“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!”

Yesterday it poured all day, but off-Cape had snow so I’m not complaining. Miss Gracie and I did a dump run, and I didn’t even bother to change out of my flannel pants and sweat shirt. The dump was pretty empty in the rain.

The mouse count is now 14. Two got caught yesterday: one in the plastic trap and one in the have-a-heart. I have a story. The one in the plastic trap was making so much noise scratching and banging that it woke me up. I wanted to sleep in peace so Iย decided, despite the dark and the rain, to take it outside. I walked across the street, my usual deportation spot, and was about to open the trap when I heard, “Hello.” I just about jumped out of my skin. I turned around and all I saw was a light, not a flashlight but a bigger light. “Who is it?” I asked. “Billy,” was the answer. It was my neighbor carrying the light, an umbrella and a huge cup of steaming coffee. He was walking Cody, his dog. I asked the time. It was six o’clock. He wanted to know why I was in the rain, in the dark at six o’clock. I told him about my mice. He said he was sorry.

When I was a kid, I never did see much wildlife where I lived, maybe a skunk or two but that was about it. We saw cows at the farm and animals at the zoo but nothing exciting in the woods. Here on the Cape I’ve seen deer, rabbits, foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes and the common skunks, raccoons and ugly opossums, though that last one is redundant. I didn’t mention the spawns on purpose. The coyotes are common but usually at night or early morning. I used to see them on my way to work. They all looked healthy. I know one is around here when the rabbits disappear and when I can hear the horrible screams of the prey when the coyotes hunt. I never worried about Gracie as she is too big to interest a coyote. A friend once saw a coyote dragging her small dog by its hind quarters trying to take it. The dog was crying and scratching the ground in an attempt to get some traction to run. My friend saved her dog who only had a few bite marks. Another friend’s dog, another small dog, was attached to an overhead line in the backyard. The coyote grabbed the dog in its mouth and ran. When they got to the end of the line, the dog popped right out of the coyote’s mouth and was saved. The wild turkeys are the most fun to watch. They travel in fairly large groups, fluff their tail feathers as they run and make all sorts of noises. They’re now pretty common, but the first time I saw them I stopped my car to watch.

Wild turkeys can fly unlike the ones on WKRP in Cincinnati, a program I used to love. I’ll never forget the program entitled Turkeys Away. In a Thanksgiving promotion the station decided to give away turkeys and to drop them from a helicopter.

“It’s a helicopter, and it’s coming this way. It’s flying something behind it, I can’t quite make it out, it’s a large banner and it says, uh – Happy… Thaaaaanksss… giving! … From … W … K … R… P!! No parachutes yet. Can’t be skydivers… I can’t tell just yet what they are, but – Oh my God, Johnny, they’re turkeys!! Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they’re plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!”


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13 Comments on ““As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!!!””

  1. olof1 Says:

    There’s something wrong with WorPress today, I can’t comment on Blogger and even on WordPress sites it’s problematic. Well I’ll try anyway.

    I couldn’t but laugh when reading that last part ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Hilariuos ๐Ÿ™‚

    Foxes are way to small to even take tiny dogs here but when the occasional wolf passes comes itรค’s best to keep even big dogs close. They never attack a human so if the dog iยดs close it’s safe.

    I think I just heard the first mouse for the season right now. It can’t have been a bird since it’s pitch black outside. I better start looking for that trap now just in case.

    We often saw wild animals in my home tiown when I grew up. There are huge parks, almost forests, even close to the center of town so moose, deers and foxees are common. Hares and rabbits too of course.

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I have no idea what the foxes around the Cape eat. They are small here too. The coyotes are bigger in the east than in the west.

      Mice stay around all winter. Why not? They have a warm house, good food and me to drive crazy.

      No moose on the cape though last summer we had a bear which crossed the bridge. It traveled quite a distance. It was finally captured and returned to bear country in the western part of the state.

      Enjoy your evening!

  2. Birgit Says:

    Congratulations on your nearly record-breaking hunting success!
    Have you ever thought of founding a mice circus?

    I never saw wild flying turkeys. Must be impressive. Not much wildlife over here in this metropolitan region. Mainly wild cars and crazy people, but also some deer, foxes, wild hogs, storks, grey herons and birds of prey. (I shouldn’t mention the cute shy squirrels?)
    The WKRP turkey episode is funny! (…and can be found on YouTube if anyone else is curious.)

    • katry Says:

      Thanks, Birgit

      I would go crazy with that large a number of mice though how many left living in the eaves is still unknown. The numbers have slowed down of late. I know there is one in the kitchen but I haven’t yet got it. The beastie is brown.

      We have a wide variety of birds here as well. Osprey nests are on poles erected in the marshes. It’s pretty neat. (Nothing cute about the spawns!

      We have the same species here as you do: wild cars and crazy people!

  3. Erin Apostolos Says:

    The best episode, ever!

    One morning while having tea I looked out the window to the woods across our brook. Sitting in the pine trees, high above the ground, was a flock of about 40 or 50 wild turkeys. The trees were sagging with the weight. Weirdest thing I’ve seen up there so far.

    I had a flying “spawn” infestation last spring. Since they can travel great distances, I relocated them to the park down the street from work, which is 40 minutes from my house. Hoping they do not find their way home. Glad I didn’t get caught transporting the illegal goods!


    • katry Says:

      Mice have homing instincts up to a mile so I’m wondering about those spawns of yours. They’ll probably be back home in a bit!

      That must have been some sight-those turkeys!!!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The wildlife seems to have thinned out around here of late. No coyotes, no foxes (some ass shot the whole family), not even turkeys or deer. Bunnies, mice, winter birds and spawns is about it.
    My brother drives a truck delivering to all of New England. He sees lots of wildlife. He insists that he has seen wolves in Connecticut. The people who live in that area agree with him, he says, but the wildlife professionals say no. Theory is that they don’t want people to get upset so they’re just not telling anyone. There are also no mountain lions living near the Quabbin. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Yesterday it snowed and I had to go out in it for a noon appointment. It wasn’t bad by then, though. I got some lovely photos of my hairdresser’s garden. And a good haircut, too. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Today was mostly sunny so the porch door was open to let in the warmth and light. Always a plus.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      This time of year tends to be quiet when it comes to the wildlife. Come warmer weather, and we’ll see many more, especially during mating season.

      I also read where there are no wolves in New England, not to say they’ll be away forever as there is always migration. Who knows what beasts roam around Quabbin!

      I just turned off the outside light when my friends left, and it was snowing a tiny bit. We may have a few inches!

      We had sun today for the first time in a week. I was glad!

      • Caryn Says:

        Back in the 80’s I remember reading similar denials about coyotes in New England. But all the Mainers knew differently. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Ted Says:

    One of the greatest scenes in television history!

    Right before Mr. Carlson gives his famous “As God is my witness…” line, Les Nessman gives a disjointed account of what happened after the turkeys plummeted to the earth “like sacks of wet cement”:

    According to Les, “Then Mr. Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys loose.”

    Les starts to wander off, dazed, saying, “It gets pretty strange after that.”

    It seems the turkeys staged a counter-attack. “Almost as if they were…organized!” says Les.

    • katry Says:

      This show was always funny, but this episode still stands as one of the all time greats. Les is totally amazing with his Hindenburg-like narrative. I’m still laughing at him, “A man and his two children tried to kill me.”

      The look on Les’ face says it all!

      Thanks for posting this!!!!

  6. Bert van Lokhorst Says:

    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if they’d dumped frozen turkeys under the same assumption?

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