Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Monday, April 22, 2013

On City Boys and Big Turkeys

Aside from the normal foolishness around here, occasionally we have unexpected hilarity. Such was the case late last week.

TurkZilla - hates me.  Bad. Real bad.

Me and the dog had been outside for awhile but had finally come in for a break. I was sitting here lost down the rabbit hole of 'the reddit' when there was a knock at the door. This was pretty surprising especially since we didn't hear anyone drive in the gate.

Just so's ya know, if you show up unexpected and unannounced you will not be greeted by my smiling face, a slice of pie, and a pile of bacon. This is what will greet you instead.

So I sent Dog#1 to the front door to check things out. My Good Shepherd charged the door all balls out and barking. Since I didn't hear gunfire or anyone screaming and running away I moseyed out to see who was foolish enough to still be standing there. I noted that there was a car - outside the gate.

There he was. Tall, skinny, young, and wearing one of those a safety vests with the electric company logo prominently displayed. Since I couldn't hear what he was saying over Dog#1 going all Cujo on him, I stepped outside.

"Yes." I said.  It was more of a statement then a question but I think I got my point across.

The tall skinny guy kept looking over my shoulder at Dog#1 trying to rip the hinges off the door as he was explaining to me that he was there to (insert some kind of electric company mumbo jumbo here. I had no idea what he was talking about). I looked at him dubiously but he held up his camera and said it would just take a second to take some pictures. Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of OD the Gander makin' his way toward the scene.

"OK" I said, "But I'm going to come with you. I can call these dogs off you but that gander over there (points to OD who is hissing and stomping this way) is extremely mean and I can't do anything about him."

"Do you mean that goose might attack me?" The tall skinny guy asked. Clearly he was a city boy who was not familiar with the danger involved in various poultry species.

"Oh yeah." I said holding out my arm to show him the scar from that big goosey gander. "That gander has been known to chase grown men."

Now the tall skinny guy was starting to get nervous. "What do you do if he attacks you?" He asked.

"Seriously?" I said because I thought he was teasing me. He nodded and he was serious.

"Well," I said getting low in kind of a wrestling stance. "You grab him by the beak with your good hand then whip around and snatch him up with your other arm, in kind of a half nelson, so he doesn't flog you with his wings." I said and gestured just how you'd do such a thing. "It works like a charm but you gotta get him by the beak on the first try or its 'good luck, Sally'."

The tall skinny guy nodded while thinking about it. I'm not sure he was completely convinced it would work. Just about that time our big tom turkey, TurkZilla came around the garage. TZ was puffing and gobbling and strutting and stomping. Fiercely. You may remember that TZ is always trying to kill me. That turkey has a special hatred for me and I do not know why. But here he came in fully display, dragging his wings and stomping... with determination in his stink eye.

"What about that one?" My tall skinny friend asked. "What do you do if he attacks you?"

"Well, Little Brother, there's no real way to kung fu fight a turkey. So pretty much you just either gotta take it. Or run."

With that TZ gave a mighty gobble - and charged.

"Auughghhghghhg!"  And off my tall skinny visitor ran, gangly legs and long arms flailing everywhere. At one point he turned to look over his shoulder and then yelled, "He's really coming for us!" Then he ran faster.

I will not lie. I was running too.

TZ stormed after us.

"Don't worry, honey, I'll get my stick!"  I shouted as that tall guy outdistanced me by a mile. I snatched my beatin' stick off the deck rail, swung it like a batleth, and turned to face our our attacker. TZ didn't think it was quite so funny when I was armed and dangerous.

I held that gobbling terror at bay while the tall skinny guy completed his mapping or whatever he was doing... and then I chased TZ off so we could walk back around the yard.

Once my young friend was safely back in his car he could finally laugh at little and said that at least he'd have a story to tell his wife. I figure he'll be talking about this for at least a week. I told him that if them boys from the electric company were fixin' to come and work on the box or whatnot he should probably put a note in the file that they should honk for me before getting out of their trucks. He nodded earnestly and then drove away.

I waved goodbye and closed the gate.

As I walked back to the house I saw OD skulk off back to the goose gate and TZ stomp back to the hen yard. Dog#1 was still in the doorway but this time he was smiling and wagging and popping around eager to be by my side. He was not happy at all with me alone out in the yard with some gangle creature with an ill favored look.

I still had my beatin' stick in my hand as the dog and I made our way over to check the water buckets in the barn yard. From somewhere behind me I heard a scuffle and flapping as Dog#1 chased that dang turkey off again. No doubt TZ was taking another run at me. I chuckled... Oh yea though I walk thru the valley of the hen yard I will fear no evil turkey..... my rod and My Good Shepherd are with me.

Happy Monday everyone! Any body else got the electric company come calling? Did your poultry run 'em off?


Tami said...

Thank you for our morning laugh.

I read your post aloud to SM who is sipping is 1st cup of coffee and is generally not know to laugh out loud until at least the third cup.

But you got him today! @;)

David said...

A good laugh over coffee! Thanks for the imagery!

Rachel said...

I don't have big enough poultry to scare the electric company but my dog did corner a female worker who came into our backyard unannounced once. I didn't have much sympathy for her - who walks into someone's backyard without at least looking for dogs?!

Diane said...

Oh, do I have a turkey story!

A friend of mine had two breeding pairs of turkeys that ran free in her pasture along with the other assorted critters, such as pigs, goats, chickens, and various piles of rusty junk scattered here and there.

One fine winter day, she was suddenly admitted to the hospital and I was charged with tending the critters. I didn't get there until after dark and, not knowing specifically where she kept her feed, I brought a 50# of corn with me to tide everyone over for the night.

I hoisted the feed bag over the gate, hopped it myself, and began my duties. "Watch out for the Blue Slate tom," she had casually remarked, " and feed him something first so he'll know you're on his side." I kept a wary eye out for the turkeys while stumbling around in the dark, tossing feed for various pigs, goats, and poultry. Just about when I'd finished tossing corn into the guinea pen, I hear it.

Thump, thump, ruffle, draaaag.

Boom, I turned around and dumped an enormous pile of corn on the ground just as the Slate tom came up to me. Whew. I had satisfied him with my offerings. I went on to feed the pigs.

Thump, thump, ruffle, draaaag.

Crap. I frantically tossed more feed on the ground. Then more feed. And more. He was not happy. At all. I saw the evil glint in his eye as the moon angled just right.

Of course, that 50# bag of corn had cost me $12.99 plus tax at the city "farm" store on my way there so no way was I going to leave it. I grabbed that sucker and carried it in one hand and I whipped out my iPhone with the other to use in a feeble attempt to light my way across the cluttered, tetanus-laden pasture -- and off I ran, as quickly as my big, flip flop-clad feet would carry me.

Thwack! Thwack! Thwack! He chased me all the way across that pasture until I made it to the gate and Starsky & Hutched it right over.

Did I mention her well-armed husband who, upon hearing the commotion from the guinea alarm, began creeping around the house? Yeah, he had no idea I was there and I had thought he was at the hospital.

I'm pretty sure I broke three ankles, dislocated 4 shoulders, and might have peed my pants a little. But I'll never admit it in public.

Chai Chai said...

Good thing the "fowl" were in a foul mood that day. They were alert while the dogs were "napping".

I sure would like to read the note in your file!

Unknown said...

Hilarious, thanks for sharing! We have our tiny angry bull in the front paddock at the moment, I keep having to warn people to watch out for him, not sure what he would do to someone who wasn't expecting him. He tends to sneak up on you in the dark too, and he's black, all you hear is mystery snorting, and then you realise its just Donald.

small farm girl said...

LOL!!!! I love stories like this!!!! We had the same thing happen here. But, ours was with our St. Bernard and a rooster. Love it!!!!

Misty Pines Homestead said...

Oh my you certainly have your hands full!It's funny how some animals will take to you and some won't.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Tami! pour that man of yours another cuppa from me ;-)

Dave, i couldnt make this stuff up if i tried.

Rachel, believe me i do not know. we have an "understanding" with our delivery guys. i understand we also have some infamy with the post lady.

bah! Diane! hee hee tha was great. and "thump thump ruffle draaaaag" is EXACTLY it! definitely caused 3 broken ankles!

CC - you cant imagine what some of the "notes in files" say about me. dont even ask what the vet files say....

Liz, everytime i hear you talk about that bull i say in my head " *sigh* oooohhhh Donald....." i think he is the best ever.

hey SFG - i'm puttin' my money on that big St B. my pal has one named Big Sully - he's the best.

Amanda - you cant imagine my sense of betrayal.. i used to snuggle TZ and now all he wants me my death. sheesh!

Unknown said...

That's funny! My hen attacked me, two days in a row. I think I'll get a stick:)

Weekend Cowgirl said...

LOL. We only have wild turkeys and for sure they do not bother us. Bet he surely had a good story to take home to his family!!!!

Cat Eye Cottage said...

OMG! That was so funny! I did have the cable guy knock on the door one day to get access to the cable box in the back yard. He asked if we had dogs. I said, "No, but we have attack chickens." He seriously believed me because when the hens bumrushed him as he stepped through the gate, he looked at me and asked me what he should do. I told him to just keep walking and they would get out of his way. He was seriously scared to walk past them. I was laughing so hard I almost peed my pants.

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