The first Thanksgiving in this country has many variations including what was for dinner. (Hint: it wasn’t beef.) They had whatever they could get their hands on which included different kinds of birds, deer, and crops they had grown. The cornucopia, also called the horn-of-plenty, is a symbol of those crops.
The origin of the turkey as the preferred bird for the meal is also debatable but the story I like best is that in the 1950’s the Saturday Evening Post ran a Thanksgiving cover (painted by Norman Rockwell) of a family around the dinner table with a scrumptious turkey as the main dish. It caught on like wildfire!
We all strive for the perfect

meal but everyone has their stories of things gone awry- forgetting to buy the turkey or burning it to a crisp. Or the woman who got up at four in the morning to bake and decorate dozens of turkey-shaped cookies. When that was accomplished, she showered and got ready for dinner at a friend’s house. Upon returning to the kitchen she realized the dogs had eaten every cookie!
A few years ago, probably around 2009, on a very difficult day for us, we were coming back from Idaho Falls and as we crossed the bridge before Swan Valley I caught sight of wild turkeys in the bushes to the west of the highway. We had seen them there a number of times, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw one in a large bush.
The wind was blowing something fierce at the time and the turkey was hanging on for dear life! I started laughing like crazy and when I told Bob (who was driving and couldn’t see that angle as well as I could) what I had seen, he started laughing as well, but a bit dubiously
I thought the sight of that turkey swaying all over the place with eyes big as saucers, was the funniest thing I’d seen in a while, but I knew Bob was questioning my sanity. (He does that quite regularly.) As we kept going down the highway I began to question it too. Did I really see that? Do turkeys fly?
The first thing I did when I got home that day was to ask the computer if turkeys really fly. They do, but not very much or very high. Wild turkeys roost in the trees. There is still some doubt in my mind as to whether I really saw that or not – but it doesn’t matter. We badly needed a laugh that day and the goofy turkey provided it.
Thanksgiving Day is rapidly approaching; the turkeys are getting nervous and maybe trying to fly more than usual. If you see one perched in a bush, switch your menu to ham and just leave the turkey there. Someone else may need a good laugh on a bad day.


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