A Different Lens . . . Fowl Play
June 14, 2011
Want a good laugh? Try to imagine this. Your friend Julie can officially say she caught a flying baby turkey. In midair. Yup, in the basement of the farmhouse. How’s that for a visual? I’ll tell you how it happened as I welcome you back to our Cineplex where comedy is a regular feature, particularly in this one wing of the farm complex.
It all started when a couple of our high school volunteers were cleaning two of the cages that house 22 baby turkeys that hatched a little over three weeks ago. It’s a bit of a chaotic assignment to begin with, meaning the turkeys aren’t always the most cooperative. As the volunteers started the cleaning process, two of the birds escaped and kept escaping their grasp. Instinctively, I raised my hands and grabbed the turbo-flying turkey like I was catching a perfectly thrown Tom Brady pass, only it wasn’t quite as graceful as it sounds. Still, I caught the little guy and it surprised the hell out of all of us—me more than anyone, for sure. We broke out into hysterics. Turkeys are not the smartest of all farm animals, but they’re often a great source of humor.
Another humorous turkey incident occurred just before the babies were old enough to be transferred out of the basement. While Ron was working in the turkey pen, a few of the adult turkeys broke into the peacock section of the bird “paddocks". Talk about an odd juxtaposition of feathery friends—who knew turkeys and peacocks and their female counterparts would get along so well? And because they get along so well, the new poults have their own pen to themselves while their elders live with the peacock and peahens!
This brings me to the grand ‘ol musical, another feature that pops up every now and then on the farm. Genki (Japanese for Uber healthy, being the only survivor of her 3 other siblings) has recently been integrated with her own kind. We originally thought she was a peacock; it took a couple months for her markings to come in. To our collective surprise we discovered he was a she. We had to keep her isolated from the other adults (another potential killing field “amongst their own kind”) until she was fully-grown.
Blair and I kept her company on many a cold winter night, climbing into her pea hen house, preening and petting her while I would sing, “The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music,” and Blair would do her very best Maria Callas by singing opera.
Not too long ago another wonderful discovery took place while I was milking a few of the nervous goats. Turns out that my mellifluous singing relaxed them almost immediately. There’s a theme here. I found myself singing to Llulu the lama while on our walks (yes, like a dog on a leash), and also singing to the tomatoes while they were in their recovery. Who knew singing show tunes from The Sound of Music for my eighth birthday would become so useful in my adult life on the farm? It’s crossed my mind to invite Julie Andrews to Rainbeau Ridge. I’m sure it would make her sing, too. And I do believe Lisa will be naming one of the kids Julie. So, Dear Julie Andrews, if you happen to read this blog . . . you’ll see these hills are definitely alive.