tourists, a skittish census taker and an angry UPS man with a can of mace. 

And as for the whole ‘Jehovah Witness Incident’ I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize.  But on Thomas’  behalf I feel I must also state that it was probably the first time he had ever seen a woman in a skirt.   

 Enough said.

And then there was a practical joke one Thanksgiving in which Thomas with all the dignity of an English butler – stole the show.

For about 7 or 8 years I worked off and on as a bank teller.  On one of the times when I wasn’t working I received a phone call from one of the tellers (who will remain nameless).  She asked if our kids still had a turkey because they were thinking of playing a joke on the bank president – whom we will call CW – to protect the innocent. 

Now CW is a wonderful boss with a great sense of humor.  He grew up on a ranch, worked cattle and horses most of his life and from the stories he’s told has been behind some pretty impressive practical jokes himself.  So of course – I was in! 

As it turned out the teller had asked one of the local ranchers  to show up at the bank dressed as a Pilgrim and she needed a few ‘props’ to seal the deal.  So at the appointed time, on the specified day I met ‘Pilgrim Rancher’ at the front door of the bank with my bird in a crate.  Pilgrim Rancher was dressed for the part – flat brimmed hat, suspenders and a double barrel shot gun.  

Thinking back on this I am amazed that no one on main street seemed to think this was unusual behavior for this man. 

Anyway, I helped him tuck Thomas – who was fully grown by this time and weighed 40+ pounds – under one arm and handed him his gun.  Leaving this poor man outside the door I went in ahead and alerted the tellers who were already busting a gut because they knew what was coming and had spent the last 5 minutes watching us through the front doors.  About that time Pilgrim Rancher hit the automatic door buttons and entered asking to see the president of the bank at the top of his lungs and generally causing a ruckus with Thomas held tight against his side, the turkey’s head bobbing up and down with every step he took.  First came shock then everyone burst out in laughter – even the unsuspecting man and his wife who were new to our quaint little town and by some twist of fate had chosen that particular morning to enter the bank for the first time and open a new account.   (I hear they are still customers to this day)

I swear – South Dakota may have been the only place in the world where a man with a bewildered turkey under his arm could walk into a bank with a gun and no one would call the cops.


***Just a thought ***

This was several years ago and times have changed. 

You would probably get shot if you tried it now. 

So don’t try it!


Pilgrim Rancher marched right into CW’s office, set Thomas on the floor and heartily wished CW a very happy Thanksgiving.  A huge crowd of people lined up outside the large glass windows that make up CW’s office to stare and laugh at the spectacle before them. 

And what of Thomas?  You ask.

He stood there like a bronze statue – calming surveying the mass of crazy humans before him.

After a few minutes of uncontrollable laughter, Pilgrim Rancher calmly lifted Thomas up to set him on CW’s desk where he stood proudly like the trophy bird he is. 

The crowd hushed as they admired his beauty.  They stood in awe of the ‘well-trained’ bird before them as Thomas basked in the glow of so much well-deserved attention.  He loved it!  He stood proud – chest (complete with an 8″ beard) thrown out and head erect.  He was a vision!  And I was proud to be the guardian of such a magnificent creature. 

As if sensing my pride, Thomas turned to look at me, locking his eyes with mine I felt an understanding – a mutual respect pass between us – blocking out the noise and chaos of a bank full of people. 

It was a beautiful moment… 

and then… 

as I gazed lovingly into Thomas’ sparkling dark eyes I swear he smiled…

He smiled and dropped a very large and smelly ‘deposit’ on the corner of CW’s desk. 


Pandemonium reigned supreme! 

People were rolling on the floor – tears streaming down their faces and in that instant Thomas the turkey became a local legend.


Thomas has led an interesting life and I’ve often wondered how he has managed to survive it all these years.  He no longer goes to the county fair and has not been asked to relive his glory days on the stage but life goes on. 

When it comes to Thomas the Turkey there are only 2 things I am sure of:

1.  Life has made him a tough old bird (in more ways than one).   


2. Don’t ever turn your back on him because it hurts to be attacked by a sexually frustrated bird. 






Read Full Post »