The game is on!

by Cheri Sabraw

I have surrendered to the tom turkeys this time of year when their fancy turns from pooping all over my driveway to the ladies. The lengths to which the toms will go to attract and finally mate with a hen are evolutionary at best and clownish at worst.

Take this group of four puffy noblemen ( or so they think…)

First, they must posture and meditate, making themselves as large as possible. Catching the afternoon sun on their tail feather fan helps their sense of Self.

Then, out of order, they begin a circular parade that is all about them–their feathers, their one-legged pose, their robotic Hokey-Pokey (shimmy to the right and shimmy to the left)–all while holding their breaths in order to push every fiber and feather into an enormous love machine.

Then, at the behest of the lead love-maker, they begin their march to sex.

“Yes, you heard me, ” Moe silently directs, practicing his machismo as he, Curly and Larry head toward the soft creek bed.

“That little gal over there can’t help but be magnetized toward my colorful face, big breast, and of course, those red balls at the end of my neck. God, I am so hot.

“Hey, you aren’t the only massive dark meathead, Moe, ” Curley and Larry chortle.

“Well, hey there, girls. Look on up instead of down. Not enough for you yet? Let me show you my backside. That ought to trigger your hormones.”

Hello you little wild cutie…are you heading for the creek?

[ Green piece of pottery speaks ]: “Hey there buster, it’s been very lonely here on the patio this rainy and cold winter. I am interested in you. You can see that my cup runneth over for you. Come on up…”

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
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12 Responses to The game is on!

  1. Brig says:

    You have captured them in all their glory!
    I might have laughed out loud at the red balls …

  2. Carol McCann says:

    Isn’t nature wonderful? We have to put up with Eurasian Collard Doves and the Robins with their love songs all day. It would be fun to see those Dandys. with their strutting and dance steps. We didn’t realize that there were turkeys in Fremont.. Ashland , Oregon has a BIG problem with them.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi Carol,
      Always love to hear from my Vancouver friend. I have never heard of Eurasian Collard Doves and also had no idea that our turkeys have migrated up to Ashland. So much for Shakespeare!

  3. shoreacres says:

    I saw a wild turkey alongside the road this weekend — they’re around, but not commonly seen. I certainly would love to be witness to this sort of carrying on. The toms are quite handsome when they get those feathers puffed and poofed, and the photos are great. Did one ever get a girl?

    • Cheri says:

      Well. I have never seen them in the act but every spring we have hundreds of little toms and hens foraging in the brush. I get such a kick out of this “carrying on” as you would say. I did see two roadrunners out on the desert barranca last year “carrying on.” They looked like a spinning Rhoomba.

  4. wkkortas says:

    Why do I have the eerie feeling that their pickup lines include “HI there! What’s your major?”

  5. Cheri says:

    Now THAT was funny. If only they had just a wee bit of intelligence. Even the cattle across the road seem smarter.

  6. Lue Perrine says:

    😆 ha!ha! 🦃 We are so thankful for them! Spectacular bird photos Cheri! What a gift you have to be able to write so beautifully!

  7. Cheri says:

    It seems that maligning politicians and calling them turkeys is a big affront to the national bird. Thank you for your kind words.

  8. Chris says:

    Delightful and entertaining. Great shots. This past fall while we were on the east coast, the turkeys roamed the neighborhoods in many rural communities, stopping traffic as they crossed the streets for better pastures.

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