Another Item of Lust

February 23, 2009


Turkey Valentine

by Marion Cook

Have you ever seen a turkey strut his stuff? First of all, a turkey is a big bird, and they get even bigger when they fluff all their feathers out as they do when displaying. The wide, brown, blunt edges are set on end and vibrating. His tail fans out. From the front he looks full, textured, alive. From the back, his arched tail is rather exposed; you can see under the facade, as it were. His wattle becomes red, filled with blood, almost covering his face and giving his little beady eyes a sort of silly look. Most impressively, he will hold his wings out stiffly to the side, like a body builder who is too thick to let his arms hang naturally. The very tips drag in the dirt, tracing out circles as he spins to face the ladies. Best of all, he will make his own percussion, a sort of huffy snort, very imperious. They’ll show off for pretty much anything that’s standing still or running away.

So a friend of mine once worked on a farm, and on that farm there was a turkey. This turkey fell in love with an old blanket hanging on the fence. He was a little misguided, perhaps lonely, certainly frustrated. He would slowly glide past, first showing off his left side, then his right. Shaking his feathers, pounding the dirt with his scaly feet, he no doubt thought he was making headway with what to his poor eyesight, addled by turkey needs, was a very shy but unprotesting admirer. Eventually he would jump up and have a go at it, awkwardly, but with much ardor. Could be worse.

But this story is a tragedy. Not long after the old blanket had been serving as an object of desire, it was thrown onto the garbage heap and burned. My friend says that poor turkey paced back and forth by the fireside, distressed. Can a turkey’s heart be broken? In any case, he says that it goes to show that you can fall in love with anything you’re screwing.


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