How Smart is a Turkey?

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That is if you think in terms of calendar corners, since we just have one weekend to go then Turkey Day will be here. The  holiday will be very different this year, thanks to COVID19, and families may not be gathering like in the past. As for my family, we’re still waiting to see if the current spike of cases here in Texas continues before making a final decision on getting together.

But it’s never too soon for a slice of pumpkin pie, and I’m happy to share my recipe with anyone who would like it. It’s been said I make damn good pumpkin pie, even my kids think so.

In the meantime, here’s Slim Randles as today’s Wednesday’s Guest, with a look at Thanksgiving in his part of the country.

When it comes to our unique holiday of Thanksgiving, I think we all can see past the turkey and trimmings to what it’s all about. Oh, there are some historians who will tell us the Pilgrims really didn’t share a meal with the Indians, and that’s okay, because they got grant money to tell us that.

And there are other historians who tell us that the Pilgims and the Indians were pals and split the turkey and dressing. And that’s okay, too. Historians have to eat just like the rest of us.

But to me, what really happened those 200 years or so ago, is immaterial. No matter who came up with the idea, Thanksgiving is a good idea. At least once a year we need to pause and give thanks in our own way for our blessings.

Of course, those of us who don’t live in the big cities tend to be thankful for different things than those who may live in stuccoed cliff dwellings. We tend to look at the natural blessings more than the manmade ones. We tend to be grateful for the simpler things, like calves in the spring, and how clean they look before they discover mud.

Folks in Home Country are deeply grateful that tasty rabbits arrive in large litters, and bears don’t. When we think about it, we are thankful that we get eggs from hens and not from rattlesnakes, as checking the rattler house each morning could get way too exciting.

When you consider that porcupines have quills, and deer don’t, it gives us pause for praise, and we’re happy that it’s skunks who carry scent glands and not dairy cattle.

We are thankful, too, that hurricanes and tornadoes only happen in warm weather. It’s bad enough to lose the barn without being chill-factored to death while it’s happening.

Down at the Mule Barn truck stop, Dud said he was thankful turkeys were stupid. When asked why, he said, “Ever look in a turkey’s eyes? Not only is no one home, but someone shut off the lights somewhere back in the Middle Ages. A turkey has just enough brains to operate his heart and lungs.”

“And you’re thankful for that?” we asked.

And Dud said “Sure. If turkeys had been given the rudimentary intelligence of an empty clarinet case, we might be forced to eat sheep on Thanksgiving.”

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Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

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