Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Today, 28 November 2013, much of America is sitting down to consume a whole flock of these:


But this raises the question: Why is an American bird, one the Benjamin Franklin proposed to be our national symbol, named after this place:


The answer, it turns out, is that when Europeans came to America to take over, they confused the bird here with this fowl:


The guinea was also referred to as a turkey cock, since it was brought into Europe through Anatolia. And thus, the bird and the country are related, if only because of confusion.

Since I’m pushing a book, I’ll give you a teaser in which my character, Henry Dowland, shoots a turkey to feed himself and a young fellow that he’s met along the way:

The wind rustled the leaves overhead, shaking Dowland out of his thoughts. On the other side of the clearing, three turkey hens worked their way across the grass. He picked up Alpha and steadied it with his left hand, the elbow on his left knee.
A big tom strode out into the open. His wings dragged the ground, and his tail fanned out, twitching.
Dowland cocked the hammer, each click as he it pulled back an alarming crack through the air, and squeezed the trigger.
Thunder boomed out across the open ground, and the hens scattered. The tom flipped over and lay still, relieved of the disappointment of courtship.
This evening, there would be a good meal. The world of memory was ever unsettled, but Dowland’s stomach would be full, and that was as much as anyone had any business wanting.
He crossed the grassy field to collect the bird in his pack and returned to mount his horse. If Young Joe had found any luck, so much the better, but the boy had been alone long enough.
The ride back took less time. He knew the way, and he was done hunting. His stomach was also in a hurry. The bird had to be cleaned, and a fire needed making. Dowland knew how he would divide up that labor. There were advantages to having a child about, after all.
But when he cleared the trees again onto the strip of grass next to the creek, a new problem presented itself. Joe cowered by the water, a fish on a rock in front of him, and a black bear, thin from its winter’s sleep, stood on its hind legs some thirty yards upstream and growled.

You can find out what happens on the 8th of December when The Willing Spirit goes on sale.

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