Wild Turkey Courtship: the tail of Mario and John (I mean tale)

by cheri block

In my ongoing efforts to appreciate  wild turkeys instead of revile them, I took my camera out on Thursday  to view them  through a new lens. In fact, my lens is not new, but I now choose to look upon these birds as nature’s precious creatures whose presence in my life will not go away. I mean, whose presence in my life is here to stay, God bless them.


In the center of our abused lawn–once a lush green carpet frequented by playful squirrels and red-breasted robins –stands a small cluster of wild turkeys, headed up this morning by the two creatures, I mean majestic males, you see in the center. Note what the hens are doing: working busily, scratching up the blades, looking for worms, their backs turned away so as not to hear the conversation going on between Thing One and Thing Two, I mean between Mario and John.

Mario: Now that Thanksgiving is over, we can concentrate on production instead of reduction of our numbers.

John: Good point. All of our apoplectic  flight at the sight of that damn yellow Labrador and her owner, you know, the woman who comes out of her house every morning with her coffee mug, the one dressed in her old robe, staring at us  with hatred in her eyes? Like I said, all of this fleeing and flying has distracted me from my primary purpose in life.

Mario: Which primary purpose?

John: Mario, primary means the first. You cannot have more than one primary purpose and in our case, it is control, maintained by our good looks and sexual attractiveness.


Granted, sexual attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder. You will observe here that Mario and John are now pulling out the all the stops (and other things hidden under that fan of feathers) in their ongoing efforts to get back on track. You will also notice that their hens have fled.

Mario: I, Mario Berlumacaroni, am going to rustle me up some hens!

John: I, John F. Kennebunkport will now reveal what that F. in my name means!


I must interrupt this stimulating conversation to point out the obvious.

Mario and John are not conjoined twins although their intentions are identical. Here they are demonstrating the stupidity, I mean intelligence, of their species by melding into one turkey, in the hopes that the hens on the hill will be attracted to this super-turkey approaching, with everything on his body puffed up and out, all in sync.

Mario and John: Oh, Echo…Desiree, Natalie, Ivana, Marilyn, JayLo, oh ladies, here I (we) come in all of my (our) sexual splendor. Where are you? Don’t hide from me (us).

The ladies have split. They know a fake when they see one.

Mario: John, we must separate if we are to score today. Since I have watched the Judge here on the Rancho– he too in all his splendorific feather-puffing– I know that hens are attracted to toms that drive pick-up trucks, so I am heading over to the Judge’s truck.


Mario: Oh girls! girls! girls!  Take a look, a good look at the specimen before you. Yeah. The one by the pick-up truck.


Mario: Girls, stop what you are doing and just look west at the man who will soon father your chicks. Girls. Just look around. Do you see me, a feathery inflated stud, as erect as a young first lieutenant about to meet the commander? Girls?


Mario: I’m over here, ladies, the one ready to go. Girls?

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
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17 Responses to Wild Turkey Courtship: the tail of Mario and John (I mean tale)

  1. Do you reallymean to say that ALL those poor females were fathered by those two rampant and rowdy feathered sex machines? Oh my, what can we expect next? I think they need a good dose of “Farmerr Sabraw’s Rustic Saltpeter” to slow the action down.

  2. dafna says:

    conjoining in theory is not as stupid as it looks in reality. who hasn’t thought, “if only i could combine those two turkeys, i’d have the perfect mate”?
    happy new year cheri!

    • Cheri says:

      Oh my. That’s a drastic solution, Kayti! You will be happy to learn that many more Toms live on the Rancho.

    • Cheri says:

      Happy New Year to you dafna. I love hearing from you and know you have had a challenging 2012. For you and your family, I wish only the best in 2013. As for conjoining in theory, yes, I agree. If only I could have the patience of Mario with the work ethic of John…that type of thing.

  3. imagenmots says:

    What a nice Freudian fantasy. Pickup trucks, John Deere etc, happy New Year and a large choice of fat turkeys for next year’s Thanksgiving.

    • Cheri says:

      I love Freudian fantasies and Jungian dram analogy. If only I had someone to interpret my dreams, especially the one that has turkeys boarding a lone rocket ship down in the back meadow.

  4. rosemary says:

    Gorgeous photos; you are definitely over-run with Turkeys up there in them thar hills…put up a “Fresh Organic Poultry” stand down at the bottom of the road …put the extra bucks toward your (just as messy??) Olive Endeavor…

    • Cheri says:

      Thanks Rosemary. I must admit I loved this set of pictures. What you are describing sounds a little bit like running a business and my business days are OVER, especially now with California’s new tax structure. You do have a point about the olives but they will be harvested before they fall off the trees (I hope)

  5. Brighid says:

    I have to agree with dafna… if only…
    We had bunches of wild turkeys at the hill house… between them and the deer we had free rottilling and fertilizing… it was interesting to watch the turkeys from the deck… for a while!

    • Cheri says:

      I still am interested in watching them from our deck and occasionally getting my tush out of the chair and picking up a camera. The perimeter of our house is finally fenced (because of the deer and the newly planted olive trees) so watching deer nibble my plants is over.

  6. T E Stazyk says:

    Thanks for a good chuckle. We have some wild turkeys wandering on the farm, although much fewer in number and resplendence, but certainly no less a scourge. A guy from the power company was up and he told me he “happened to have” a crossbow in his truck. He imparted that information with a lift of the eyebrow. I so wanted to do a Henry II but in a moment of compassion said that the neighbor had sort of adopted them and I didn’t want to have to explain a Custer’s Last Stand sort of tableau to her.

    I frequently regret that!

  7. W.k. kortas says:

    I don’t know if this is more reminiscent of the Festrunk Brothers or myself and my roommate sophomore year. Given the lack of success, it’s probably the latter.

  8. Cheri says:

    You and your roommate became one?

  9. Christina Ma says:

    Hi, Mrs. Sabraw! I really enjoyed this post– it gave me a good laugh! Sounds like you’re doing well…keep us posted about John & Mario. =)

  10. Cheri says:

    I’m thrilled you are reading my blog! It doesn’t take much to make you laugh and I can just see your gorgeous smile.

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